Greenbean Scientific

Correct packhouse handling is crucial in terms of reducing postharvest losses of fruit and vegetables. There are many factors to consider in terms of maintaining marketable condition of harvested produce, not least of which are temperature control and minimizing mechanical damage during grading and packing. Poor management of these areas can lead to a significant reduction in storage and shelf life and increased wastage.

Ripening is a key added value service and we are experts in the design and operation of ripening rooms, approaching the process from a proven scientific perspective. We can support you in achieving consistent ripened product and in reducing wastage.

CASE STUDY – UK stone fruit, kiwi fruit and mango ripeners
Often ripener’s claim that ripening fruit is an ‘art’ and as such it is often shrouded in mystery. However, we believe it’s a science. Uniform ripening can be achieved every time if certain principles are followed such as optimizing the flow of air around the product; correct temperature and humidity regimes; the use of ethylene for triggering ripening for certain produce; carefully monitoring of the process. Working with one mango ripener, we were able to achieve a uniform ripening that satisfied their customer through modifying airflow in their existing rooms. For another ripener, who had received complaints from one of UK food retailers and had lost a sizeable part of their fruit programme, we recommended building entirely new rooms as their existing facilities were more suitable to blast chilling produce than ripening. Although this was a huge investment, they now see the benefit of doing so.

CASE STUDY – UK apple, kiwifruit and citrus packers
Using a sensor that measures 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. A number of recommendations were made 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 mechanical damage.

We can provide practical advice on:

  • Refrigeration and the cool chain
  • Packing line activities: sorting & grading, minimal processing and packing
  • Ripening