(April 9, 3:35 p.m.) A “sunscreen” for produce and other crops is attracting a wider following.



Purshade, which is sprayed on crops in the field, was introduced in 2008. Its reception since has been excellent, and more than 100 replicated third-party tests have shown how well it works, said David Cope, president and chief executive officer of Fremont, Calif.-based Purfresh Inc., makers of Purshade.



So well, in fact, it made Time magazine’s list of the top 50 inventions of 2008.



“Because of the changes we’re seeing in the climate, and an uncertain future for water availability, we’re seeing great uptick around the world,” Cope said.



Using what it calls Advanced Reflectance Technology — patent pending — Purshade reflects harmful wavelengths of ultraviolet and infrared light, while allowing transmission of enough light for photosynthesis, Cope said.



Purshade has performed well in trials on a variety of fruits and vegetables in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina and other countries, he said.



“Anytime a plant is under stress, the product works quite well,” Cope said.



Australia has been a good test case for a wider application of Purshade than in the U.S., he said, given that the drought conditions Australian growers have suffered under in recent years are a likely harbinger of things to come in California.



Purshade has performed well in trials in Australia on mangoes, avocados, tomatoes and other commodities, Cope said.



In the U.S., the treatment has proven effective for melons, onions, peppers, tomatoes, walnuts, almonds and other commodities in California, and for apples and cherries in the Pacific Northwest.



Research done on melons treated with Purshade has shown significant increases in fruit size, Cope said. In one trial, the percentage of large honeydews increased from 12% to 18% of packout when fruit was treated with Purshade.



Walnuts, which are particularly sensitive to high temperatures, saw an 11% increase in yield of marketable meat when treated with Purshade. The incidence of sunburned walnuts fell from 7.5% to .5% when the solution was applied.



Purshade also has been used on cabbage, celery, citrus, cranberries, spinach, grapefruit and pineapples.

Purshade ‘sunscreen’ for produce generates buzz
Using what it calls Advanced Reflectance Technology — patent pending — Purshade reflects harmful wavelengths of ultraviolet and infrared light, while allowing transmission of enough light for photosynthesis, says David Cope, president and chief executive officer of Fremont, Calif.-based Purfresh Inc., makers of Purshade.



Courtesy SenaReider