Packaging and Storage of Stone Fruits
Stone fruits respire at a higher rate and are soon perishable when kept at room temperature. Apart from the deterioration caused due to ripening activity, the stone fruits are also notified as delicate fruits due to their smooth peel which gets bruised immediately by impact or friction. The management of these two major factors can help in the regulation of physiological, biochemical and pathological activities of stone fruits. Packaging and storage are considered as major criteria to be taken into consideration in managing fruit deterioration. The recent scientific developments in the field of packaging and storage have brought new innovative process and recommendations which can enhance the storage/shelf life of stone fruits as well as maintain the quality for a longer period. The commodity packed gets the better acceptance by the consumer as it reduces the bruising caused at various stages of the supply chain and provides the produce at convenient sizes and packs required, whereas the storage ultimately keeps the fruits with maximum quality and availability for an extended period. The packaging and storage can be complementary to each other when the stakeholder at each stage of the supply chain knows what type of package is more suitable for a certain type of storage conditions and vice versa. In this chapter, we tried to pool up the scientific information and recommendations which can suit different stakeholders in using a varied type of packaging and storages for stone fruits. The packaging and storage of stone fruits such as mango, plum, peach, apricot, sweet cherry, litchi, almond and dates, covering all the three major climate zones, are discussed in this chapter.
Harvesting and Packing Stone Fruit
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Post published:June 5, 2018
Stone fruit season is officially in full effect! This includes cherries, peaches, nectarines, plums and apricots. The great thing for us as the consumer, is that stone fruit are easy for us to buy. (Unlike a melon, where you have to use your own science or wives tale to figure out how it is going to taste, stone fruit are pretty straight forward.) For growers and packers, they also benefit from the similar processes used in the harvesting and packing stone fruit operations.
Selecting Stone Fruit
For peaches, nectarines, plums and apricots, we can tell when they are ripe and ready-to-eat when they are soft. We can also tell when they are hard and they are not yet ready. That also allows us to plan accordingly, so we can buy some that are ripe and some that are not quite ripe yet to ripen on the counter in time to eat when we run out of the ripe fruit. Or, we can just buy all ripe fruit (if that is an option) and keep them in the fridge to eat when we are ready. It is the same concept that you might be accustomed to doing with avocados!
Cherries are the exception. Cherries are the only stone fruit that are non-climacteric and do not continue ripening after harvest. They reach their full ripeness potential on the tree and then continue aging from there. With cherries, firmness is key when choosing which to buy because they soften with age.
Packing & Harvesting Stone Fruit
Not only is it important for us to appreciate how good all of the stone fruit tastes, but also all of the work that it took to get that stone fruit into our hands! Over the years of doing this blog, I have been able to accumulate the following harvesting and packing stone fruit content.
Peach Harvest & Packing
You can see the full process from harvest to packing with peaches. This video is also particularly exciting because you get to see the peaches being waxed. As of now, I think this is the only behind the scenes video I have taken where they have waxed the produce.
Cherry Harvest & Packing
These were the first videos I ever made for the blog, so hopefully you can see some progress! Between the two, you can see the harvesting and packing of cherries. One really cool thing that not a lot of people know is how cherries actually grow in bunches on the tree. You can see in the videos how they grow, and also how they are individualized at the packing level.
This plum packinghouse is the same as the one that is showed above in the peach harvest and packing video. However, you will notice that the plums at this operation do not receive the wax coating, like the peaches do.
STONE FRUIT PACKING
The grading and packaging of stone fruits can be organised into direct packaging or as two-stage work (pre-sizing and packaging) for annual volumes of between 100 and 15,000 tonnes.
Furthermore, processing the packaging of peaches with four colours (peach, nectarine, white and yellow), a multitude of packages, and orders for same-day delivery make the task complex.
Anticipating the grading and packaging in order to honour customer orders means taking major financial risks. Two-stage working helps you to meet demand more efficiently.
Backed by its experience, MAF RODA AGROBOTIC has invested heavily in producing sensors for colour, diameter, external defects and internal defects specific to stone fruits. The electronics installed on the fruit conveyors are not standard: they are genuinely dedicated to stone fruits. The key challenge for pre-sizing and grading lies here: sorting better so as to sell better and manage costs better. In this context, and when there are large volumes to market, the pre-sizing of stone fruits simply goes without saying.
MAF RODA provides you with complete solutions for streamlining your packaging process.
From the raw harvested produce through to delivery to your customers we are attentive to your needs, and we will supply you with our analysis, suggesting machines suited to your mode of operation and in compliance with the regulations.
Reliable and robust, our equipment benefits from after-sales support and services guaranteeing the long-term sustainability of your installations.
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