Chiquita launches food safety technology

by Keith Nunes
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CINCINNATI — Chiquita Brands International, Inc.’s Fresh Express subsidiary has introduced FreshRinse, a new food safety technology for leafy greens that is more effective than chlorine rinses and keeps product fresh, according to the company.

“Based on our extensive research, we view FreshRinse as the biggest invention since the start of pre-packaged salads,” said Fernando Aguirre, chairman and chief executive officer of Chiquita. “FreshRinse sets a new standard in food safety for the produce industry. We continue to deliver breakthrough innovations and we plan to make this new technology available to the industry. We want consumers and customers to know they have an important new option when making purchase decisions.”

Like carcass rinses used within the beef industry, the FreshRinse technology uses a combination of organic acids and F.D.A.-approved ingredients. The composition of the organic compounds makes FreshRinse generally recognized as safe as well as a food safety alternative for the producers of organic salad products.

The company said FreshRinse has been shown to reduce nine times or more of E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella for romaine lettuce and spinach versus chlorine produce washes. For example, FreshRinse reduced 78 times more Salmonella that were attached on romaine lettuce leaves, and the technology also secondarily resulted in more than 750 times greater reduction of suspended pathogens compared to chlorinated wash water, according to the company.

Chiquita also has said it will make the technology available for licensing to other companies in the produce industry.

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