Construction of a Spin-off Pilot Plant for the Manufacture of Fruitect

Quick Facts:

  • 11 March to 30 December 2022
  • SEARCA GRAINS
  • Philippines

Fruitect is the registered name of a product line that delays the ripening of whole fresh fruits. Fruitect gives the stakeholders of the fresh fruit industry another method to prolong the ripening period of whole fresh fruits so that the produce arrives at the intended market at optimum quality and with minimal losses due to over-ripening and other damages. Fruitect can be added to existing methods in postharvest processing of fruits. Based on available information the following methods/products are used by the industry: refrigeration, ethylene scrubber, wax coating and other methods for modifying the atmosphere of the fruits.

Fruitect contains ingredients obtained from agricultural wastes such as peels, leaves, and nata de coco trimmings. Thus, the manufacture and use of Fruitect impacts the agricultural, industrial and environmental sectors by reducing wastes discarded by the fruit processing sectors. It also promotes the use of biodegradable coatings as compared to petroleum wax coatings.

In the project entitled, FASTRAC: Establishment of a Spin-off Facility and Pilot Plant for the Fruitect Coatings for Shelf-Life Extension of Fresh Fruit Produce or "FASTRAC:Fruitect," the FCRG will conduct R&D activities to test Fruitect on other fruits and vegetables, prepare and test other coating formulations, conduct market research, market validation, and field testing. Another important goal of the project is to simulate the operation of a spin-off company through the establishment and operation of a pilot plant. At the pilot plant, the laboratory process for the production of the coating products and raw materials will be evaluated for commercial scale production. Also, the process flow will be tested for an efficient and viable operation. Due to the novelty of the product, it is envisioned that the FCSG will engage in both manufacture, sale and R&D to make it viable, agile and proactive.

We also foresee that with the spin-off facility and pilot plant, and the partnership with SEARCA, we will be able to accelerate the startup cycle and be able to serve more fruits and vegetables producer, processor and distributors and address the problems on high postharvest losses and food wastage, as well as the underutilization of accumulated biomass from agricultural and food processing activities. With the SEARCA program and network, we will be able to reach more beneficiaries of the locally developed technology to address a global postharvest challenge. This will mean an increase in the profits of the local fruits and vegetables industry players, and a reduction of environmental pollutants.

The objectives of this project are:

  1. Prepare a lay-out for the pilot plant facility.
  2. Construct a pilot plant that will house the personnel, and various equipment, apparatus and furniture for the manufacturing, R&D, storage and sale of Fruitect.