PolyNatural has developed Shel-Life®, a 100% natural and certified organic solution that extends the shelf life of fresh fruits, such as pomegranates, stone fruit, and avocado. Shel-Life Avocado works as a second skin for the avocado that permits decreasing dehydration, maintaining firmness during transport, and prolonging the number of days before the fruit ripens.
PolyNatural, in conjunction with the Agricultural Research Institute (INIA), carried out validation on the use of Shel-Life avocado as a complementary technology to forced maturation in avocados during the 2021 season.
To carry it out, they selected Hass avocado with different percentages of dry matter (early, 23%; late, 30%). After processing them in a process line (with and without Shel-Life), they simulated 2 storage conditions: ground shipment + forced maturation, and sea shipment for 30 days in a controlled atmosphere (AC) + forced maturation. The forced maturation process was carried out at room temperature and in a maturation chamber with the application of ethylene.
With regard to dehydration (Image 1), it was observed that the use of Shel-Life decreased weight loss by 25 to 30% in fruit with early dry matter (Images 1A and 1C), and by 16 to 25% in avocado with late dry matter (Images 1B and 1D), when compared to uncoated fruit. The use of Shel-Life® as a barrier to dehydration by weight was effective under land and sea shipping conditions, as well as after a forced ripening process.
As for the ripening of the fruit (Image 2), these graphs show the percentage of fruit that reached its consumption maturity during the shelf life at room temperature and after the forced ripening process. The fruit treated with Shel-Life delayed its peak ripening by 2 to 3 days compared to the untreated fruit, after a simulation of terrestrial shipping and application of forced ripening (Images 2A and 2B.) The use of Shel-Life® on fruit subjected to maturation with ethylene after 30 days in a controlled atmosphere delayed the avocado maturation peak by 1 day compared to uncoated fruit (Images 2C and 2D).
Based on this study, Shel-Life Avocado is compatible with the use of a controlled atmosphere during the export of Hass avocado as well as with forced maturation at the destination for ready-to-eat programs.