Westfalia Fruit

Westfalia Fruit trials exclusive technology targeting food safety and sustainability

Westfalia Fruit, a leading multinational supplier of avocados, has conducted the first successful trials of an innovative and natural method of ensuring food safety within the supply chain.

Current industry practice is to manually deep clean avocado ripening rooms to maintain high levels of food safety and eliminate residue from naturally occurring fruit mould. Westfalia’s new method uses a probiotic uniquely distributed within a water mist circulated throughout ripening room which delivers several clear benefits.

Andrew Mitchell, Head of Innovation at Westfalia Fruit explains “Our innovative probiotic liquid is similar to that found in yoghurts which can help with the natural balance of our digestive system. This type of probiotic is also very good at attacking yeasts and moulds. We have developed the application of this natural probiotic further as a liquid, Westfalia Fruit is the only avocado supplier able to do this.”

In an initial study there was a 65% reduction in micro levels in the trial room compared to the control room. The study also found that mould on the individual fruit was significantly reduced. Avocados that had been treated with the probiotic remained mould free for up to fifteen days, which resulted in a reduction of internal rot of around 20%. Using this method also has several other clear benefits – it eliminates the need for chemical cleaning materials, avoids the need to shut down ripening rooms for cleaning and can also be applied to hard to reach areas such as ventilation ducts and fans.

Westfalia is conducting a second trial, applying the probiotic liquid from the roof of the ripening room and expects this to achieve a 90% reduction in micro levels compared to the control room. Fruit quality will be continuously monitored over a four week trial in preparation for initial roll out across Westfalia’s UK facilities.

“From there, we will be managing a role out to our European operations and extend trials across a range of products including citrus and mango. Looking even further ahead with the benefit of Westfalia’s integrated supply chain, the unique misting technique can be applied within shipping containers, giving fruit the benefit of the probiotic application before reaching its final destination, Andrew continues. This project is a clear example of how Westfalia continues to ensure consistent high quality avocados are available for consumers to enjoy 365 days of the year.

We are very excited about this breakthrough, as well as the immediate benefits we anticipate a further reduction in potential waste product whilst successfully and naturally maintaining food safety, all of which directly aligns with our ambitious sustainability goals”.

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Notes for editors

About Westfalia Fruit

The multinational Westfalia Fruit Group is a leading supplier of fresh and processed produce to international markets, offering a diverse range of quality fruit and related products via its vertically integrated supply chain. Founded 75 years ago on guiding environmental, social, governance & sustainability principles. These practices, premised on the legacy of Dr Hans Merensky are at the heart of all that is done by the Group – “To Do Good”, – of which continue to underpin our approach today.

Today, operating in 17 countries spread over 5 continents, the Westfalia Fruit Group prides itself on advancing sustainable agricultural practices and being a responsible corporate citizen within the communities in which it operates.

As a frontrunner in the avocado industry, Westfalia grows, sources, ripens, packs, processes, and markets accredited avocados across the globe throughout the year. Value-added products include avocado oil, low-preservative guacamole, frozen avocado, and dried fruit.

Westfalia grows fruit in all major origins in the Americas and Africa and sources from partner orchards, giving the Group the most diverse avocado-growing footprint in the world. Westfalia’s dynamic and integrated supply chain from research to the consumer benefits all stakeholders. The Group’s research division, Westfalia Technological Services, is the world’s largest privately funded subtropical fruit research unit. Its dedicated team of scientists and technicians focus on varietal development, innovation, and environmental matters, and provides a pivotal role in defining the future of the global avocado industry.

A supplier of choice to retail, wholesale, and food-service customers, Westfalia operates sales offices in the UK, Europe, North America, Latin America, southern Africa, and Asia. Fruit is packed in diverse formats and expertly ripened to deliver optimal eating quality. For more information visit www.westfaliafruit.com.

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Danielle Willems
Westfalia Fruit

+27 011 076 8358


Maged Ochoa Ferrazzini

+31 164 317 012





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