Even after harvesting, fresh fruits and vegetables are still respiring because they are living organisms. The ripening process includes respiration during which fruits and vegetables generate heat and give off moisture and gases. This accelerates the deterioration process as well. In order to reduce the deterioration of such goods, the below factors must be controlled:
Cooling the environment is the most effective method for minimizing the process of deterioration. The sooner you provide the proper temperature, the longer the product stays alive. The cooling process should be started after harvesting as soon as possible. Therefore, refrigerated containers should not be utilized to cool down the temperature of the goods. They are, in fact, designed and engineered to maintain the current temperature of the perishable goods, not to lower it. This fact makes the precooling process of all such products essential, after harvest and before storage or transportation.
Another factor, affecting nearly all kinds of products, is relative humidity. Very low humidity level makes fruits and vegetables shrivel or wilt, while too high humidity causes the development of mold which deteriorates them.
Removing the Ethylene gas will minimize the deterioration speed. It is a fruit/vegetable-ripening self-generating regulator and is necessary for the ripening process. Nevertheless, if it is not controlled at a minimal level, it can cause damage to various fruits and vegetables. Ventilation can adequately minimize and control its accumulation.
FARMAD Reefer Containers Fleet
FARMAD reefer containers are equipped with the world-leading Japanese DAIKIN refrigeration machinery technology. DAIKIN is the innovator and one of the biggest manufacturers of refrigeration machinery for reefer containers, using the below technologies:
SCROLL COMPRESSOR TECHNOLOGY: For more efficiency with less maintenance which minimizes malfunction during transportation, hence reducing the risk of cargo spoilage.
TEMPERATURE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM: For reduction of power consumption
HOT GAS DEFROST SYSTEM: For quicker defrosting by reducing escaped hot gas into the goods area, which improves cargo condition
DEHUMIDIFICATION CONTROL SYSTEM: Most of the perishable products require a low level of humidity inside the container for maintaining the highest quality and freshness level until delivery. All FARMAD reefer containers are equipped with a “Dehumidification System” that can lower the humidity within the range of 85 to 55%.
For more information about the technologies utilized in FARMAD reefer containers, you may visit the DAIKIN global website.
Blocked or poor circulation affects the temperature of the goods, relative humidity, and ethylene accumulation. The shelf life of the products will be definitely affected and shortened if the air cannot circulate properly and evenly in cold storage or refrigerated container.
Packaging and Stuffing pattern
It is so important to allow air circulate freely through the packages, around the door area, and the margins of the container interior.
The cargo must be uniformly stowed in order to have an even distribution of air throughout the load. Of course, various stacking patterns are required when packages have different sizes. This will result in creating some gaps. You have to make sure to keep those gaps in proper locations.
Avoid loading cartons or pallets up to ceiling height because you will restrict airflow throughout the return air passage over the top of the cargo to the evaporator fan. ISO shipping containers are marked with a height limit. Never exceed them.
Whenever there are packages of different sizes of cargo does not fill up the containers fully, use some empty cartons or some other materials to fill up the void space to keep air passages uniform. To have optimal air circulation and make cooling effective, we suggest you pack commodities with carton holes in all sides of the cardboard.
Please review the loading patterns in the photos.
Mixing various fresh products
It is very important to observe compatibility when you mix different fresh fruits or vegetables in a refrigerated container. The set temperature for one product may cause damage to others. You should be aware of the respiration levels and ethylene generated by each product at certain temperatures as well as maturity levels and the degree of tolerance or sensitivity to ethylene. The desired transit temperature of products shipped together should be within a reasonably close range. For example, mature green tomatoes requiring a transit temperature of 55oF (13oC) should not be shipped in combination with lettuce needing a transit temperature of 32oF (0oC).
Be careful not to mix shipments of odor-producing products with those who absorb odor. Odors given off by apples, citrus, onions, pineapples, and fish are readily absorbed by dairy products, eggs, meats, and nuts. Some products, such as apples, are capable of both giving off and receiving odors. Loading combinations to avoid are apples or pears with celery, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, or onions; celery with onions or carrots; and citrus fruits with any of the strongly scented vegetables. Apples and pears may acquire an earthy taste and odor if shipped with potatoes.
Use the “Perishable Load Compatibility Groups” for determining the loading compatibility of various products (Curtsey of U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE)