Case Study – Testing Shelf Life

 HyGenikx Independently Proven to Prolong the Shelf-life of Fresh Food

HyGenikx is the revolutionary air and surface hygiene amplification system proven to extend the shelf-life of fresh food. Independently tested and verified, it has been shown to increase the shelf-life of products by an average of 58% (approximately 7.5 days)—with some produce proving to last as much as 150% longer! 

 Mechline’s revolutionary air and surface hygiene system, HyGenikx, is proven to eradicate bacteria and viruses throughout the food service and hospitality environment—providing 24/7 hygiene and safety protection. The compact, wall-mounted unit utilises a combination of the most effective and refined air and surface sterilisation technologies available to help prevent the spread of harmful viruses and bacteria to customers and staff, as well as neutralising all odours.

HyGenikx has also been proven to extend the life and quality of fresh perishable food, which can significantly reduce food waste and cost. Reducing food waste has significant benefits, for the environment, by saving on CO, CO2 and NOx emissions and the creation of methane, as well as for reducing operational costs. 

Reducing food waste also removes the need for ‘over-supply’ of product, which in turn benefits the food chain and reduces the pressure on production and benefits a more sustainable environment. 

 “Food waste is a significant cost to most businesses, and by helping to prevent it HyGenikx provides a real opportunity for food service operators to take control and save money.”

Kristian Roberts at Mechline Developments

INDEPENDENT VALIDATION

 In an independent validation project, HyGenikx was assessed on its ability to prolong the shelf-life of produce stored in a cold room, as well as its ability to improve environmental conditions.This study was carried out by ALS Laboratories, the UK’s leading provider of food and drink testing services. The project was structured in two phases, identical in all aspects except for the introduction of the HyGenikx unit at the beginning of the second phase.

11 food items were trialled, all selected on the basis that they were considered “high risk”. These were: Asparagus Spears, Broccoli, Cherries, Cherry Tomatoes, Chestnut Mushrooms, Cucumber, Grapes, Green Beans, Peach, Raspberries and Strawberries. Care was taken to ensure that comparable products were selected for both phases, with variables such as shelf-life, weight, transport method and handling all as similar as possible.

Stored in a standard cold store at 5±1°C, without a HyGenikx unit present, Chestnut Mushrooms reached spoilage on day 14. 

Chestnut Mushrooms stored in a cold store with HyGenikx present did not have signs of spoilage until day 29. The shelf-life gain was +15 days! 

Stored in a standard cold store, without a HyGenikx unit present, Strawberries had signs of spoilage and were deemed “failed” on day 6. 

With HyGenikx present, strawberries did not reach “failure” until day 15. The shelf-life gain was +9 days, or +150%! 

In both phases, the food samples were stored in a cold store at 5±1°C, for 31 days and assessed on when they were deemed to have passed their saleable shelf-life. This was established using visual testing based on objective criteria, which included visible mould/growth, detectable spoilage (appearance or smell) and whether the item would be considered acceptable to buy or not. Swabs and air plates were also used to monitor the environment of the cold store. 

THE RESULTS

The overall results showed a consistent increase in the shelf-life of the produce during the second phase of the trial with HyGenikx (compared to the first phase, without), with an average increase of the shelf-life of 58.1% (approximately 7.5 days). The assessment showed an increase in the shelf-life of all 11 products trialed, with this increase ranging from 14% to 150%. The highest three increases recorded were Strawberries, with +150% (+9 days), Chestnut Mushrooms, with +107.1% (+15 days) and Grapes with a twofold increase (+12 days). 

These results were matched by a decrease in the recorded surface and air contamination of the cold store. With HyGenikx, the surface contamination decreased by approximately 45% and the air contamination by approximately 76% overall. 

HyGenikx was proven effective at achieving a longer shelf-life for the chosen fruit and vegetables and improving environmental conditions of the cold room during the trial. Principally, fruit and vegetable life and quality can be significantly extended with the installation of HyGenikx. For the foodservice environment this can mean significantly less food waste, which in turn reduces the amount going to landfill and the associated costs! 

The HyGenikx range has models to suit every application, from food preparation areas, cold rooms and front of house, to washrooms, refuse areas and beyond. HyGenikx has also been proven to eradicate harmful bacteria and improve the cleanliness of working food service environments.