Automatic misting machines don’t just keep people from wilting on hot summer terraces: they also make fruit and vegetables last longer, a Danish university has found.
Dutch Plus supermarket Van Gurp participated in the research and was pleased with the results, public broadcaster NOS reports.
The technique of keeping fruit and vegetables pert and presentable by spraying them with water is already being used in supermarkets abroad.
To see if misting would result in higher sales and less wastage, Danish university DTU spent three years monitoring the effects at Plus supermarket Van Gurp in Roosendaal.
The results were encouraging: after a year the amount of fruit and vegetables that had to be binned went down by 25%. Turnover went up, while the energy bill went down, apparently due to savings in refrigeration costs.
Spraying causes the temperature of products to fall by four to five degrees, which is the main reason the produce, including strawberries, peaches and nectarines as well as asparagus and cauliflower, remained perky up to three days longer.
Albert Heijn will soon start a trial using misting machines. The researchers claim it is also good for the environment as it combats waste and uses relatively little water.
According to an unnamed company for misting machines there is no danger of contracting Legionnaires’ disease.‘The quality of the water is monitored continually and the system is flushed every hour. This means it’s safe, as lab tests have also shown,’ the NOS quotes a spokesman for the company as saying.
The report on the study, which ran from March 2015 to March 2017, is published here (Dutch and English).
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