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Chiquita Brands International and its wholly owned subsidiary, Fresh Express Inc., are now selling Fresh Express salads that feature the company's new "breakthrough" produce wash, Fresh Rinse.
Fresh Rinse has been scientifically validated to dramatically reduce certain bacteria while at the same time continuing to provide high levels of freshness, taste and quality, according to the company.
"We've reached an important milestone in our mission to improve world nutrition with the expansion of our revolutionary new process to wash leafy greens across our Fresh Express salad lines," said Fernando Aguirre, Chiquita chairman and CEO. "In addition to a significant improvement in food safety, our national Fresh Rinse conversion has shown improved quality and freshness as measured by sustained testing at our initial processing facility. Our continuous investments into food safety, freshness, and quality enhancement will make a positive impact on the lives of our consumers by increasing consumption of our nutritious, great tasting Fresh Express salads."
Years of intensive investment by Chiquita, with research led by principal scientist, Dr. Kai-Lai Grace Ho, and support from the company's food safety, innovation and manufacturing teams, led to the invention of Fresh Rinse. The effectiveness of this new patent-pending technology has been validated by studies performed at the National Center for Food Safety and Technology -- a recognized third-party research and testing facility, according to the company.
"The ability of Fresh Rinse to reduce bacteria in fresh produce is an important preventive strategy for minimizing the likelihood of food borne illness," said Dr. David Acheson, former associate commissioner and chief medical officer of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as well as an advisor to Fresh Express. "The beauty of Fresh Rinse is the synergy between the two ingredients. When combined, they work together to deliver a significant level of magnitude improvement in antibacterial efficacy. In sum, each ingredient alone is not nearly as powerful in bacteria reduction as the combination of the two; this is a case where two plus two actually equals 22."
The ingredients that comprise Fresh Rinse are also eco-friendly and break down to safe compounds, according to the company. Moreover, Fresh Rinse meets the requirements necessary for use on products labeled organic.
Fresh Express, which sells more than 60 varieties of pre-packaged ready-to-eat salads in more than 24,000 retail stores in the United States, is currently the only company distributing salads washed in Fresh Rinse. Chiquita said it intends to license Fresh Rinse for use by others in the produce and fresh foods industries. For more information visit www.FreshExpress.com.