The company behind RipeSense, the label that changes colour as a piece of fruit matures, hopes that franchising deals will help increase uptake of the New Zealand-developed technology.
Cameron McInness, CEO of RipeSense, said that the label had made slow but steady progress in its first year. He admitted that the high cost of use - the labels have to be applied by hand - had been a factor impeding its development.
But he said the company was in the process of appointing franchisees with exclusive rights to sell the technology throughout Europe and the US. McInness added: “We are not trying to compete with the ready-to-eat packs that are already on supermarket shelves, but see an added value role for packs that customers can ripen at home.”
RipeSense has been tested in the UK in Sainsbury stores and in several retailers in the US. Its use so far has been confined to pears, but it is also suitable for kiwifruit, avocados, mangoes and melons.
The label reacts to the aroma released by the fruit as it ripens, and is not sensitive to the passing of time or temperature.