Produce - Grocery News: Selective Micro Technologies Signs North American Distribution Deal with Bunzl

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New Products to Enhance Food Safety and Extend Produce Shelf Life Using Selectrocide™ Chlorine Dioxide

A distribution deal announced today between Selective Micro Technologies and the North American division of Bunzl Distribution (NYSE: BNL), a specialty distribution company, will give US food processors and retailers access to a breakthrough technology capable of enhancing food safety and extending produce shelf life.

Under terms of the agreement, Bunzl will distribute the Selectrocide™ 12G and Selectrocide™ A-10 and A-15 products, to food processors, including groceries and supermarkets. The 12G product is for use as a disinfectant and sanitizer on hard, non-porous surfaces and as an antimicrobial wash (spoilage organisms only) on raw agricultural products, and the A-10 and A-15 for use on fresh-cut produce and poultry carcasses. Chlorine dioxide is one of the most effective inhibitors in the world against spoilage microorganisms such as yeast and mold, which cause fruits and vegetables to decay throughout food harvesting, delivery and processing. Until now pure chlorine dioxide could not be produced at the point of use in the food industry, nor could it be transported on site due to federal restrictions.

For more than 50 years chlorine dioxide has been used to treat municipal drinking water, but has required large-scale chemical production equipment to make the chlorine dioxide gas. Selectrocide allows food processors and retailers to create 99.99% pure chlorine dioxide in a 5-gallon bucket of tap water.

“The Selectrocide chemistry has proven its effectiveness in field applications, and the economic case for shelf-life extension has been validated,” said Greg Wohlleb, Vice President, Food Packaging Sales, Bunzl Processor Group. “The opportunity for growers and processors to differentiate their product is compelling. Selectrocide chlorine dioxide is a product that can quickly change operational cost positions, too. We look forward to working with fresh cut produce and poultry processors because we see Selectrocide as a competitive advantage for them.”

Food safety is a growing problem in the U.S. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), fruits and vegetables are now responsible for more large-scale outbreaks of food-borne illnesses than meat, poultry or eggs. The CDC estimates that in the U.S. each year, 76 million people become sick and more than 325,000 people are hospitalized from food-borne illness. This translates to an economic cost of more than $10 billion each year in terms of reduced productivity and medical expenses.

“Selectrocide has the potential to save growers and processors millions of dollars by increasing the shelf life of fresh produce,” said John Warner, Chief Executive Officer, Selective Micro Technologies. “Our field trial testing shows that for a regional grocery chain, extending shelf life of just one fruit category for a single day can translate into millions of dollars saved over the course of a year.”

Background Information on Chlorine Dioxide and Selectrocide™

Chlorine dioxide is effective at low concentrations across a wide range of pH (roughly 4 to 10), and, because it is a gas in its natural state, dissipates upon exposure to sunlight. As a consequence, it is known widely as one of the most effective inhibitors of algae, yeast, mold, and fungi. However, because transporting the gas is generally prohibited in all but frozen forms, pure chlorine dioxide has heretofore been limited to use in large concerns that employ chemical generators, such as pulp mills (controlling slime) and municipal water systems (water purification applications). For antimicrobial applications, pure chlorine dioxide has been unavailable to organizations without chemical generators. With Selectrocide, the advantages of nearly pure chlorine dioxide (which differs markedly from the “stabilized” solutions and acidified sodium chlorite solutions on the market) are available for the first time.

The Selectrocide™ Family of Products -- One-Stop Supplier for Processing Needs

In addition to extending shelf-life for raw agricultural products in food processing facilities, Selectrocide™12G is registered with the US EPA as a disinfectant and sanitizer for applications against common public-health pathogens on hard, non-porous surfaces, and can improve hygiene throughout processing facilities when used as directed.

A separate line of Selective Micro’s products, Selectrocide™A-10 and A-15, are designed specifically for fresh-cut produce applications.

Summary of Selectrocide™ Benefits

  •      Extends shelf life and freshness of non-processed fruits and vegetables. Produce stays fresh longer.
  •     Non-corrosive to equipment
  •     Reduces levels of pathogenic and other microorganisms on hard, non-porous food-contact (and non-food contact) surfaces, enhancing food safety programs throughout post-harvest operations. Pathogens and other organisms cannot build up resistance to Selectrocide™ because it kills harmful organisms by breaking down cell walls.
  •     Reduces spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms on processed, fresh-cut fruits and vegetables (Selectrocide™ A-10 and A-15 only)
  •     Easy to use and does not require HAZMAT or complicated equipment
  •     Can be made on-site in specific quantities and in concentrations desired. Only tap water is required to generate the chlorine dioxide.

About Selective Micro Technologies

Formed in 1999, Selective Micro Technologies is a private company based in Beverly, Massachusetts. Combining sophisticated science with innovative product design, Selective Micro has invented a proprietary delivery system that controls the rate and efficiency of gas-producing reactions. The competitive advantage of Selective Micro’s products is its ability to generate specific concentrations of greater than 99% pure chlorine dioxide at neutral pH for point-of-use operators, using only tap water, typically with minimal capital equipment. The Company holds two US patents, and has several other patent applications pending in the US and abroad. Further information is available at http://www.selectivemicro.com or by calling 978-927-6610 X13.

Selective Micro, Selectrocide and logos are registered trademarks of Selective Micro Technologies, LLC. © 2006 Selective Micro Technologies. All Rights Reserved.

Media Contact:

John Fitzsimmons

781-223-5833

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