Error

Close

search
OPN Connect Newsletter 295 · November 17, 2022

Verdant Technologies Focuses on Freshness


Verdant Technologies, based in Centennial, CO, considers itself an expert in the science of freshness.

“We are a technology company focused on extending the shelf life of many fruits and vegetables along the supply chain,” said Steven Oklesh, product lead director for the company.

OPS 2024 Retailer Reg square

Steve Oklesh, Product Lead Director, Verdant Technologies

A few years ago, the company was acquired by Gulftech International, which is focused on agriculture and food production. A few of Verdant Technologies’ sister companies are focused more on the food processing side of things, and another on produce labels (Sinclair).

“There’s quite a wide breadth of experience in the produce industry that Gulftech and its member companies provide, and we have benefited greatly from being a part of their family,” Oklesh said. “Verdant works in a different category of fresh produce [shelf-life extension] than the other companies, but we all are working within the same industry and with a similar mission to help provide solutions that drive efficiency, sustainability, and return on investment for our customers.”

Vitalis June 2024

Verdant Technologies’ main product is HarvestHold Fresh, which has been EPA approved and has been on the market since September of 2021 in Mexico and most US states, with California expected shortly.

“Verdant works in a different category of fresh produce [shelf-life extension] than the other [Gulftech] companies, but we all are working within the same industry and with a similar mission to help provide solutions that drive efficiency, sustainability, and return on investment for our customers.” - Steve Oklesh

“We’ve taken a 20-year proven chemistry in 1-MCP [1-Methylcyclopropene] and applied our R&D knowledge and our material science expertise to create a unique solution that revolutionizes how 1-MCP can be applied in the produce industry,” said Oklesh.

HarvestHold Fresh delivers 1-MCP through a sheet of recyclable PET, which allows growers, retailers, and anyone throughout the supply chain to simply place HarvestHold Fresh into produce boxes during the packing process.

“Through the natural aging process of fruits and vegetables, they release ethylene, known as the plant’s aging hormone,” Oklesh said. “1-MCP slows the ripening process by binding to the ethylene receptors of fruits and vegetables. The result is longer-lasting produce from field to fork.”

The solution activates by natural plant respiration and humidity. It also releases the active ingredient over time to allow a more consistent and effective application, which is different from many other products using 1-MCP.

HarvestHold Fresh delivers 1-MCP through a sheet of recyclable PET, which allows growers, retailers, and anyone throughout the supply chain to simply place HarvestHold Fresh into produce boxes during the packing process.

Cal-Organic June 2024

“HarvestHold Fresh works to slow down the aging process of produce when conditions are conducive for ripening in the supply chain,” said Harlan Ewert, sales director at Verdant Technologies. “This technology provides fruits and vegetables extra time on retailers’ shelves and consumers’ tables, as well as the ability to help growers provide a more consistent and robust crop to the retailers and distributors they work with.”

Harlan Ewert, Sales Director, Verdant Technologies

Having only launched HarvestHold Fresh about a year ago, Verdant Technologies sees exponential growth in the future as more customers are interested in the solution because of its simplicity and the incredible way it works.

“1-MCP slows the ripening process by binding to the ethylene receptors of fruits and vegetables. The result is longer lasting produce from field to fork.” - Steve Oklesh

With more growers being aware of the different shelf-life extension options out there, many are turning to HarvestHold Fresh because of its simplicity and efficacy.

“Other 1-MCP solutions either involve airtight rooms or a sachet that requires water for activation,” Ewert adds. “Many postharvest solutions involve significant infrastructure and investment for growers. Our solution is simple, easy, and can be seamlessly introduced into the packing process regardless of if packing is happening in a shed or a field.”

OPS Retailer Reg leaderboard

HarvestHold Fresh is not an organic solution, but as many organic growers also grow conventionally, this innovation could help many farms to increase their pack out and help retailers decrease their shrink.

As with any new solution, the biggest challenge for growth is getting the word out and ramping up the process.

“Many postharvest solutions involve significant infrastructure and investment for growers. Our solution is simple, easy, and can be seamlessly introduced into the packing process regardless of if packing is happening in a shed or a field.” - Harlan Ewert

“When we work with a grower, we view it as a partnership,” said Oklesh. “We value the time and hard work that goes into growing fresh fruits and vegetables, and we want to help preserve it so more people can experience their product at its peak freshness.”

In that regard, the company works with its customers on different commodities it might be interested in, and together, create new opportunities for the future.

Verdant Technologies also has a solution for the floral industry, which is similar to HarvestHold Fresh. Currently the solution is being distributed by Chrysal International as Ethylene Buster Sheets. Chrysal has recently shared that many growers have started utilizing the solution, and it is helping extend the life of florals by an average of 5-6 days.

As Verdant Technologies looks to scale HarvestHold Fresh to serve more growers and new geographies over the coming years, the company plans to build upon its recent innovation.

“In addition to what we’re currently offering today, we are looking at new application types and ways in which we can continue to provide more nourishment to a growing population while reducing food waste,” Oklesh said. “HarvestHold Fresh delivers a tremendous amount of sustainability benefits. We want to continue doing more and finding ways we can continue to move towards even more sustainable solutions and longer-lasting produce.”

Want Fresh News Delivered Regularly?

Sign up for OPN Connect 

Stay current on all the most important news
and features with our weekly newsletter.

Sign Up Todaykeyboard_arrow_right