Food Waste

Food Waste is a significant problem

40 percent of the food we produce is not consumed. At retail, 12 percent of fresh fruit is wasted. No other industry would tolerate this level of waste, yet the food waste problem persists, filling landfills, contributing to global warming, creating dissatisfied customers and negatively impacting profit margins across the fresh food supply chain.

“America wastes up to 40 percent of its food from farm to fork to landfill”

NRDC’s Wasted Report

  • 12 percent for fruits
  • 10 percent for vegetables.

Causes of Food Waste


Types of produce

Each type of produce – leafy greens, berries, row crops, stone fruits, etc. – have a unique freshness profile based on variety and location. Proteins also have unique profiles. The unique characteristics of each type of produce and protein need to be understood to help alleviate food waste.

Harvest conditions and 

cut-to-cool times

For fresh produce, post-harvest time and temperature have the biggest impact on the remaining freshness (or shelf-life). If a pallet of produce is experiences long cut-to-cool times, its freshness is dramatically affected – each hour can impact remaining freshness by a day or more and contribute to food waste.


For fresh produce, pre-cooling is critical, but efficiency and effectiveness can vary depending on conditions and the type of precooling. Cooling can be inadequate or inconsistent meaning the results for each pallet may vary, impacting shelf-life when not properly managed.

As a result of these factors, different palletsof produce harvested from the same field on the same day can have variations in shelf-life. For every hour a pallet spends in the field it can lose one day of shelf-life. . As a result, harvest date labels are often inaccurate, exacerbating the food waste problem.

Zest Fresh ensures that food is properly handled and tracked from origin to the store and documents pedigree, provenance and authenticity of produce or protein from harvest or processing to retail or restaurant.

Pallet-level Data-driven Analytics Reduces Food Waste

Zest Fresh provides pallet- or case-level data-driven analytics and insights that to enable intelligent decision making across the fresh food supply chain – from harvestor processing to retailer or restaurant – that ensures delivered freshness and reduces food waste by 50 percent or more. It is the first and only solution that enables proactive shelf-life management.

Zest Fresh for Produce

Proactive Freshness Management

Proactive Freshness Management

Zest Fresh for Protein