November/December 2022 - 26
AppHarvest opens indoor salad greens farm
with touchless growing system
Sustainable food company AppHarvest Inc. has opened its Berea,
Kentucky, high-tech indoor salad greens farm featuring a touchless
growing system with autonomous harvesting.
At 15 acres, the AppHarvest Berea farm is expected to be the
world's largest indoor farm for autonomously harvested salad
greens with a cutting-edge touchless growing system. The handsoff
system is automated from pre-seeding to packaging, including
onsite washing to help improve both food safety and efficiency
for the " Queen of Greens " washed-and-ready-to-eat salad packs.
The farm is designed to grow about 35 million lettuce plants at a
time, which go from seed to maturity in about three to four weeks
depending on variety.
The AppHarvest Berea controlled environment agriculture (CEA)
facility is opening on a phased approach, beginning with five
acres then bringing on additional productive acreage over time.
AppHarvest began first commercial shipments of salad greens in
The growing environment at the facility leverages sunshine and
rainwater and is automated for lighting, humidity and temperature.
The farm uses a closed-loop irrigation system, which enables
expected water savings of up to 90% compared to open-field farming
and allows for precision dosing of nutrients, resulting in less use
of fertilizer compared to open-field farming while avoiding pollution
from agricultural runoff.
The closed-loop system also aids in integrated pest management,
using good bugs to take care of bad bugs and early detection and
prevention, to avoid the use of harsh chemical pesticides. The
adaptive spacing design of the troughs in the touchless growing
system further minimizes any potential pest exposure.
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reduces waste, delivers return on investment and offers robust
sustainability benefits in the perishable produce supply chain.
Verdant Technologies is working with produce growers in the
U.S. and Mexico and has a partnership with Chrysal International to
distribute its technology in the floral industry to help keep flowers
fresher for longer.
TekniPlex expands sustainable materials portfolio
with Ematec acquisition
TekniPlex Consumer Products has acquired Empaques Moldeados
de America Tecnologias S. de R.L. de C.V. (EMATEC), a Mexicobased
manufacturer of molded fiber packaging solutions for produce
and other fresh food.
Ematec's portfolio of sustainable molded cellulose pulp packaging
solutions further strengthens TekniPlex's leading position as a
materials solutions provider in the fresh foods industry.
Molded fiber is a renewable biobased material derived from
100% natural, typically recycled paper and cardboard fibers, making
it highly attractive to brands seeking to expand their bio-based
packaging offerings. Ematec also offers a line of postconsumer
recycled PET plastic containers such as egg cartons, clamshells
Better Juice opens sugar-reduction facility
for juicing in Tel Aviv
Sugar-reduction food tech start-up Better Juice Ltd. has opened
its first full-capacity manufacturing plant for full commercial
production of its proprietary sugar-reducing immobilized enzymes.
The new facility will enable the company to fulfill current
commissions from juice producers globally, as well as respond to
anticipated new demands.
The technology, developed by the Israeli start-up, produces
Verdant Technologies receives IFPA
Science & Technology Circle of Excellence Award
The award was presented at this year's Global Produce & Floral
Show in Orlando, Florida. Each year, the IFPA selects one individual
or organization that solves business challenges within the produce
and floral industries through the application of scientific and
technological advancements to create better products, processes
or value to customers.
Over the last year, Verdant Technologies has introduced its
HarvestHold Fresh postharvest innovation that extends the shelf
life of fruits and vegetables. The novel solution provides growers
with a simple and flexible product that delivers impactful results.
Through its breakthrough delivery method of industry-standard
1-methylcyclopropene (1-MCP), HarvestHold Fresh significantly
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proprietary beads composed of non-GMO microorganisms that
naturally convert the juice's composition of fruit sugars including
sucrose, glucose and fructose into prebiotic and other nondigestible
The new site, located in Tel Aviv, includes commercial-scale
equipment, including an industrial fermenter and industrial
immobilization processor. The specialized equipment is used
for growing and harvesting the beaded microorganisms used in
producing Better Juice's immobilized sugar-reducing enzymes. The
site also houses pilot labs and the company's new headquarters.
The new plant has a production capacity to support sugar-reduction
of 250 million liters of juice per year. Better Juice has commitments
with various juice companies to reduce the sugar loads in various fruit
juices, including apple, orange and pineapple juices.
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