Produce giant Chiquita Brands International has launched what it claims is a “technology breakthrough” for food safety and freshness.

FreshRinse is a produce wash designed to “dramatically reduce” microorganisms on leafy greens and “better maintain freshness”, the US firm said today (15 October).

The technology will be made available for licence to the entire industry, it said.

“Based on our extensive research, we view FreshRinse as the biggest invention since the start of pre-packaged salads,” said Chiquita chairman and CEO Fernando Aguirre. “FreshRinse sets a new standard in food safety for the produce industry. We continue to deliver breakthrough innovations and we plan to make this new technology available to the industry. We want consumers and customers to know they have an important new option when making purchase decisions.”

In testing, Chiquita said FreshRinse reduced nine times or more of E. coli O157:H7 and salmonella for Romaine lettuce and spinach versus chlorine produce washes.  

FreshRinse is a combination of Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) and an FDA-approved ingredient that “significantly enhances” pathogen reduction and retains freshness. It is acceptable for use on both conventional and organic produce, Chiquita claimed.

The technology is also environmentally friendly – ingredients will decompose to environmentally safe and friendly compounds, the firm said.