Greenbean Scientific

Packhouse handling and precooling is crucial in terms of reducing postharvest losses of fruit and vegetables. Investing in the correct inputs at this stage is more effective than increasing crop production. There are many factors to consider in terms of maintaining marketable condition of harvested produce, not least of which is the time interval between harvesting and removal of field heat. Delays and improper cooling can lead to a significant reduction in storage life. Other factors include: minimizing mechanical damage during grading and packing; postharvest sanitation; and choice of packaging.

CASE STUDY – UK apple grower and packer
Using a sensor that can measure impact and vibration, we were able to identify ‘hot-spots’ on the packing lines where fruit were being subjected to either fruit-to-fruit or fruit-to-equipment impacts. We made a number of recommendations to the packer regarding the speed of the packing line; the use of cushioning at key spots and reducing drops. Following implementation of these recommendations there was a significant reduction in wastage and customer complaints relating to the bruising of their apples.

CASE STUDY – Egyptian mango packer
We provided advice on the use of hot water treatments to control the development of anthracnose rots that significantly reduced wastage on arrival in the destination market.

CASE STUDY – Growers and packers (worldwide) of a range of fruit and vegetables
We have worked with grower & packers of avocados, asparagus, beans, berries, broccoli, citrus, herbs, ginger, melons, spring onions, sweetcorn, potatoes, stone fruit and tropical fruit. Recommendations were provided on the postharvest handling and packaging of produce for specific markets e.g. packing broccoli in modified atmosphere packaging for long distance sea shipment and long-term storage.

We can provide practical advice on:

  • Precooling & refrigeration
  • Packing line activities: sorting & grading, minimal processing and packing
  • Postharvest treatments: curing, hot water treatments, vapour heat treatment, waxing, coatings and ethylene removal
  • Other activities: degreening, pre-conditioning and ripening