WOBURN, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Primaira, LLC, a product development and commercialization company in Woburn MA, today announced it received a U.S. Army Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) 2011 Achievement Award on May 20 at the Pentagon Conference Center in Washington, D.C. for its development of the Bluezone™ technology for fresh produce preservation.
Primaira, LLC was recognized for its development of a low cost, compact, low-power technology that maximizes shelf-life and quality of fresh produce being transported to our troops around the world. The successful development of the Bluezone™ technology has recently been demonstrated in full-scale, side-by-side comparative testing, proving that the Bluezone™ technology safely and cost effectively removes ethylene, inhibits microbial growth, and improves the quality and longevity of fresh fruits and vegetables. This technology has benefits along the entire storage, distribution, transport, and end-use supply chain.
The Army SBIR Program conducts an annual awards program to recognize the projects that exemplify the SBIR goal of bringing innovative technologies to our soldiers and the commercial marketplace. The Army Achievement Awards are highly competitive: this year 649 projects were eligible to compete for an award. The Army selected 11 projects from across the Army, representing the best in small business research and development.
“This Achievement Award recognizes our success in meeting a critical Army goal of enhancing the nutrition and ultimate performance of the warfighter in the field, and save the Army money as it provides fresh produce to the soldier on the front lines” said Pete Lavigne, of the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC) - DoD Combat Feeding Directorate, the Technical Representative overseeing the technology development for the Army. “It has application to many of our Military customers, including the Navy and Air Force as well as the Army”.
For Primaira, LLC owners, Phil Carbone and Karen Benedek, the selection provides recognition as they commercialize the technology across multiple Military and commercial applications including transport containers, cold storage rooms, walk-in refrigerators, reach-in refrigerators and general produce storage areas. “We are honored to receive this SBIR Achievement Award. It provides us further acknowledgement of the value of this technology to the Army and, by extension, the tremendous opportunity to transition our suite of products to commercial shipping and storage of fresh produce. The SBIR program has been critical to our success bringing this important technology to market.” said Ms. Benedek. “This award recognizes the years of hard work conducted by our team at Primaira and that of our SBIR program team from the DOD Combat Feeding Directorate, NSRDEC.” said Mr. Carbone.
The freshness enhancement technology works by removing ethylene, a naturally occurring plant hormone emitted by many fruits and vegetables, from the atmosphere of refrigerated containers used in shipping and storage. By removing ethylene safely, in a cost effective manner, the fruits and vegetables maintain their color, texture, and taste. The technology also effectively inhibits the growth of microbes in the fresh produce. Without the technology in place, extended storage of mixed loads of fruits and vegetables can lead to excessive ripening, russet spotting, bitterness, softness, rotting, or toughening of the produce. The loss of produce costs the Army, and the US agricultural industry, lots of money. Up to 20% of each load can be ruined in transportation.
The selection of Primaira, LLC for the Achievement Award was based on the following four criteria: Originality and Innovation; Relevance of the research to the Army mission; Immediate Commercialization Potential; and Overall Quality and Performance of the product.
Primaira, LLC develops market-driven products, creates valuable intellectual property, and enables successful commercialization and product launch through specialized manufacturing. In addition to developing and commercializing its freshness enhancement technology, Primaira offers a full range of Product Development Services for the medical, appliance and consumer products industry.