Zest Labs, an ag tech company aiming to modernize the post-harvest fresh food supply chain, is introducing Zest Fresh for Protein, a freshness management solution available for the beef, poultry, pork and seafood industries.
According to the National Resources Defense Council, 8 percent of seafood and 4 percent of beef and poultry is wasted at the retailer, costing approximately $10 billion a year in pre-consumer waste. Like produce and other perishable foods, beef, poultry, pork and seafood have dynamic shelf-lives that can be negatively impacted by temperature, time and handling. And with protein products often traveling through complex supply chains with multiple processing steps, the opportunity for mishandling or mislabeling only increases, ultimately impacting freshness, quality, authenticity and safety.
Zest Fresh autonomously collects operational product data for the provenance, pedigree, time, temperature and location of each pallet or container of protein from birth or processing through the entire supply chain to delivery, the company says. In addition, Zest Fresh’s integrated blockchain support automatically translates supply chain events into recorded transactions.
Using cloud-based predictive analytics, Zest Fresh also dynamically calculates the remaining shelf-life of proteins based on type and cut, temperature and handling history, and packaging. This data enables every member of the protein supply chain to accurately predict actual shelf-life and food safety considerations, including actionable responses to recalls and intelligent routing to ensure delivered freshness to the store, reducing shrink and improving margins.
Watch “Seinfeld”’s Mr. Peterman (John O’Hurley) explain how Zest Fresh works (story continues below):
“By applying the benefits of Zest Fresh to perishable proteins, processors, distributors, retailers and restaurants can gain true transparency across supply chains at the pallet or case level, achieving optimal shelf-life, authenticity and food safety controls,” the company says.
“The fresh protein supply chain is just as complex, if not more, than the fresh produce supply chain. For example, seafood often faces the longest distances and most extreme circumstances between catch and retail delivery. Further, protein is often the highest-value, highest-margin and competitively differentiating food product for retailers and restaurants,” said Peter Mehring, CEO of Zest Labs. “By applying the Zest Fresh solution to the beef, poultry, pork and seafood industries, every member of the protein supply chain has the power to reduce waste, improve freshness and meet safety requirements, ultimately fulfilling the quality expectations of today’s consumer.”