East Coast Retail Story Shows 4% Fewer Defects in Tectrol Treated Fruit When Compared to Standard Refrigeration

May 14, 2004

TransFresh Corporation proposed to demonstrate the economic value of its Tectrol Atmosphere service to a major retailer.


During the demonstration period, the retailer was shipping clamshell packaged strawberries without Tectrol services. However, on each of 3 separate loads, 4 pallets of Tectrol treated fruit was shipped. On arrival, samples from both Tectrol and non-Tectrol (control) fruit was set aside at 32F in the retailer’s warehouse. After a 1 to 3 day holding period, sample fruit was moved to a 55F area for an additional 1 to 2 days. Fruit from shipment 3 was held one day at 32F and then shipped to a retail store where samples were purchased for evaluation.

Visual marketability of the clamshell was first scored based on the external appearance of the fruit. The clamshell was then opened and fruit sorted individually for primary defects such as decay, wet and leaky. Finally, defect or decayed areas were trimmed to arrive at a weight or trim loss due to defects.

See Table 1, Overall Summary

Table 1 shows that on average, Tectrol treated fruit increased visual marketability, reduced defect amount, and reduced level of waste trim. Differences were economically significant. Based on the retail promotion price of $2.00 per clamshell, and a Tectrol charge of $27.00 per pallet, the average 4% difference in visual or defect quality would have netted the retailer an additional $.05 per clamshell if Tectrol had been used. Assuming this retail divisions weekly strawberry sales were 35,000 flats, the extra $.05/clamshell would have added an extra $13,650 dollars to retail profits.

Other factors related to product quality are also reported. TransFresh tracked clamshell weight variances, transit temperatures, warehouse rotation and general retail store shelf quality.


Based on this confirmation of previous data, Tectrol Atmosphere’s can maintain quality and reduce retail shrink. Shrink reduction is economically significant. It is recommended that the retailer immediately move to include Tectrol as a best practice when purchasing fresh berries.


Table 1


Overall Summary

All Shipments


Visual Evaluations

Percent Clamshells Scoring 3 or Higher



Tectrol Atmosphere 11%a
Control 15%a

n= 448 Clamshell samples sorted for Tectrol and Control
Values followed by the same letter not significant at 95% (T-test)
Strawberry Defects
Percent Defects by Berry Count

Tectrol Atmosphere 19%a
Control 23%b

n= 448 Clamshell samples sorted for Tectrol and Control
Values followed by the same letter not significant at 95% (T-test)
Trim Loss(1)

Tectrol Atmosphere 3%a
Control 4%b

n = 416 clamshell trimmed for Tectrol, 415 clamshells trimmed for Control
Values followed by the same letter not significant at 95% (T-test)
(1) Trim weight/net product weight X 100




Table 2



Economic Impact, Tectrol Atmosphere

  Tectrol Atmosphere Non-Atmosphere
Retail Price per Clamshell $2.00/clamshell $2.00/clamshell
Retail Price per Flat $16.00 $16.00
Measured Shrink 11% 15%
Shrink $ Value $1.76 $2.40
Shrink Adjusted Retail Value $14.24 $13.60
Per Flat, Tectrol Cost $0.25 $0.00
Net Retail Profit $13.99 $13.60
Tectrol Profit per Flat $0.39 $0
Extended @35,000 Flats/week $13,650