Apio, Inc. is a leading provider of fresh, bagged produce with strong brands such as The Greenline® and Eat Smart® featured on retail shelves around the United States. Apio is able to provide high quality, innovative fresh produce through development and implementation of various leading technologies in packaging and modified atmosphere solutions. Notably, Apio’s BreatheWay® modified atmosphere packaging solutions provide packers of fresh fruits and vegetables a natural and cost-effective way to extend product shelf life.
Apio Technology Group is an independent research and development division within Apio, Inc. Apio Technology Group tests and validates all of Apio’s technology solutions in collaboration with grower-packer clients that utilize the BreatheWay® system. BreatheWay® is a modified atmosphere packaging system that protects quality and taste of vegetables from variations in the cold chain, as the packaging membrane controls airflow to create ideal conditions to maintain produce quality. BreatheWay® technology maintains ideal product-specific conditions, ensuring clients have high quality produce at retail.
A critical aspect of successfully implementing a passive modified atmosphere package like BreatheWay® is ensuring that temperature is properly accounted. As temperature rises, produce respiration increases which necessitates the BreatheWay® membrane to change dynamically to maintain the proper atmospheric composition within the package. “BreatheWay® has a unique ability to adjust permeability with increases in ambient temperature. If there is a temperature excursion in the supply chain, the membrane will respond to the change in temperature to allow more oxygen and maintain carbon dioxide to make sure the bag never goes anaerobic.” said Dr. Shehbaz Singh, Principal Scientist & Director of Technology.
Apio Technology Group uses Verigo’s ambient temperature and humidity Pod (PA2) and temperature probe Pod (PE0) to monitor temperature conditions within BreatheWay® packages as they move across the supply chain. “We are running tests with our clients shipping from east coast to west coast, from west coast to Canada. We need to understand the typical supply chain temperature regime that is usually experienced.” said Dr. Singh. “We put Verigo’s Pods in the boxes and in the packaging to take atmosphere and temperature tests during shipping. Then we meet the load on the other end and collect the data.” Temperature and humidity data is used to validate the modified atmosphere technology and ensure the membrane is moderating the correct levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide.
Package level insights has provided Apio Technology Group with an intimate look into their client’s supply chains. Many times, Apio Technology Group has seen temperature excursions that differ greatly from what they expected before implementing Verigo’s system. “Our biggest benefit from using Verigo’s Pods is understanding specific lanes. Once we have the whole supply chain temperature mapped, we can fine tune our BreatheWay® packaging.” said Dr. Singh. “Even though truckers were supposed to maintain 32 F in the reefer container, four days later the product arrives, the temp we receive has been between 38-41. The data tells us how the airflows through the container, and what affect the sun has on the side of the container. You would think that containers are pretty well insulated but they’re not, there is big difference between pallet sides facing the sun and the side not facing the sun.”
Dr. Singh continued, “We are using Verigo’s system in conjunction with our technology to provide the client the best product delivered. The loggers are small, reusable, perfect battery life, very easy to use. Retrieving data in the mobile app is seamless, data exchange and delivery between team members is quick and easy. We have used Verigo’s temperature and humidity Pods extensively.”
Verigo was acquired by AgroFresh Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ:AGFS), a global leader in produce freshness solutions, in April 2018. The acquisition is the first step in tangibly delivering on AgroFresh’s commitment to improve fruit quality that will increase consumable produce and reduce food waste. Learn more on the recently launched AgroFresh FreshCloud™ platform, a data-backed, insights-driven solution for monitoring produce quality through the supply chain. -- www.agrofresh.com/technologies/freshcloud