Almost 500.000 euro VLAIO subsidy for StixFresh Flanders.
StixFresh produces stickers that protect fruit from fungal infections. The natural components in the stickers create a protective layer around kiwi fruits, mango’s, pears, apples, oranges and other citrus fruits. The American company launches a Belgian subsidiary and initiates an R&D facility in Leuven to collaborate with Prof. Patrick Van Dijck (VIB-KU Leuven). He is one of the few researchers globally who could bring the necessary expertise to bear.
The stickers contain a mixture of plant extracts with antifungal effects. The components are released slowly and keep fruit fresh, sweet, and juicy substantially longer than usual.
Patrick Van Dijck, CSO StixFresh and group leader at KU Leuven and VIB, explains: “In my lab, we have been studying which natural compounds have antifungal effects for quite a while. We’ve also made headway in identifying the responsible active components. Plant extracts are usually very complex and are composed out of more than a hundred components, which we map.”
Ahmed Moody Soliman, CEO enthusiastically confirms: “With the help of VLAIO’s subsidy and Patrick’s – who has joined us as CSO – expertise we will identify the active components in our extracts. We are also starting a project to search for new components and compounds that target specific fungi. The expertise we found in Leuven is unique. We are very grateful to VLAIO for their support.”
The research is co-led by Michele Holtappels who will be the first Belgian employee of StixFresh in Flanders. She says: “More than 70.000 stickers have already been tested and the results are spectacular. It is a natural for of protection that can substantially reduce the amount of waste. I cannot wait to get started!”
Read the article 'Solving food waste one Stixfresh sticker at a time' on Biovox
More information: www.stixfresh.com