We have helped to develop and validate the efficacy of novel technology which removes ethylene, a natural gas which accelerates the ripening of many horticultural products causing them to spoil quicker.

Key Facts

    • We worked with and to test and validate e+鈩 active material which was launched commercially in 2012 by It's Fresh! in the form of discrete ethylene removal packaging inserts.

    • It is now being used by many leading supermarket groups worldwide, providing extended quality, freshness and product life.

  • Funded by Johnson Matthey, It鈥檚 Fresh!, Defra (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

Impact of our research

We provided the scientific evidence to demonstrate that the e+鈩 active extended the quality, freshness and shelf-life of fruit. This technology has been patented and licensed to It's Fresh! 鈥 a Food Freshness Technology Holdings (FFTH) company 鈥 and is used commercially around the world in the form of retail filters and pads inserted into packaging and transit sheets of different sizes. It reduces food waste by extending freshness and quality, enabling products to stay fresher for longer.

Why the research was commissioned

Many horticultural products have their ripening response accelerated in the presence of ethylene. Johnson Matthey and It's Fresh! wanted to create new technology that could control the concentration of ethylene in a variety of packaging formats. This avoids premature ripening of fruit, fading or wilting in flowers, and loss of green colour and increased bitterness in vegetables.

Why Cranfield?

We were chosen for our international expertise and excellence in maintaining the quality and safety of fresh and processed food. We also have some of the world’s best research facilities for applying and evaluating storage treatments.

Facilities used

Postharvest storage facilities.