Apeel Sciences introduces breakthrough tools for ripeness testing
Apeel Sciences announced the launch of RipeTrack, a suite of measurement tools and monitoring software that provides suppliers, distributors and grocery retailers unprecedented insight into produce ripeness through a fully digitized, user-friendly platform. RipeTrack benefits all nodes of the produce supply chain and ultimately results in measurably higher quality produce for consumers.
RipeTrack can determine the ripeness and quality of produce instantly with a growing suite of non-destructive tools, including a durometer, a method of testing produce firmness that has proven to be three times more accurate than industry standards. This information is automatically inputted into a cloud-based data management system and can be digitally shared with team members for analysis. RipeTrack also uses AI technology to determine the ideal ripe date for a piece of produce by analyzing data such as country of origin, pack date and data from a durometer, allowing suppliers and retailers to make informed decisions about shipping and merchandising the fruit.
“Before launching this system, testing ripeness at different stages of the supply chain was a time-consuming process that yielded inconsistent results, and a disconnect with what a retail buyer expected on shelves to drive sales,” said Ryan Fink, senior vice president of the Americas at Apeel. “We developed RipeTrack to optimize the decades-old process and give the produce industry more insight into the sales-driving quality attributes of their programming, resulting in more product delivered to required specifications and less product wasted.”
This fully digitized process benefits all nodes of the produce supply chain. The easy-to-use inspection platform was developed in partnership with retail quality control teams and enables ripeness data to be instantly captured and analyzed during the ripening, shipping and receiving processes. For suppliers and ripeners, RipeTrack can inform shipping and logistics decisions, and provide increased confidence that produce will be delivered to specifications requested by a retailer, reducing the inconsistencies that can occur at the store level. All inspection data from across a retailer or supplier’s operations is then aggregated into a program dashboard, allowing decision makers to assess whether the produce is meeting their goals for ripeness or freshness. They can use this insight to execute data-backed decisions that can improve their supply chain, logistics or merchandising, and deliver higher quality produce on shelf for consumers.
“RipeTrack has received great feedback in initial trials with retailers and produce distributors,” said Fink. “Users recognize how it simplifies the ripeness testing and measurement process and are immediately seeing the benefit of the increased visibility. Many retailers understand the sales value of offering ripe produce to meet customer demand and drive sales, now they have a system of tools that will allow them to execute these programs with confidence.”
Originally developed to support the avocado category, the RipeTrack offering is quickly growing to serve multiple produce categories and use cases in the supply chain. To capture additional quality attributes, Apeel is integrating their advanced imaging capabilities into RipeTrack to assess factors of ripeness such as dry matter, brix and color accurately and non-destructively.
Apeel's evolving technology stack is built on an unprecedented understanding of produce quality and shelf life. This has only deepened as the use of data and technology have given partners a powerful way to evaluate produce accurately and efficiently for ripeness, freshness and other attributes. The announcement is the latest step in Apeel’s path toward developing science-backed, technology-supported solutions that help improve the produce experience on shelf.