New personnel join food safety alliance

Claudia Coles, president of the Association of Food and Drug Officials, is the association’s new representative on the executive committee and steering committee of the Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance.

Coles is the administrator of the office of compliance and outreach for the Washington Department of Agriculture.

David Greismer is now interim administrative support for the alliance, replacing Michelle Cox-Horton who recently accepted a job in the food industry. Greismer is the librarian for the institute for Food Safety and Health at the Illinois Institute of Technology, where the alliance is based.


Business updatesFreshPaper gains Whole Foods exposure

Fenugreen FreshPaper launched across the Whole Foods Mid-Atlantic region in September. It is available to consumers at various retail outlets and to commercial customers via the Internet.

Designed to extend shelf life and keep fresh food safe for consumption, FreshPaper is the invention of Kavita Shukla, a Harvard University graduate. She got the idea from a home remedy her grandmother gave her while Shukla was visiting relatives in India.

Shukla partnered with Yale University graduate Swaroop Samant, a medical doctor, to form Fenugreen LLC. They launched FreshPaper commercially in July 2011 to market FreshPaper. The thin sheets of paper are designed to be used in fruit bowls, refrigerator produce drawers, bags and other fresh produce containers.

FreshPaper can be custom ordered to accommodate various pack styles and sizes, according to the company’s website. Fenugreen was recognized as the “most innovative young company in the world” as grand-prize winner of the Kauffman Foundation’s Startup Open.


UltraFreshSystem vows less fresh-cut shrink

The UltraFreshSystem promises retailers less shrink for fresh-cut produce while providing consumers better taste.

The packing includes a thermoformed Sonoco tray combined with an UltraZapXtendaPak food safety pad from Paper Pak Industries. An insert in the tray channels liquid away from the product.

The food safety pad absorbs excess moisture and emits carbon dioxide to reduce the growth of microorganisms such as yeast and mold. Together, the tray and absorbent pad maintain the appearance of the fresh-cut product and extend shelf life by slowing the produce’s respiration rate. The result is a fresher, firmer product through the use-by date, according to a release from Sonoco.

The trays are designed for lower stacking height to increase shipping density and reduce costs.

The tray’s composite surface also makes a faster seal at lower temperatures compared to many other trays, which minimizes the risk of cross contamination and operator liability.

By staff writer Coral Beach