Enhanced Control of Fruit Ripening

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2006-33610-17373
Agency Tracking Number: 2004-00323
Amount: $296,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Compact Membrane Systems, Inc.
325 Water St. null, Wilmington, DE, 19804
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Stuart Nemser
 (302) 999-7996
Business Contact
 Nadine Cragg-Lester
Title: Grants & Financial Manager
Phone: (302) 999-7996
Email: nlester@compactmembrane.com
Research Institution
Ethylene is a growth hormone for fruits and vegetables that is generated by the plants themselves; that is, it acts as a self-ripening agent. Hence, the removal of ethylene gas can play a central role in maintaining the freshness of these products. Whereas the temperature and the levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide gases are also important system variables that demand a significant economic investment in order to maintain fresh produce, it is the effects of uncontrolled ethylene gas that lead to significant amounts of product loss for both the wholesale and retail distributions of these foods. Importantly, much of the loss manifests itself as a reduced food quality rather than actual product loss. This SBIR program introduces a novel technique for the selective, controlled destruction and removal of ethylene. A successful control of the ethylene gas concentration would lead to a greater preservation of fruits and vegetables. In turn, these items could be shipped longer distances and over extended times, features that would enhance their value greatly. The overall purpose of the present project is to develop a low-cost, drop-in module that is a viable alternative to high-cost alternatives.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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