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Interview: Pear screening kit used to “double check” organic fruit

A test kit that easily analyses the gene activity of pears to spot whether the fruit has been treated with shelf life prolonging chemical 1-MCP has been developed by Dutch analyst NSure. Speaking with, CEO Theo Aanhane explains how the kit, which is currently designed to be used on pear variety Abate Fetel, could appeal to the wholesale retail market as a way of verifying organic fruit.

He says that pears are treated with 1-MCP to protect them from any adverse effect of ethylene, improving storability. “Our market really falls in wholesale retail because 1-MCP treatment is not allowed in organic fruit and since it leaves no residue and is not traceable, and sometimes things that can’t be traced will be used, that’s for sure. “But we don’t know to what extent to be honest and the organic industry probably wants to be sure that their growers do not use this treatment because when it becomes public that some of them do, then it’s bad for the image of the organic fruit industry.

“Some organic fruit organisations and some public control organisations are our biggest customers because they want to be sure the organic fruit that is being traded and ends up in the retail channel, is really organic.” Aanhane says that FreshNSure Pear is an extension of a previous similar test developed for a range of apple varieties and the current version of FreshNSure will be expanded to include other pear varieties, starting with Conference soon.