Eight grower-shippers will vie for the Best New Fruit Product and Best New Vegetable Product awards at the United Fresh Produce Association’s annual United Fresh 2010 convention April 20-23 in Las Vegas.

“New and improved products stimulate the growth and profitability of our industry,” John Toner, vice president of convention and industry relations for the association, said in a news release. “The awards honor the results of years of R&D and the foresight of companies in bringing new innovation to the marketplace.”

The finalists in the fruit category are:

  • Grab N Go Grape Tomato Bags, Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce, San Diego;
  • Chiquita Fresh & Ready Avocados, Chiquita Brands Internationl Inc., Cincinnati;
  • Del Monte Single Finger Banana, Del Monte Fresh Produce NA Inc., Miami;
  • Ready To Eat Mimi Candy Tomatoes, Mastronardi Produce/Sunset, Kingsville, Ontario;
  • Ready Snax Fresh Fruit Parfaits!, Ready Pac Produce Inc.; and
  • Dipping Chocolates, Tropical Nut & Fruit Inc., Orlando, Fla.

The best vegetable product finalists, according to the release, are:

  • Ready Pac Bistro Seasonal Salads, Ready Pac Produce Inc.;
  • Jade Asian Greens, San Miguel Produce Inc., Oxnard, Calif.; and
  • Simply Special Vegetable Sauces, USA Fresh LLC, Lucas, Ohio.

“Our goal is to drive innovation and adoption of new technologies to help boost value to the consumer and profitability to the industry,” Tom Stenzel, United Fresh president and chief executive officer, said in the release. “The finalists for this year’s new product awards provide a wide array of innovations for our industry and will offer a wealth of fresh ideas to everyone visiting the show.”

Attendees also will vote on categories for packaging, food safety solution, processing equipment and packing or packaging equipment.

The finalists in packaging are:

  • Fresh Express Artisanal Salads, Chiquita;
  • Renewable Wide-Flange Container and Lidding Film, Clear-Lam Packaging Inc., Elk Grove Village, Ill.; and
  • Pack-in-MAP Technology, Pack-in-MAP Technology, Dublin, Ireland.

In the food safety solution category, the finalists are:

  • SISTEM 4.0, Alchemy Systems, Austin, Tex.;
  • FlashLink VU, DeltaTRAK Inc., Pleasanton, Calif.;
  • FieldPack PTI, TraceGains Inc., Longmont, Colo.; and
  • VoiceCode, HarvestMark, Redwood City, Calif.

In the equipment categories, the finalists for best packing or packaging equipment are:

  • Primus Optical Sorter, Best Sorting, Belgium;
  • Ultra Girbagger Bagging Machine, Giro Pack Inc., Vidalia, Ga.;
  • MacroTote, Macro Plastics Inc., Fairfield, Calif.;
  • MCT Absorbent Pouch Filling System, Maxwell Chase Technologies LLC, Atlanta; and
  • 6428 RPC, Polymer Logistics, Israel.

Best processing equipment finalists are:

  • FogTunnel Produce Treatment System, AgSolutions Inc.;
  • Fresh-Cut Accessories, Charlie’s Machine and Supply Inc., Boulder, Colo.;
  • CARR-O-CUT, Everett Brothers Engineering Ltd., England;
  • In-Crate Washing and Drying System, FTNON USA Inc., Salinas, Calif.;
  • OnCore Lettuce Core Removal System, Key Technology Inc., Walla Walla, Wash.; and
  • Automatic Multi-Decorer Titano 2010, Turatti SRL, Italy.

The finalists’ products will be on display in the United Fresh membership booth on the show floor. Winners will be announced the afternoon of April 22, the release said.

United Fresh names award finalists