Hazel Tech® Announces New Round of USDA Funding for Potato Quality Technology
CHICAGO, IL - In a world inundated with non-stop technical developments, staying on the cutting-edge is critical for growth, especially in the produce industry. Hazel Technologies®, known for its innovative solutions to boost its fresh partners, recently announced that it has received new funding from the USDA for its packaging technology, which will protect the quality of potatoes as well as potential applications for onions. The funding will enable Hazel Tech to continue to branch out its innovative network and remain on the forefront of development.
“Potatoes are the third most consumed crop in the world, after rice and wheat. Over one billion people worldwide regularly consume potatoes,” said Adam Preslar, Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder of Hazel Technologies. “In developing solutions for the largest food categories in the world, we can make the greatest strides toward reducing global food waste at the largest scale.”
The new technology, which has been referred to as Hazel Root™, is a packaging insert that is intended to be placed in bins or bulk boxes of potatoes or onions during storage, which prevents the sprouting process from starting prematurely, according to a press release.
According to information from the USDA, if sprouting exceeds 10 percent of the total surface area of the potato, it is qualified as “damaged,” reducing its commercial value and contributing to the prevalent issue of food waste. Hazel Tech’s new Hazel Root technology slowly releases ingredients that will slow this sprouting through natural biological processes and can be used on both conventional and organic varieties.
Funding for the innovation was made possible through the USDA’s Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) program which helps to fund and support new technologies that benefit the future of agriculture in the U.S.
“SBIR is a highly competitive program that encourages domestic small businesses to enhance crop production in both conventional and organic systems by creating and commercializing engineering technologies that enhance system efficiency and profitability,” commented Kelly Sprute, Editor at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture of the USDA (NIFA).
Hazel Tech, which was founded in 2015, has received grants through USDA SBIR four times since 2016, bringing its total USDA funding to $900,000, showing the company’s impact on the industry.
What new innovations are in store for Hazel Technologies as it continues to draw partners from all walks of fresh produce? We at AndNowUKnow are excited to find out, and will continue to keep you updated.