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Ethylene Control for Produce

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2022-00781
Agency Tracking Number: 2022-00781
Amount: $181,495.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 8.5
Solicitation Number: USDA-NIFA-SBIR-008541
Solicitation Year: 2022
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-04-15
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2023-02-28
Small Business Information
410 Sackett Point Rd
North Haven, CT 06473-3106
United States
DUNS: 178154456
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Jeffrey Weissman
 Principal Scientist and Manager.
 (203) 287-3700
Business Contact
 Rebecca O`Connor
Title: Controller
Phone: (203) 287-3700
Research Institution

We will study the use of our compact high efficiency photocatalytic oxidation reactor for control ofethylene that is naturally generated by produce during transportation and controlled atmosphererefrigerated storage. Coupled with a dedicated ethylene sensor our system will enable improvedstorage life and freshness of a variety of tree fruits and vegetable crops while reducing spoilage. InPhase I we will focus on apples developing proof of concept for our system via testing atenvironmental conditions prevalent in local apple storage operations. Phase I field testing in localcommercial apple facilities or equivalent research facilities as well as outreach to food distributioncenters mixed produce refrigeration and long distance and international refrigerated shipping willlead to Phase II pre-commercial field testing for a variety of applications beyond apples.Benefits of our approach include reduced use or elimination of chemicals (1-MCP DPA or otherantioxidants etc.) applied prior to cold storage to minimize apple ethylene respiration andsuperficial scald formation. Successful outcome will enable growers to move towards more organicand healthier apples reducing costs associated with fruit handling (less ventilation) and decreasingdamage and loss. We expect similar improvements to other tree fruits less amenable to cold storage(plums peaches) vegetables cut flowers and especially when mixed produce needs to be stored ina refrigerated space. Provided other conditions are met use of our system can allow growers tomore readily produce organic produce by avoiding chemical ethylene control adding significantlyto potential profits.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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