Maersk launches CA system for low-respiring produce
Shipping company Maersk Container Industry (MCI) has launched an extension of its established controlled atmosphere system, as the reefer market for fruit and vegetables continues to grow.
The company said the new system, dubbed the Star Cool CA+, extends the market reach of sensitive low-respiring perishables such as blueberry and lychee, reaching their destination in optimal condition without over-ripening or decaying during transit.
In a release the company said the system also provided new cost-effective trade opportunities for fruit growers, shipping lines and food retailers alike, as well as an increase in choice and quality for consumers.
“Demand for a large variety of fruit and vegetables is increasing throughout the year”, MCI chief commercial officer Søren Leth Johannsen said.
“We further developed our existing controlled atmosphere system with the specific goal of supporting our customers in tapping into these trade opportunities by enabling them to reach more distant markets with low-respiring perishables, which typically also have a high value.”
Compared to high-respiring perishables such as bananas and avocados, low-respiring perishables require a different composition of the atmosphere in the container, the company said.
Building on its existing Star Cool CA system for high-respiring fresh produce, MCI said it developed the enhanced CA+ functionality in cooperation with experts and selected shipping lines, applying data gathered from some 40,000 units in operation.
“The use of controlled atmosphere (CA) for transport of low respiring commodities, such as blueberries, is a crucial technological contribution to enable perishables to reach their destination in optimum quality”, said Bruno Defilippi Bruzzone, agronomic engineer and head of a postharvest unit at Chile's Institute for Agricultural Research (INIA).
“Using CA technology during transit, like MCI’s advanced system, provides multiple new benefits for low-respiring perishables, such as a reduction in fruit metabolism, improved decay control, extended shelf life and reduced loses for the growers and exporters.”