We wanted to make a brief interview with our professionals from the research and development department, so that you can learn a little more in depth about our processes, and the news we are working on for you.
How long can the development of a process take to preserve for the first time a plant or flower?
The process of innovation and development starts with a definition stage, where the target product is concretized, its esthetic and technical characteristics, and the market strategy for each project and initiative. With this relevant information the technical strategy and plan is developed for the development of the (product/process/technology).
The preservation process of vegetable materials (flowers and plants) are very varied and depend on the fresh product’s characteristic and the specification (expected quality) of the final product. According to these characteristics, the most adequate preservation method is chosen.
The development times are going to depend on these same variables and on a set of processes and methodologies that combine lab tests where prototypes are made. These prototypes are subjected to different environmental conditions (light, temperature, humidity) to understand their behavior during the specified lifetime of the product. Once the expected standard is reached in these prototypes, we continue with another plant phase and industrial tests. This phase is key to guarantee the replication of the process specifications and of the product.
This complete process, depending on the complexity of the project and the definitions of all the mentioned stages can take between 6 – 12 months.
All of the fresh vegetable products have to meet without exception specific maturity conditions to be able to be preserved, we call this point of maturity or cut point.
A vegetable material with an inadequate point of maturity will not have the necessary conditions to pass, bear, and be benefited from the different stages of the production process.
In consequence, if a vegetable material doesn’t have the necessary maturity it will lose its properties straying away from its main objective which is to maintain the appearance of a fresh and natural product for a long period of time. Also, it’s key that the flower or plant to be preserved be cut or harvested in a matter of hours before the preservation process is begun to ensure an optimal result.
The preservation processes of our company are high technology, they require strict controls, very specific parameters that guarantee high-quality standards and consistency to meet the specifications of the finished product.
What is most innovative about this technology is that it allows our finished products to be as close as possible to a fresh product. Meeting with the requirements of texture, appearance, and color the vegetable material has by nature and that is required by our customers for the different markets in the world. The appearance is so close that the preservation can be undetected by the inexperienced consumer.
The number of developments depends on the market trends and the need of renovation or improvement of the current products.
We always look to develop products that offer a new dramatically different esthetic effect to the prevailing portfolio, an innovative attribute that is not covered in the current line or a substantial improvement to the production process.
The number of developments for our operation can vary between 20-30 projects every year.
The preservation process must have in consideration different aspects:
- The correct definition of the portfolio regarding variety and color.
- The development of more robust and scalable processes with specialized technology.
- Differentiated attributes vs. fresh product.
- The reduction of our carbon print.
- A greater resistance to different environmental conditions that could even allow the use of preserved products in the exterior.
Adding to the previous points, it is indispensable that the future of preservation is focused on making popular the preservation category in all markets catering to the needs of the consumer resulting in an increase of its use versus other categories of natural or synthetic decorative products.
Without a doubt a great opportunity exists so more people in the world can enjoy the great advantages of preserved nature in their homes and places of work, enjoying decorations that are natural, low maintenance, and with an ecologic impact of a significantly lower carbon print than that of the cut flower, for example.