Aloxitec are helping to reduce food waste through their innovative flexible coating material which slows down the ripening process without refrigeration or toxic chemicals.
The company have recently been awarded an Accelerating Commercialisation grant of $494,349 under the Australian Government’s Entrepreneurs’ Programme to build a pilot manufacturing plant for their flexible active packaging material.
Over 40% of the world’s food is lost between harvest and retail. Additionally, 25% of the water used in agriculture is used to grow food that is ultimately wasted. Many options exist to extend the shelf life of fruit and vegetables – everything from cool rooms to atmosphere modified packaging – however they are all resource intensive and usually require continual access to cooling.
New to the world solution
Aloxitec have produced an innovative active packaging material, which extends the shelf life of fresh produce by up to 300% without the use of refrigeration or chemicals. The material can be placed inside existing boxes, filled with fruit or vegetables, and then stored in a warehouse and maintain its quality and freshness.
What was so compelling?
When I first heard about this technology, I thought “surely this isn’t real”. The proof was provided by producers across various types of fruit and vegetables – who all confirmed that the shelf life had been extended longer than if it had been stored in cool rooms. Informed by years of research by Dr Jinghua Fang, the flexible coating material produces a microclimate around the produce, absorbing gasses given off by ripening fruit, and extending the shelf life by up to 3 times. It can also be combined with refrigeration for better results. The material can also be recycled in kerbside recycling. Dr Fang’s technical skills were well combined with Jack Wang’s commercial advice to produce an ideal team to commercialise this product.
What Accelerating Commercialisation Funding will be used for
Aloxitec have been able to produce enough material for 3 boxes of cherries per month. Funding will be used to build a pilot manufacturing plant to produce over 1000 sqm / month. This will allow their pilot customers to conduct additional validation exercises, including observation in real world scenarios. The company will also be testing their application processes with packaging manufacturers, hastening their journey to scale.
Congratulations to the team on your achievements to date, I can’t wait to see it in the supermarkets!