Technologies to face the challenges of the Chilean blueberry market

Technologies to face the challenges of the Chilean blueberry market

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Technologies to face the challenges of the Chilean blueberry market

By Liventus

Innovative solutions for the difficulties that blueberry exporters could face this season.

Blueberries are considered worldwide as a "superfood" due to their high concentration of nutrients, antioxidants and their great contribution of vitamins that play a big role in good health.

They are now an important part of the menu of all those who follow the well-being movement and healthier lifestyles, becoming a highly demanded product in different international markets that many Chilean exporters seek to reach, with the commitment to provide an excellent experience in terms of flavor, size, and texture at the time of consumption.

This great appeal has led many companies focused on its production and commercialization, to develop new technologies to meet the high demand and ensure that the fruit arrives in optimal conditions at its destination, generating mechanisms that provide support in meeting the times and entry requirements for each market without compromising product quality.

As the United States is the main target market for Chilean blueberries, it requires different treatments for its entry due to quarantine-type pests that are present in Chile, such as Lobesia botrana and its control through fumigation with methyl bromide.

During the previous season (2021-2022), these mandatory treatments significantly extended the time-to-market for fruit that needed to be sprayed in the US. Bottlenecks were generated, that added days of delay, leaving the fruit at high temperatures given the large number of pallets that had to be fumigated, adding to these delays, the lack of containers, long transit times, high freight costs and waiting in customs clearance that came along with the Covid-19 effect on maritime transport. Although these setbacks were seen especially in the US, other destinations had similar problems, as in the case of Asia.

All these variables caused the exporters to suffer numerous fruit rejections due to rotting, soft fruit and fermentation, rejections that directly affected final liquidations and, therefore, the pockets of local exporters. This makes the upcoming season to come a key and defining season for many.

To reduce the impact of the negative consequences of long waiting times, Liventus, a leading company in the development of post-harvest technologies, offers different solutions that help solve the main problems of blueberry exporters: rotting and dehydration, maintaining the condition of the fruit for as long as necessary.

One of its value propositions is the LIVENTUS Full Control® concept. Through the combination of its Controlled Atmosphere system and its HarBest Blueberry Bag, which has a very low percentage of ventilation, achieving high relative humidity, reducing the difference in vapor pressure deficit, thus avoiding fruit dehydration.

The advantage of avoiding dehydration is that it decreases the softening of the blueberry, since it has been shown that there is a direct correlation between the two. In addition, they also manage to obtain all the benefits of a high concentration of CO2 and O2, such as a decrease in the respiratory rate and, even more important in blueberries, a high fungistatic control that decreases the proliferation of fungi.

"In this way, our integrated proposition manages to keep the fruit in optimal conditions for longer, stabilizing its quality until its arrival to the destination market and extending the window in which it can be marketed," says Germán Sims, Global Commercial Manager of Liventus, stating the company's commitment to developing technologies that are capable of providing responses that add value, especially to all fruit that may be exposed to long transit or waiting times, as seen in the previous season, and as it is expected to happen this upcoming export season.

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