PMA honors SmartWash Solutions with technology award
SmartWash Solutions has won the first-ever Science & Technology Circle of Excellence Award from the Produce Marketing Association (PMA).
PMA Chief Science Officer Bob Whitaker presented the inaugural award May 5 to SmartWash Solutions President Jim Brennan at PMA’s Tech Knowledge conference in Monterey, California.
“It was a tough competition, but ultimately our panel selected SmartWash Solutions because they have developed a solution to help packers and processors of fresh fruits and vegetables to monitor and enhance the quality of wash water in real time,” Whitaker said. “Their products and services align perfectly with this year’s Tech Knowledge theme, which is harnessing innovations to address industry challenges and work smarter.
“We have all seen the tragic results of foodborne illness outbreaks, and we know what a challenge it is to be able to properly manage water quality – this company is working to address that challenge,” said Whitaker. “Going beyond that, Jim and his team are also making important volunteer contributions to help our industry to address the critical food safety issue of water quality.”
“The SmartWash team is honored to be the inaugural recipient of PMA’s Science & Technology Circle of Excellence Award,” Brennan said. “The SmartWash story started in 2006 after the spinach outbreak as a small skunk works in a corner of a shuttered food processing facility with the sole focus to eliminate produce outbreaks. SmartWash Solutions was born from this effort. We endeavor to earn the trust that our customer partners place in our team to help them wash produce safely and efficiently every day. PMA’s recognition will put a little more bounce in the step of all the SmartWash team members.”
Brennan said that the company offers conventional and organic versions of its proprietary chemicals; the equipment package to dispense, control and monitor wash systems; as well as the data analytics to track real-time and historic wash-line performance. He said SmartWash is used in more than 200 produce wash lines, at more than 35 facilities in seven countries worldwide.
PMA unveiled the new award earlier this year. The program recognizes individuals or companies who are solving business challenges by applying advances in science and/or technology to create better products, processes or customer value – particularly that achieve labor efficiencies or lead to the ability to work smarter. A panel judged the 16 entries received from across a broad spectrum of technologies that are helping the industry to work smarter. The panel included PMA staff science and technology subject matter experts and industry executives.
SmartWash Solutions is headquartered in Salinas, California, and is a subsidiary of Taylor Farms. Brennan, a chemical engineer with an MBA, also serves on the Center for Produce Safety’s Technical Committee.