The site in in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, is the first office in the region and will enable the firm to be closer to customers.
It’sFresh!’s product is a paper-thin technology in the form of a food grade sheet. It can be put into bulk and retail fresh produce packaging, trapping ethylene, the natural ripening hormone which causes fruit to ripen and go mouldy.
The technology extends product shelf life and quality by up to three extra days in store, helping to curb food waste.
Greg Pavett, president of It’sFresh!, said the office will give them more of a coordinated effort with more space, resources and people.
“Fruit is our primary target and helping retailers and consumers look after it,” he told FoodQualityNews.com.
“The amount of food waste is staggering and we are talking to US retailers and are looking at berries, tomatoes and stone fruit.
“With our technology retailers and consumers can take better care of the precious resource. Through growing, picking, packing and shipping a lot is thrown away before it gets to tables and homes.”
He said Mexico was key in terms of market growth and food waste challenges and is the firm’s third largest customer in the Americas.
Anterra Capital investment
The move follows Food Freshness Technology becoming the debut investment of Anterra Capital, a food and agriculture innovation fund assembled by Rabobank and Moonray Investors.
The blend of minerals and clay is a proprietary advanced materials science that has required significant investment over the last five years, said the firm.
Benefits include the ability to selectively trap and lock away ethylene molecules by a process known as adsorption.
It’sFresh! ethylene removal pads are manufactured to meet requirements at different stages of the supply chain.
For example, to protect avocados in transit, large (A5-sized) sheets are available as well as smaller versions for retail packs.
The It’sFresh! technology, driven by Food Freshness Technology (FFT), was first used commercially with M&S strawberries in November 2011 .
It has also been used by Waitrose and others in the UK and by Cencosud in Chile.
Natralife, Natrahatch, a microbial sensor and a cold chain indicator are all under development by the company.