SLINTEC has come up with a post-harvest technology that scavenges the ethylene hormone that causes fruit and vegetable ripening. This innovation enables prolonged shelf life thus longer storage preventing spoilage. 

Sri Lanka is a tropical island, where temperature and humidity levels of the environment are relatively higher. Perishable fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables start to deteriorate rapidly just after harvesting. Fresh vegetables and fruits post harvesting release ethylene and water vapour. The ethylene gas and water vapour produced work as a catalyst for the ripening process, which in turn causes faster spoilage and microbial damage.

The annual loss of fruits during postharvest operation represents about 210,000 metric tons of fruits, which is about 30-40 % of the harvest. Annual loss of vegetables during post-harvest operations is about 370,000 metric tons, which is about 20-40 % of the total harvest. This represents approximately a loss of more than $ 150 million.

Thus, the storage life of fruits and vegetables can be extended greatly by an innovation that absorbs ethylene and moisture. SLINTEC innovation is a sachet containing active agents which scavenge ethylene and moisture. These sachets can be easily placed with fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers when packaged.  

Wakkumbura Industrial Technology Company Ltd. (WITCO) is one of the leading distributors of world-renowned brands of specialty chemicals to the textile, industrial solutions, polymer, and home and personal care industries in Sri Lanka.

SLINTEC recently entered into a technology commercialisation partnership agreement with WITCO to commercialise this post-harvest innovation, one that is expected to benefit growers and exporters alike, in preventing post-harvest losses due to spoilage. The signing of the agreement took place at SLINTEC Pitipana, Homagama, Nanotechnology and Science Park premises.

Author: Himasha Wijesurendra

Business Development Associate at Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology