Peru-based Migiva Group, the owner of fresh produce grower-exporter Agricola Andrea, has launched a partnership with Hazel Technologies Inc. of the United States to trial the post-harvest application Hazel for grapes on a commercial scale.
The Hazel application is said to improve the quality and condition of table grapes. The bonus is added shelf-life, reduced dehydration and a more striking appearance, according to the companies. Thanks to strong responses last season, the product is being given another test run on Agricola Andrea’s table grape exports from Peru that are bound for the UK and other destinations.
For Migiva, a family-owned group of diversified companies in the Americas, the process adds to their quest for the highest quality produce.
“In this business, and especially for the high-end markets that we serve, nothing is more important than the perfection of the fruit and its eating experience,” Eduardo Mazzini, Commercial Director of Migiva Group, said. “If proven to be successful on a commercial scale, Hazel for grapes could be very significant for us and our industry. Based on our trial results, we believe that Hazel favors the grapes post-harvest. The fruit keeps fresher for longer; the stems look greener, as if they were not long ago harvested. This is key because the condition of the stems is a known indicator of freshness in grapes.”
The two companies have been collaborating for the past year. Agricola Andrea, among the largest growers of International Fruit Genetics table grapes in the Southern Hemisphere, and its parent company began trialing Hazel for a few grape shipments and within its cold storage units and saw some success.
“Our growth in Peru has been fantastic in our first year of commercial operation,” Martin Roeder, Latin America Sales Manager, Hazel Technologies, said. “Our ultimate goal is to allow our customers to provide the highest quality fruit, decrease food waste, and increase sales.”
Mazzini added, “the lifespan of the fruit is seemed to be prolonged by about one week, although this is not conclusive yet at a large commercial scale.”