Akorn’s all-natural, plant-derived edible coatings minimize post-harvest loss of fresh produce and extend shelf life
BERKELEY , CA, UNITED STATES, September 12, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/
Akorn Technology is pleased to announce another new investor, Future Food Fund, the corporate venture capital investment arm of Oisix ra daichi Inc. This new partnership is set to further advance development of Akorn’s groundbreaking natural, plant-derived food coatings platform, which has been successfully deployed in Europe, Latin America, and North America and is approved for use on such produce as avocados and mangoes, apples and pears, peaches and plums, and citrus. This new partnership will aim to improve supply of high-quality fresh produce to the Japanese market, with particular focus on imported crops that are in high demand – such as avocados and mangoes – but pose supply chain challenges due to long transit times from distant suppliers.
Akorn coatings are well on their way to revolutionizing clean-label shelf-life extension because they more than double the shelf life of a wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables using only plant-derived ingredients without added chemicals. The potential for this innovation to benefit growers, packhouses, retailers, and consumers is immense, given that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that over 40% of fresh produce goes to waste and the global costs of food wastage and post-harvest loss amount to about $2.6 trillion USD per year. Akorn’s approach to managing produce quality both reduces waste and provides the ability of the supply chain to extend fresh produce to the world’s many “food deserts.”
The Akorn coating base is formulated from a non-GMO corn milling by-product and includes three natural active ingredients that control ripening speed, reduce moisture loss, and preserve color. The coatings provide optimal delivered quality and freshness from harvest to table. Additional functionality such as natural antimicrobials and fungicides can be incorporated, as needed. The coating is applied using conventional equipment and is easily implemented in existing packinghouse operations.
Akorn CEO Anthony Zografos understands the importance of excellence within Japan’s fresh produce market, noting “consumers in Japan are known to expect top quality and exceptional taste and appearance, without harmful chemical residues. We are confident that Akorn coatings meet, and in fact exceed, expectations. Partnering with Future Food Fund is an exciting opportunity to develop alliances with key stakeholders so we can demonstrate the many benefits of Akorn coatings to the crops of interest to Japan’s market.”
In a Future Food Fund statement, investors are looking forward to working with Akorn to leverage the benefits of adding a new food preservation technology to its portfolio. This provides the opportunity for making new – or popular but currently limited – food crops more available, which can revitalize local markets and associated market sectors.
Among the goals of Future Food Fund’s strategic investments are to build and support Japan’s ecosystem of food-centered technological innovations by providing support for product development and sales. To date, this fund has invested in 16 startups both domestically and abroad.
About Akorn Technology
Founded in 2019, Akorn has successfully developed, tested, and deployed natural plant-derived edible coatings that, when applied to fresh produce, can more than double its shelf life. The coating platform is based on a non-GMO corn milling by-product that has been formulated to effectively control moisture loss, control ripening speed, and preserve color. The clean-label coating is applied using conventional equipment. The ultra-thin transparent layer is flavorless and can be customized on-demand and on-site with such additives as natural antimicrobials and fungicides.
Akorn’s mission is to optimize and extend the harvest-fresh quality of a wide variety of produce, enabling producers and retailers to minimize food waste and extend markets. Consumers benefit by having access to higher quality longer. We believe prolonging the natural appeal of fruit and vegetables can lead to healthier food choices, better nutrition, and less food scarcity. To advance this mission, Akorn has been awarded two prestigious U.S. National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research (NSF SBIR) grants https://seedfund.nsf.gov/. For more information, visit https://akorn.tech.
About Future Food Fund Inc.
Future Food Fund Inc., established in 2019, is Japan’s first dedicated food tech corporate venture capital fund. A subsidiary of Oisix ra daichi Inc., the fund is supported by Oisix ra daichi Inc. and partners. Through strategic investments in food, agriculture, and healthcare, it supports portfolio companies with sales and product development with a view to maturing Japan’s startup ecosystem.