April 25th, 2023 – The European food tech Fresh Inset has joined the global food waste battle. The company is bringing to the table an agile weapon – Vidre+™ stickers that could save the overwhelming amount of over 9 million tonnes of fresh produce annually. Technology provides freshness and shelf-life protection for most fresh fruits, vegetables, and even flowers. Global giants like Janssen PMP have already been testing the solution.
FAO estimates show that nearly one-third of global food production is wasted and less than a quarter of food wasted in the U.S. and Europe could feed all starving people across the globe. Apart from that, food waste is ranked as the third largest GHG emitter in the world, right after China and the U.S. The damage to the global economy is close to $940 billion each year. Fresh Inset, a European company is challenging this problem by bringing a revolutionary solution that gives extra time to everyone involved in the fresh produce business across the entire supply chain, thus significantly reducing food waste.
“We are talking about an extra few to even several dozen days when freshly harvested produce keeps its quality and nutritional value and remains fit for the market.All you need is a simple sticker placed on the packaging or theproduct itself, that’s it. The technology can be easily applied on-site directly after harvest. Growers and packers can turn ordinary packaging that they use anyway into a smart tool that prevents loss of weight, quality, or nutritional value of the product. This gives the food business an incredible competitive advantage. It works with pears, apples, avocados, blueberries, mushrooms, tomatoes, and many more crops. Even freshly cut flowers can be treated.” – says Andrzej Wolan Ph.D., Co-founder and CEO of Fresh Inset.
The Chemistry of Freshness
Fresh Inset’s team is working on 3 continents, but the venture started in Poland, a European leader in food production. So it is no surprise that top minds work there on food-related issues – Andrzej Wolan, Ph.D., an expert in organic chemistry, and Krzysztof Czaplicki, a biotechnologist and former World Bank manager. The team came up with a brilliant solution – a next-generation delivery system that provides 1-MCP freshness protection to fruits and vegetables via a simple-to-use sticker format. One sticker used per box, clamshell, or directly on the product protects it from the damaging effect of ethylene – the natural gas which triggers and accelerates the ripening process.
1-MCP has been used worldwide for about 20 years and it is Generally Regarded As Safe (GRAS) by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Vidre+TM technology is a game-changer due to its application method and characteristics. The simple-to-use sticker format is triggered to gradually release an active ingredient inside the packaging without leaving any residue. With Vidre+™ protection, there is no need for retaining produce in a cold room or controlled atmosphere chamber that is required while using first-generation 1-MCP products. With Vidre+™, once produce is packed it can be immediately shipped or go into storage.
“We estimate that our technology can save up to 9,46 mln tonnes of fruits and vegetables annually. That is equivalent to the weight of more than 612 Brooklyn Bridges in New York City. On top of that, the extended shelf-life provided by Vidre+TM can redesign the current global logistics routes. By adding additional time for fresh produce in delivery, new more economical trade routes become available for growers, providing an increase in sales, profits, and higher customer satisfaction.” – says Krzysztof Czaplicki, Co-founder and COO of Fresh Inset.
Investors and Global Partners Back Innovative Food Tech
Fresh Inset is strongly backed by investors – Rubicon Partners (venture building fund), Montis Capital (a fund created in cooperation with the VC arm of a Polish Development Fund and EC), Infinii (a deep tech fund created in cooperation with the Polish National Center for Research and Development) and Business Angels. The international team from the USA, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, and Poland includes scientists, senior managers, and experts with decades of experience in the post-harvest, international food business. Vidre+TM is currently available in Argentina. Technology has already been patented in 52 countries representing the most important producer and consumer fruit and vegetable markets in the world. The research conducted on 5 continents proves that the technology works on various crops and varieties such as avocados, grapes, limes, pears, tomatoes, peppers, and many more. In January 2023, Fresh Inset and Janssen PMP (a division of Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson) signed an evaluation and standstill agreement to test and develop Fresh Inset’s Vidre+TM technology on fresh produce and ornamental plants.