Reduce Food Waste and Enhance Taste

New research highlights the critical role of ethylene control

The latest findings on the impact of ethylene on fresh produce demonstrate just how important the phytohormone is in managing the ripening process and delivering the very best eating experience to customers.

From our work with leading research and academic institutions, and the sensitivity of modern technology, we can now fully understand the complex role that ethylene plays.

New research clearly identifies how ethylene is needed for ripening produce, but negative for shelf life.

It’s Fresh! Ethylene Control manages the balance of ethylene to optimise levels, reducing waste and enhancing taste.

Let us show you how successful growers are making huge savings - and how you could too. 
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ethylene control leads to delicious tasting ripe fruit

Ethylene – friend and foe

The fact is that ethylene can be both beneficial and harmful:
As a ‘Foe’ - uncontrolled ethylene results in increased respiration, discolouration, premature ripening and poor texture and flavour for the consumer.

As a ‘Friend’
- ethylene molecules attach to receptors on the produce to create a natural anti-microbial biofilm, enhancing the ability to defend against pathogens and manage the stresses caused by handling and packaging.

Ethylene also plays an essential role in defining the volatiles associated with aroma and flavour present as the produce ripens. Reduce the presence of these compounds and the eating experience is greatly diminished.

Conclusion - The optimum solution is one which allows ethylene to be intelligently managed, not removed or blocked

The Biology of Ethylene and its Implications for Fruit Management

Dr Debbie Rees is Principal Scientist and Reader in Plant Physiology at the University of Greenwich Natural Resources Institute and an expert in post-harvest technology in perishable crops.

In this video she explains why it's crucial to control ethylene to both prevent spoiling and waste, but also to do so in a way that retains the quality and taste of the produce.

1-MCP – the evidence on eating experience

1-MCP (1-Methylcyclopropene) is a compound commonly used to block ethylene receptors in fruit and vegetables to control the ripening process.

New research shows that, while it does effectively slow ageing, it also has a huge impact on the presence of flavour and aroma volatiles essential to the quality of the produce.

In the tests, produce treated with 1-MCP flavour volatiles reduced by an average of 35% when compared against control samples. 

The impact of lower levels of these substances is a dramatic reduction in the quality of the product and the eating experience for end consumers.
Impact on Flavour Volatiles in Apples % Difference in Apples Treated with with 1-MCP vs Control

Profitability through reduced waste and product excellence

Food wastage increases costs for producers, wholesalers and retailers, while consumers’ demand for quality produce grows ever stronger.

Let It’s Fresh! Ethylene Control enhance your business performance by:

  • Reducing wastage at every point in the supply chain
  • Building your reputation for high quality produce and a great eating experience
  • Expanding your access to new customers and markets
  • Growing your revenue streams and profitability

Get your free ethylene risk assessment

Take control of your waste and improve your profit margin. Find out how with a  no-obligation, risk assessment.

Start now and get your free custom report.
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How does the new generation It’s Fresh! Ethylene Control work?

It’s Fresh! Ethylene Control removes ethylene from the local environment around the produce, slowing down the maturation process and therefore delaying quality deterioration and reducing waste.
This patented technology ensures that any ethylene molecules that come into contact with the controller are locked away. 

It is carefully designed so that it only adsorbs ethylene and not any other molecules such as aromas and tastes. Meaning the end customer has a great eating experience!
It's Fresh! Ethylene Control is inserted into any type of packaging, with the produce placed on top to ensure close proximity.

When required, be that for point of sale or in the home, the product is simply removed. It requires no special handling or disposal, there are no lingering chemicals and no coatings, and it can be used in organic production too.
It’s Fresh! Ethylene Control is customisable to the type of produce, packaging, transport, and storage used.

This enables precise control of the amount of ethylene present and ensures that produce reaches the market in optimum condition.

It delivers proven financial benefits by controlling waste and improving taste.

Why choose It’s Fresh! Ethylene Control

  • Extend shelf life and reduce waste with no loss of flavour, aroma, or texture
  • Optimise the eating experience of your produce and enhance your reputation
  • Access new, more distant markets and maximise financial returns
  • Quick, easy, and cost-effective to use throughout the supply chain, with no capital expenditure
  • Does not alter the produce in any way and is suitable for use with certified organic fruit and vegetables
  • Complementary to other technologies, including chilling and modified atmosphere packaging (MAP)
Woman inspector checking avocado

Get your free ethylene risk assessment

Take control of your waste and improve your profit margin. Find out how with a  no-obligation, risk assessment.

Start now and get your free custom report.
Get started now

Let us help you reduce your waste

When you choose It’s Fresh! technology to safeguard your crop, you benefit from our years of research, experience, and sophisticated diagnostics, which means we can precisely ‘prescribe’ the technology required to suit your specific produce, transit routes and customer requirements.

We work with you to get your crop to market in the best possible condition, generating maximum value, using our five-step process:


Your specific varieties, conditions and requirements are understood


Using sophisticated diagnostic tools, your crop is tested to determine the characteristics of the produce


Your transit technology is specified to result in the shipment arriving in optimal condition. This is determined based on the diagnostics for your specific crop and transit route


We review your actual crop results and performance


We further refine the technology specification based on actual outcomes to continually improve your results over time

Get your free ethylene risk assessment

Having the right level of ethylene control for your specific produce and supply chain is essential. Our scientists will use their advanced diagnostic tools to calculate the right level of ethylene control for your circumstances.
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What about alternatives?

There are alternative technologies available in the market which work in different ways:


Potassium Permanganate

Skin Coating

1-MCP works to block the ethylene receptors entirely, inhibiting the ripening process and, therefore, holding the development of the fruit or vegetable at the point it is applied.

It is applied as a gas or in a slow release in a sachet form, containing granules that release the gas to coat the fruit.

This technology allows for a long-extended shelf life but also prevents the produce from further ripening and natural development, as the chemical binds permanently to the ethylene receptors, keeping them permanently turned off.

This leads to a poor consumer experience as flavour and texture are both negatively impacted.

The complete blocking of ethylene by 1-MCP also harms the produce’s ability to counter spoilage, as ethylene receptors functions are far greater than fruit maturation alone!

1-MCP is also limited in that the gas is not safe for use, and requires careful application by trained staff and contractors, and is specifically prohibited for use with organic fruit or vegetables, and its use restricted by many major quality focused retailers and receivers.

The other alternative ethylene control technology is Potassium Permanganate (KMn04). 

Potassium Permanganate is toxic, and its use is restricted to being behind a functional barrier. This helps protect food and people from its toxic nature, but the functional barrier can readily break and be damaged, exposing food and people to the toxic contents. 

Any product - and food if contaminated - should be carefully disposed of; and so the costs of handling and disposal can be very high. 

It is also highly polluting in the environment, especially in water courses, and so its disposed must be through specialist waste contractors, which is expensive. As a toxic chemical, its use should incur careful assessments and monitoring to manage the risks.
These technologies work by physically coating the surface of the produce to keep moisture in and oxygen out – usually using a plant-fibre-based substance that is harmless to consumers. 

This method of preserving produce has been in use for thousands of years and can be very effective.

It is suited to fruits that are easy to spray (such as apples or citrus) and/or are already being sprayed or treated at a central facility.

However, it has limitations and it’s suitable for soft or delicate fruits that are not easy to handle on a production line, or fruit that is difficult to spray.

It can also require significant capital expenditure to build and install the coating application equipment, which may be required at each point of handling in the supply chain.

In Transit. In Storage. In Retail

Let us help you reduce your waste and improve profits. Find out how successful growers have benefited from this simple, clean technology throughout the supply chain.

Click on the produce you are interested in to learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does It’s Fresh Ethylene Control work with all types of fresh produce?

Yes, all produce is sensitive to and produces ethylene to varying degrees. Ethylene is also produced as a response to various stress factors (i.e., temperature, handling etc.). Scientific research is constantly showing that produce previously thought to be unaffected by ethylene is, in fact, responsive to it with significant differences in quality.

What are climacteric and non-climacteric fruit?

Different types of fruit are defined based on their pattern of ripening and respiration. Climacteric fruits show large changes during ripening, ripening in a rapid burst (with a burst in respiration rate). Non-climacteric fruits tend to show fewer changes and a steady (usually decreasing) rate of respiration during ripening.

It is a general rule that climacteric fruit can be picked mature but unripe and can then be ripened off the plant, whereas non-climacteric fruit will not ripen once picked. However, even in non-climacteric fruit, the quality can change after harvest to make the fruit more palatable and attractive.

Does production of, and sensitivity to, ethylene vary by crop type?

The volume of ethylene production and sensitivity is varietal specific and can vary from low producing / high sensitivity to high producing low / sensitivity and anywhere in between. This means even low emitters can be negatively impacted by surrounding produce.

Why do I need an ethylene controller?

To understand the value of an ethylene controller, it is necessary to understand how ethylene affects fruit and vegetable ripening. As fruits and vegetables mature, they go through a series of changes in color, texture, and flavour.

These changes are part of the process of ripening, which is essential for the development of eating quality.

Ethylene is a plant hormone that plays a central role in crop ripening. As fruits and vegetables mature, they produce increasing amounts of ethylene. The ethylene then acts on the produce to bring about the changes associated with ripening.

One of the most important benefits of using an ethylene controller is the slowing of ethylene during transit and storage. By reducing ethylene, the ripening process is slowed down and fruit and vegetables can be kept in storage for a longer period without becoming overripe. This is important because it allows the product to be shipped further distances and arrive in better condition.

What are It’s Fresh! Ethylene Control products made from?

It’s Fresh! products are made with our patented active produced from a proprietary blend of clay and minerals.

The active is formulated to be specifically selective to adsorb ethylene. Therefore, it has no effect on larger desirable molecules such as flavour and aroma compounds, leaving them present in and around the produce for a better consumer experience.

Is it safe to use?

Yes, it is.

Unlike some other products on the market, which use 1-MCP or potassium permanganate, which are not approved for use on organic fruit and can be hazardous to use.

It's Fresh! Ethylene Control is food safe and suitable for use in organic production.

It does not coat or change the fruit in any way.

What do plants use ethylene for?

Ethylene is a plant hormone that regulates many plant processes, including:

· Breaking of seed dormancy
· Flower initiation
· Abscission of leaves and flowers
· Fruit ripening
· Senescence of fruit and green tissues
· Response to stresses (wounding, chilling, flooding, UV damage, invasion of rotting pathogens)

Can you prove it works?


We work with scientists at universities in multiple countries - in particular the world-leading experts at the University of Greenwich, Natural Resources Institute, and Cranfield University, Plant Science Laboratory.

We operate a diagnostics lab at which our technical experts run continual testing via gas analysis, resistance guage, and sophisticated visual analysis.

These are further validated by real-world test results. Our technical team are happy to discuss your potential results and run some diagnostics for you.

How do I get started?

You'll begin by talking with one of our technical experts who will ask some questions, and collect information about your crops, customers and goals.

They run smart diagnostics to help you decide on the best solution for your business. You'll understand what you can do to achieve the highest possible return on investment.

Get In Touch

Contact us about extending the shelf life of your produce with our new generation ethylene controller.

An It's Fresh! expert will contact you within 24 hours to discuss your requirements and how we can help you optimise your yield.
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