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Top fresh produce innovation from Fruit Logistica 2014

The fresh produce world gathered in Berlin last week for Fruit Logistica 2014. The expo drew record numbers of people and companies: more than 2,600 exhibitors from 84 countries and over 60,000 visitors from 140 countries. A key interest aspect of the event is its Innovation Awards, with the top prize going to a Swiss company, Eisberg, for its “BBQ Grill Mix”. 

The Innovation Award at the Fruit Logistica had evolved to become the most coveted award in the fresh produce sector. Attracting great interest in the business and media worlds, these awards recognise outstanding innovations in the fruit and vegetable sector.

Experts selected ten outstanding innovations, that were introduced over the past year. These ten candidates were prominently displayed in a special exhibit at Fruit Logistica. Trade visitors had two days in which to select their favourites for the award.

Here’s a look at all winners and nominees for the 2014 awards:

FIRST: Eisberg Group, Switzerland – BBQ Grill-Mix
www.eisberg.com

BBQ Grill MixThe eisberg BBQ Grill-Mix is a completely new range of convenience products that offer a simple, easy and light solution for barbecue fans. The BBQ Grill-Mix consists of washed, sliced “ready to grill” vegetables which are served in a 100% recyclable aluminium tray, suitable for grilling on the barbecue or roasting in the oven.

Each tray is sealed with a special film which keeps the product under vacuum and can be removed without any trace of plastic or glue being left on the aluminium tray. This technology offers longer freshness, optimal presentation at POS and maximum convenience for the consumer.

Market Launch: November 2012

SECOND: Home Harvest Salads, UK – Oriental Mixed Living Salad
www.livingsalads.co.uk

Logistica-mixed living saladOriental Mixed Living Salad is a unique mixture of salad leaves available straight from the growing pot to the table. The mixture includes coriander, mustard, tatsoi and pak choi. This unusual salad mix in a pot introduces consumers to new varieties while at the same time offering freshly harvested lettuce leaves. The growing tray can be placed on a windowsill and with light watering can be harvested for up to ten days.

Oriental Mixed Living Salad offers improved freshness, a longer shelf life without additives, better nutritional values and less waste.

Market Launch: August 2013

THIRD: Aureli Mario, Italy – Vegetable Crumbs
www.aurelimario.com

Logistica Veb CrumbsVegetable Crumbs are a pure vegetable coating available in the varieties Carrot Crumbs, Purple Carrot Crumbs, Celery Crumbs, Spinach Crumbs and Red Beet Crumbs. According to the manufacturer, they are free of preservatives or other additives and are gluten-free. The production method maintains fibre and secondary ingredients in nutritionally relevant quantities.

Vegetable Crumbs open up new taste and visual possibilities in food presentation. They can be used with meats, chicken nuggets or fish fingers, for example, and combine a strong taste of vegetables with a delicate flavour.

Market Launch: May 2013

Other nominees:

Azienda Agricola Campobasso Marco, Italy – Fette di Sole
www.tenutadilagodanice.it

Fette di Sole Fette di Sole are dried orange slices produced using a very slow drying process which maintains the natural characteristics of the oranges. As no sugar is added, they can form part of a low calorie diet.

The oranges are sourced exclusively from organic production so that the peel can also be consumed. According to the manufacturer, only fruit of the best quality is used to guarantee a top quality product.

Fette di Sole can be consumed as a low calorie snack or as an appetiser or dessert. They can also be used as decoration or an addition to cakes, ice cream or biscuits.

Market Launch: April 2013

BrimaPack B.V., Netherlands – Extended shelf life packaging for broccoli
www.brimapack.com

Loistica BroccoliExtended shelf-life packaging is a specially developed packaging to give broccoli significantly increased shelf-life by creating a special natural atmosphere inside the packaging film without chemicals or gases. Used in combination with the NicePack system, it combines innovative packing (tight packing film with a seal at the butt) with an efficient modular machine. A single unit can clean and pack up to 17 items per minute. One person can operate two units simultaneously.

The new film increases the shelf-life of broccoli and other brassicas such as cauliflower and cabbage by at least 5 to 8 days at 180C. The film is optimized for broccoli with no expensive perforation and no additional substances to absorb ethylene.

Market Launch: January 2013

IFCO Systems, Germany – Folding reusable plastic containers for bananas
www.ifco.de

Logistica Banana binsThe Caja de Oro™ is a 600 x 400 mm foldable reusable plastic container (RPC) for bananas made of 100% recyclable polypropylene. Bananas are packed directly in the RPC at the farm and remain in the containers during transport, storage and ripening. The attractive container can also be used at POS, avoiding repacking and waste disposal. After use, the RPC is folded, collected, checked, cleaned and made available for re-use.

In storage the stacking weight is born entirely by the crates, protecting the bananas. Air vents enable optimal cooling – according to the manufacturer 30% faster and 40% more consistently than with cardboard crates. Optimum ventilation also leads to a very uniform fruit colour.

Market Launch: June 2013

Int. Fruchtimport Ges. Weichert, Germany – Uurú- the original banana
www.uuru.de

Logistica Ecuador BananasUurú, “the original banana”, is a new organic variety from Ecuador, very different from the Cavendish variety in terms of appearance and taste. The fruit reaches its full aroma and is ready to eat at colour index grade 4 (more yellow than green). Fully ripe, the banana has a brilliant yellow colour, the fruit flesh is more aromatic and firmer. In terms of taste, the Uurú is reminiscent of the original Gros Michel variety.

Production is 100% organic and sustainable: A new planting layout reduces the plantation area, optimised irrigation reduces water consumption by more than 50%, and renewable energy sources are used exclusively. Production is GlobalGAP and Bio-Standard certified.

Market Launch: May 2013

Tokita Seed, Japan – Fioretto
www.tokitaseed.co.jp

Logistica FiorettoFioretto is a long thin-stemmed variety of cauliflower with tiny heads. With its evenly long bright green stems and snowy white heads, the Fioretto almost has the appearance of a flower bouquet. The flesh is somewhat softer than conventional cauliflower while remaining nicely firm. Cooked or raw, it is sweeter tasting and more aromatic. When cooked the stems become even greener.

A fully-grown head with a diameter of 30 cm weighs around 1 kg. Each individual stem weighs around 10-20 g. Production is no different to standard cauliflower. Three varieties are currently available with growing times of around 65, 80 and 100 days.

Market Launch: June 2013

Verpackungszentrum Graz, Austria – Compostable packaging nets from beechwood cellulose
www.vpz.at

Logistica NetsThe compostable packaging nets are produced from modal cellulose fibre and are environmentally friendly both in production and in waste disposal. The raw material is derived from beechwood from the thinning of PEFC and FSC certified forests. The compostable nets can be used with standard clipping machines and are available in different widths.

A special method means that the modal fibre can be dye-coloured using very little dye. The nets are currently available in the standard colours white, potato yellow, lemon yellow, orange, red, bordeaux and dark brown.

Market Launch: December 2012

ZTI Mechatronics BV, Netherlands – Grape destemming machine
www.zti.nl

Logistica grape destemmingThe grape destemming machine is the first machine to remove grapes neatly and carefully automatically from their stalks. Grape bunches are placed at the top of the machine. It then neatly loosens the grapes from the stem in a rolling motion without damage to the fruit, and places them gently onto the conveyor belt below, where personnel can visually control the finished product.

According to the manufacturer, output is three to five times higher per person than manual operations. Depending on the variety and quality of the grapes, one machine can process up to 240 kg per hour.

Market Launch: May 2013

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