It's Fresh

A Milton Keynes-based tech company is hoping to sign up retailers from across the world to use its pioneering technology that helps fruit stay fresher for longer.

In the UK Tesco, Morrisons, M&S, The Co-operative Group and Waitrose are already using the technology, called It’s Fresh, which extends the life of fruit by two to four days. US customers include Walmart, Wegmans and Albertsons Safeway.

The sheet filter, made from a patented mix of minerals and clay, is not much bigger than a postage stamp. It is added when fruit is packed prior to transportation and functions like a sponge, absorbing ethylene gas, which is emitted by fruits as they begin to ripen. It locks the gas away, slowing the ripening process as well as the development of rots and moulds.

“Most major supermarkets are now seeing the benefits from our filters in terms of the savings they make and the added value for consumers,” said It’s Fresh founder Simon Lee. “There is still much work to be done, and we are in talks with many others, both in the UK and around the world, to widen the use of the It’s Fresh filters.”

Hugh Mowat, head of quality produce and horticulture at Morrisons, said: “This technology helps preserve the quality of our fruit, which is important for customers who want their food to stay fresher for longer.”

The It’s Fresh technology is being used on a range of fruit, including strawberries, raspberries, nectarines, peaches, plums, tomatoes, avocados, pears and kiwis.

It’s Fresh believes it can play a key role in the fight against food waste.

Statistics from food charity Love Food Hate Waste suggest seven million tonnes of food and drink is thrown away by UK homes every year. This food costs the average household £470 a year, rising to £700 for a family with children - about £60 a month.