FruitGard® tomato intervention technology is effective in ripening, storage, transportation and processing environments. FruitGard is an EPA approved as an antimicrobial and provides effective and safe reduction of fruit decay organisms.
FruitGard is a new, unique tool for the tomato industry because it is a gaseous product that penetrates into boxes and bins. FruitGard is produced in a controlled release reaction which is scalable, simple and cost effective. FruitGard penetrates into lesions, wounds and natural openings and eradicates the fungi and bacteria that cause rots.
FruitGard has been under development by Food Defend for 15 years. Company, university, industry and USDA trials have demonstrated good control of Erwinia, Phytophthora, Alternaria and Geotrichum caused decay. FruitGard controls problems associated with stem scars and wounds because it has a high affinity for these zones. In university tests of whole fruit quality (firmness, sensory, color, appearance and shelf life) no significant differences were detected between FruitGard and control fruit. However, the shelf life of FruitGard-treated sliced tomatoes was extended by one day.
For field grown, mature green tomatoes, FruitGard can be applied in ripening rooms after packing. For best results, FruitGard should be applied within 24 hours of harvest; fruit can be wet or dry. FruitGard will protect fruit held in storage in bins or in cartons; workers can be present in store rooms during fumigation as the concentration of FruitGard will be below the OSHA PEL. FruitGard products do not interfere with ethylene induced ripening of tomato fruit. Formats of FruitGard have also been developed to keep tomatoes safe during shipment in refrigerated containers and trailers.