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What is the SmartFresh™ Quality System? |
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What is the SmartFresh™ Quality System?

Since its first trials on apples in 1997, the SmartFresh™ Quality System has been called the produce industry's most important advancement in years because it makes it possible for farmers and packer-shippers to maintain better just-harvested quality of their fruits and vegetables throughout storage, transport and retail display – right through to the consumer.

SmartFresh Quality System is globally recognized as an important tool to enhance fruit quality management practices.

SmartFresh technology successfully controls fruit and vegetable ripening by controlling naturally occuring ethylene during storage and transport. Ethylene triggers ripening and spoilage in most fruits and vegetables; in some cases it is responsible for important storage disorders, which can cause the spoilage and waste of entire storage areas.

SmartFresh Quality System reduces fruit waste and maintains texture, firmness, taste and appearance of fruits by warding off negative ethylene effects.

Mode of Action

SmartFresh technology's active ingredient, 1-methylcyclopropene ( 1-MCP) is similar in its structure to the naturally occurring ethylene. This similarity allows SmartFresh technology to interact with the ethylene receptors of the fruits. SmartFresh technology preparation is a sugar-based powder formulation, which is dissolved in regular tap water at the beginning of the storage of the fruits. The 1-MCP is released readily in the room and then interacts with the receptors for blocking them temporarily until the fruit comes out of the storage facility or the refrigerated environment. In ambient temperature, new ethylene receptors are developed and ripening continues normally.

The application biodegrades naturally and there is no SmartFresh technology present when the application is completed.

Benefits for Each Member of the Supply Chain

Numerous advantages for growers, packers and shippers

  • Higher marketing flexibility, less pressure to sell the fruit and larger marketing window of more consistent product quality during the entire sales season
  • Increased pack-out yield
  • Reduced fruit waste
  • Better quality for hard – to – store, quick softening varieties
  • Better firmness maintenance for highly ethylene sensitive fruits (like plums, persimmons, but also local heritage apple varieties)
  • For exports and long-distance transportation, better quality at port of arrival, better resistance to breaks in the cool chain or unforeseen delays in the supply chain.

Interesting benefits for retailers

  • Improved shelf life of fruits in ambient temperatures:   In French retail research studies, more than 80% of plums with SmartFresh quality maintained top quality after 7 days compared to just 48% of control fruits.
  • Increased customer satisfaction: marketing tests have proven that consumers come back for more quality fruit
  • Better store differentiation through improved apple category
  • AgroFresh’s traceability studies show: fruit shipped long-distances arrive at stores in better condition
  • Compatible with residue-free programs
  • Average Volume of Elstar Apples Sold by Store - The NetherlandsPotential for higher profitability

An ACNielsen study in 24 stores in the Netherlands has proven that consumers recognize and appreciate the freshness, crunchiness and taste of SmartFresh quality apples: The comparison of 12 stores offering SmartFresh quality Elstar apples with 12 stores displaying regular Elstars over a three-month period has shown a 12 % increase in sales volume.




The advantage for consumers

  • Taste tests in the U.S. and in several European countries have proven:
    • 70% prefer crunchiness
    • 60% prefer juiciness
    • Two out of three consumers would prefer to buy SmartFresh quality

Consumer preference

To speak with a AgroFresh representative, contact us now.

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