Can we extend the blueberry season with technology?

Written by Tim Malefyt
#Blog | 07 March 2023

The blueberry business may soon have an innovative tool for extending the fresh fruit season. The results of trials conducted on blueberries after using  Vidre+ stickers with a patented 1-MCP delivery system indicated a slower ripening effect. Treated fruits lost less weight and kept better eating quality and firmness for a longer time compared to untreated ones.  Let’s take a deep dive into the details of recent findings of research led by Dorota Wichrowska, PhD from the Bydgoszcz University of Science and Technology.

Time challenge

According to IndexBox in 2021, the global blueberry market was valued at over $8 billion. It is expected to grow and reach 2.3 million tons by 2030. Although the forecast for the global growth of the blueberry business is optimistic, the industry has to face a number of challenges. Short seasons for fresh fruits are one of them. Can we tackle this issue with Vidre+ technology and “buy” more time for blueberry producers? The latest research conducted by European scientists provides exciting insights. Let’s examine key conclusions.

The method

Poland is one of the largest producers and exporters of blueberries in Europe. Harvesting season starts in Poland in July. The tests were conducted during the summer season of 2022.

Freshly harvested Bluecorp variety blueberries were placed in 250 ml clamshells. Vidre+ stickers were applied inside clamshell packaging to deliver 1-MCP. During the tests, scientists examined 3 features of the fruits – weight loss, quality, and firmness. Data was taken over a 49-day period. 

The results

The weight loss key takeaways

  • Weight loss was lower after the application of Vidre+ in comparison to the control group without stickers. 
  • Over the course of the test, treatments with Vidre+ lost 2-3% less than the untreated. 

Fruit quality key takeaways

  • Blueberries with Vidre+ maintained excellent eating quality throughout 35 days of the experiment. 
  • Fruits with Vire+ also kept very good eating quality for the full 49 days of the test.

Details can be seen in the graph below.

Graph 1. Fruit quality 1-4 with 4 = excellent eating quality, 3 = good eating quality, 2 = moderate eating quality, and 1 = poor eating quality
Photo: Untreated blueberries after 49-day storage (left) vs. Vidre+ protected blueberries.