Fruits and Vegetables are always likeable which are well ripe. The ripen F&V always attract, with their freshness, colour,  and aroma. Consumer purchases on the basis of these parameters. The dealers of these items always try to sell these by way of artificial ripening. The actual ripen F&V is having the short shelf life, after which it gets spoiled and becomes waste.

Reducing the food wastage is also the need of the hour. India as well as the agriculture scientists are working on the safe, and foolproof system of ripening F&V as well as increasing the shelf life of these to reduce the wastage due to rottening of these F&V. A Dutch company, Slowd, has developed a consumer product with adsorbent granules that will keep fruit and vegetables fresh for longer.

 Fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs produce ethane, a natural gas, that helps them ripen. Bananas and avocados, in particular, release a lot of this gas. This can speed up the ripening process of other fruit and vegetable varieties.

 The Slowd's owner, Koen Verhagen informed that these granules are absorbents and comes in the small sachets which  neutralize and adsorb the ethane.   This means fruit and vegetables can stay fresher for 2 - 2,5 times longer. Adsorbing is, however, not the same as absorbing, he points out. With absorption, a (liquid) substance is absorbed by something, like a sponge.

Adsorption involves the adherence to another substance. "The 8x6 cm sachets can be used in the fridge and at room temperature", Slowd's owner explains. "The granules in these sachets last for 30 days. They ensure that the ripening process is slowed down. One product releases more ethane than another. Lettuce and herbs are very sensitive to this.

Koen  further explains that the product was originally sold in New Zealand. These adsorbent granules are however used in bulk in this Southern Hemisphere country. "In New Zealand, these granules are used during transportation and storage of fruit and vegetables", he explains. "This extends the products' shelf-life. 

According to Koen, one of the reasons the company was set up, was to reduce food wastage. "Every year, in the Netherlands, EUR 5 billion worth of food is thrown away", he continues. "We want to do something about this, but keeping the social aspect in mind. This is why the products are manufactured in a sheltered workshop. We also support the Food Bank. On the one hand, with Slowed you throw less food away and so save money. On the other hand, you support people who cannot afford to throw food away because they do not have enough of it."

Chander Mohan

Krishi Jagran


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