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RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – In the spirit of “no waste, no want”, two food-focused companies are working together to find sustainable solutions that keep food fresher longer after harvest and reduce product wastage.

Novozymes – the world’s largest industrial biotechnology company – and an innovator in agricultural technology AgroFresh form a strategic research and commercialization partnership for the use of biologics to combat fungal diseases. The goal is to develop sustainable post-harvest practices that improve food quality and reduce waste.

Food loss is a serious problem. Companies report that about a third of all food produced is lost or wasted before it reaches consumers.

And fruits and vegetables make up more than half of the total, they say.

These and other fresh crops, including flowers, are particularly vulnerable to microbial attack during the post-harvest stage of production, which includes refrigeration, cleaning, sorting and packaging.

“This is a very exciting venture in a pioneering area for Novozymes – with the intention of meeting growing consumer demand for fruits and vegetables with less food waste and less environmental impact,” said Thomas Stenfeldt Batchelor, Novozymes vice president of agricultural marketing. and strategy.

Novozymes with Significant RTP Presence Forms New Partnership to Reduce Food Waste

Strong connections with the Triangle

Novozymes, headquartered in Denmark, has a significant presence in North Carolina. It has its North American headquarters in Franklinton and an R&D center in the Research Triangle, which employs about 900 people on staff.

It is the world’s largest supplier of enzyme and microbial technologies for agriculture and a range of other industries, including home care, industrial cleaning and beverage ingredients.

Philadelphia-based AgroFresh supports manufacturers, packers and retailers with coatings, equipment and other plant-based solutions that improve the quality and extend the shelf life of fresh produce.

The innovation that led to the creation of AgroFresh was first discovered and patented at North Carolina State University in 1994.

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Speed ​​up development

Novozymes and AgroFresh said their partnership should accelerate the development of new sustainable bio-products. They highlight Novozymes’ combination of advanced biotechnologies and AgroFresh’s post-harvest experience, its global footprint and portfolio of end-to-end solutions to help maintain the freshness and quality of fruits, vegetables and flowers.

AgroFresh will lead the commercialization of any new products developed by the two companies.

“This is an exciting partnership between two industry leaders who have extensive experience in North Carolina and the potential to achieve two increasingly important goals,” said Paul Ulanch, Ph.D., executive director of the North Carolina Crop Commercialization Program. Carolina Biotechnology Center. “First, improving food quality and reducing waste is so important to continue feeding the world’s growing population. And secondly, these companies are implementing environmentally friendly ways to achieve this goal.”

Duncan Ost, Chief Technology Officer of AgoFresh, noted that “AgroFresh and Novozymes share very similar challenges in terms of sustainability and the adoption of differentiated technologies to meet unmet needs across the food chain.”

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Novozymes,” he said, “to pioneer the use of biological solutions in the post-harvest sector to reduce food loss and waste and help improve the quality of our food system as a whole.”

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© Biotechnology Center of North Carolina

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