Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Products of this type are living and need transporting in equipment that can remove their heat of respiration, water vapor plus gases such as carbon dioxide and ethylene. The aim is to slow the rate of ripening by moving them at the coolest workable temperature without causing chill injury. This varies between products but can occur at temperatures as warm as 11°C. Products may need protecting from cold ambient temperatures in northern latitudes during the winter.

Some products benefit from being carried under controlled or modified atmosphere when the percentage of oxygen in the vehicle, or container, is reduced (2). Carbon dioxide levels can be changed by supplying measured amounts of the gas from a cylinder. Humidity control will become more important in the future, reducing cargo weight loss and helping to maintain quality longer. An evolving technology is the use of modified atmosphere packaging around the product. This material will prevent oxygen from passing through it but will allow carbon dioxide to flow out. As the product respires, the level of oxygen falls and the process slows down.

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