DAVIS, Calif. & HYDERABAD, India--(BUSINESS WIRE)--
-- Non-GM tomato varieties to reduce post-harvest damage and waste --
Arcadia Biosciences, Inc. (RKDA), an agricultural food ingredient company, and Shriram Bioseed, a leading research and hybrid seed development company, today announced the achievement of a key milestone in developing Extended Shelf Life (ESL) tomatoes.
Bioseed has field tested Arcadia’s ESL technology in multiple tomato hybrid backgrounds in multiple locations and seasons. Significant and consistent improvements in field yield and fruit quality, such as firmness, shelf life and color development, were observed. These new hybrids are in the pre-commercial, wide area field testing stage with anticipated launch in 2019.
Because of their perishable nature, many harvested fresh fruits and vegetables spoil and become food waste instead of being consumed. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in the U.S. alone, food waste costs households an estimated $166 billion annually, and tomato food waste costs households $2.3 billion annually. These numbers are small compared to the lost value in the supply chain worldwide. An estimated 20 to 35 percent of tomatoes on average are lost to post-harvest damage in Asia. As the fourth largest producer of tomatoes globally, India represents a significant market opportunity for ESL tomato technology.
Using a non-GM advanced screening and breeding technique called TILLING, Arcadia identified genetic variations that allow tomatoes to fully ripen on the vine, yet still remain durable enough to survive the packing and shipping process.
“These new varieties will reduce waste and spoilage in the production cycle while ensuring that the produce is fully ripe, better tasting, and still fresh when it reaches consumers,” said Raj Ketkar, president and CEO of Arcadia. “This development is a significant commercial milestone in advancing Arcadia’s ESL tomato technology that adds value throughout the tomato supply chain, from farm to consumers.”
“This trait is especially valuable in a country like India where fresh market tomatoes are mostly field grown and post-harvest handling and logistics are challenging,” said Paresh Verma, president of Bioseed Southeast Asia and research director for Shriram Bioseed. “Besides reducing post harvest losses, extended shelf life and improved field holding capacity of tomatoes will add tremendous value for farmers and other stakeholders in supply chain.”
Arcadia’s ESL technology was developed in part under a U.S. Department of Defense contract to develop longer-lasting fresh produce for field troops stationed in remote locations. Arcadia received a patent for the technology in 2014.
About Arcadia Biosciences, Inc. Arcadia Biosciences, Inc. (RKDA) develops and markets high-value food ingredients and nutritional oils that help meet consumer demand for a healthier diet. Arcadia’s GoodWheat™ branded ingredients deliver health benefits to consumers and enable consumer packaged goods companies to differentiate their brands in the marketplace. The company’s agricultural traits are being developed to enable farmers around the world to be more productive and minimize the impact of agriculture on the environment. For more information, visit www.arcadiabio.com.
About Shriram Bioseed
Shriram Bioseed, the hybrid seed business of DCM Shriram Ltd., is engaged in development, production and marketing of hybrid seeds of several field and vegetable crops. With research stations spread across south and south east Asia, Shriram Bioseed has a strong crop breeding capability for developing hybrids which meet the needs of farmers in the region by combining high yield with various biotic and abiotic stresses. Shriram Bioseed has a strong presence in India, Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia.
Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements relating to Arcadia’s expectations regarding the commercial release date of extended shelf life tomatoes and the reduced waste, spoilage, characteristics and value that will be provided by these tomatoes. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially, and reported results should not be considered as an indication of future performance. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: Arcadia’s and its partners’ and affiliates’ ability to develop commercial products incorporating their traits, and complete the regulatory review process for such products; Arcadia’s compliance with laws and regulations that impact Arcadia’s business, and changes to such laws and regulations; Arcadia’s future capital requirements and ability to satisfy its capital needs; and the other risks set forth in Arcadia’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time, including the risks set forth in Arcadia’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017 and other filings. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof, and Arcadia Biosciences, Inc. disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements.