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 VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Sept. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Pacific Asia Technologies, Inc., has again proved the enormous commercial potential of its food handling technology, Maptek Fresh, with the launch by Geest plc, one of Europe's largest produce companies, of Necta pineapples. As reported by the Financial Times of London, Necta pineapples, which use Maptek Fresh to prevent the tropical fruit from rotting in transit from Costa Rica, are perfectly ripe when they reach supermarkets in Europe. Dr. John Dutton of Geest was quoted as saying that the cored and peeled Necta pineapples eliminate the messy preparation needed to serve whole fresh pineapples; they taste better and have a much more consistent flavor. Arrangements to market Necta pineapples in the United States and Canada are presently under consideration.
 By modifying the environment in which fresh produce is packaged, Maptek Fresh causes vegetables, fruit and flowers to "hibernate" and thus stay fresh for weeks on end. The basis of this technology is modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), an entirely natural procedure which is currently used to keep prepared salads fresh in supermarkets without the use of additives, irradiation or genetic engineering. The big difference between traditional MAP and Maptek Fresh is that the produce can be kept fresh for many weeks rather than days; it is this fact which is allowing American growers and produce distribution companies to increase margins and find new markets using Pacific Asia's technology.
 In recent months four U.S. companies preparing and marketing fresh squeezed citrus juice in California and Florida have started developing national distribution of fresh orange juice in both institutional and retail markets for the first time. These companies are packing their product under the Maptek Fresh system. In Maine, Atlantic Fresh, the East Coast's largest grower of broccoli, has started packaging broccoli using Tamfresh (Maptek Fresh in corrugated boxes). Reaction from U.S. supermarkets has been very positive and the longer shelf life is opening up new markets for Atlantic Fresh in Europe.
 Serious interest has been shown by a number of Japanese companies buying fresh produce from the U.S. in receiving their products packed with Maptek Fresh and its sister technology Tamfresh. Plans are underway to carry out commercial trials in Japan later this year.
 Pacific Asia believes that its technologies offer American growers the opportunity to benefit from a revolution in fresh food distribution techniques which will have an impact on the food industry similar to that of freezing in the 1950s. These companies have already acquired licenses to use Maptek Fresh and Tamfresh and are fully committed to the use of these technologies to create profitable growth for their businesses in the future. Geest's launch of Necta in the U.K. is another example of the worldwide interest in Pacific Asia and its technologies.
 -0- 9/20/92
 /CONTACT: Roy Robinson, secretary of Pacific Asia Technologies, 604-322-0759, or Sam Witchel of Scharff, Witchel & Co., 212-983-1060/

CO: Pacific Asia Technologies, Inc. ST: British Columbia IN: SU:

SM-TW -- NY070 -- 3693 09/20/93 13:07 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 20, 1993

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