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Fresh Appeal -- The Best Thing Since Sliced...

21 August 2002

Dr Roger Stanley with apple slices treated with the process that ensures they remain fresh for up to three weeks.

Fresh sliced apples that stay fresh for extended periods are the result of an innovative technology developed by HortResearch that is to be marketed globally in a joint venture with Logistic Solutions Ltd of Auckland.

A new company Fresh Appeal Ltd, has recently been formed to take the technology to the market place. Logistic Solutions bring complementary technologies to the partnership and HortResearch has issued Fresh Appeal with an exclusive world-wide licence to commercialise the technology.

Several years of research by HortResearch scientists has gone into the development of the unique method to retain the freshness of produce after it has been sliced. The research has produced a leading-edge food processing and disinfection technology that could be used for a wide range of fruit and vegetables.

Scientist Roger Stanley said that the technology is a robust, simple and effective, physical process to wash the sliced produce and at the same time kill pathogens and spoilage microbes.

"It is a special challenge to ensure safety and quality of fresh fruit and vegetables that are eaten without cooking. We had to develop a process that solved potential safety issues as well as keep apple slices in a fresh condition and with no preservatives," said Dr Stanley. "The process is suitable for organic applications," he said.

"This technology produces fresh fruit slices with an extended shelf life that make an ideal snack food with many uses such as for school lunches."

HortResearch Group General Manager, Michael Lay-Yee said that marketing activities for this technology would initially concentrate on the development of the North American market where the US fresh produce market is valued at US$100 billion in annual sales with a projected growth of 10-12 percent per annum. The fresh-cut sector is the produce market's strongest growth sector, and represents significant opportunities for the new venture.

Fresh-Appeal is in the process of further establishing its business with seed investors and intends to pursue a public offering at a future date to enable additional growth opportunities.

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