Interview with Carles Doménech, Coatings and Sanitizers Project Leader at AgroFresh
In 2021, AGROFRESH, a leading post-harvest solutions company, has launched VitaFresh™ Botanicals, a new line of edible coatings of plant origin. With this, the company aims to meet the growing consumer demand for fresh produce of high organoleptic quality that is safe, sustainable and reduces food waste.
At Fruit Attraction 2021, we interviewed Carles Doménech, Coatings and sanitisers Project Leader at AgroFresh, to explain the main advantages of this new range of "plant-based" coatings.
On which products can VitaFresh™ Botanicals be applied and in which countries?
It can be applied on a wide range of products, mainly on high value-added crops: citrus, pome and stone fruit as well as tropical fruits such as avocado, mango, papaya, etc. This line has a global application projection, as it deals with food additives, however, we always check locally the list of authorised additives in each country.
How is it different from a traditional wax and what are its advantages?
The physico-chemical parameters we control with this series of solutions are similar in terms of maintaining food freshness, preventing weight loss through dehydration, maintaining external appearance, extending shelf life and also reducing, of course, food waste. It also has some technical advantages over a conventional wax, such as: reduced drying time, less stickiness and the origin of the raw materials which is one hundred percent of vegetable origin, which contributes to greater sustainability of manufacturing resources.
On the other hand, I would like to point out that several VitaFresh™ Botanicals coatings have obtained vegan certification, such as VitaFresh™ Botanicals Life or VitaFresh™ Botanicals SoftFruit, through the V-label of the European Vegetarian Union (EVU).
In terms of efficacy, is it similar to that of a traditional wax?
In terms of efficacy, it depends on the solution and the crop. If we compare a traditional wax with VitaFresh™ Botanicals on avocado, we have found that we achieve a reduction of the drying temperature in the tunnel, thus saving energy and minimising costs for our customers. In addition, some of the formulations we have tested dry faster and have a higher uniformity of application.
Therefore, VitaFresh™ Botanicals enables retailers to market their fruits with better quality, improving end consumer satisfaction and contributing to food waste reduction and sustainability.
From left to right: Carles Doménech, Coatings and sanitisers Project Leader, Julián Herraiz, General Manager in Spain, and David Ferrer, Commercial Development Manager at AgroFresh