UC Davis and UFL Researchers Find that Strawberries Shipped Using Tectrol Exhibited Less Decay than Other Pallet Cover Systems after 2-day Shelf Life

November 17, 2017

UC Davis and UFL Researchers Find that Strawberries Shipped Using Tectrol
Exhibited Less Decay than Other Pallet Cover Systems after 2-day Shelf Life

 
Study Part of Joint Research Initiatives under USDA Specialty Crops Project Designed to
Increase Fruit Consumption through Enhanced Quality and Safety

 
March 22, 2013 Salinas, California – TransFresh Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chiquita Brands International, today announced that a recently published study conducted by the University of California at Davis (UC Davis) and the University of Florida (UFL) found that transporting strawberries in the sealed TransFresh Tectrol® pallet cover system, in which CO2 concentrations were elevated at 11 to 16 percent, was most effective in complementing current low temperature management practices to reduce decay and maintain fruit quality. The study further concluded that after a two-day shelf life, fruit from the Tectrol pallets achieved significantly less decay – from three to seven percent – than the other systems evaluated.

The independent study was conducted as part of an ongoing research initiative by two leading academic postharvest departments, one at the University of California and the other at the University of Florida, under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Specialty Crops Project designed to increase the consumption of specialty crops, such as strawberries, through enhanced quality and safety.
According to Beth Mitcham, Ph.D., UC Davis project leader, the overall goal of the USDA research project is to improve human health and strengthen the economic viability of the U.S. produce industry by developing exceptionally tasty and safe fruit.

The study, Comparison of Pallet Cover Systems to Maintain Strawberry Fruit Quality During Transport, evaluated the efficacy of multiple different proprietary plastic pallet cover systems to maintain strawberry fruit quality during commercial shipment. The TransFresh
Tectrol Modified Atmosphere system was one of those assessed. Non-covered pallets served as the control for the study. During the comparison, the different covers were placed over palletized California-harvested strawberries packed in vented plastic clamshells and cooled according to industry standards. CO2 was injected into the sealed Tectrol pallet bag system according to TransFresh specifications. Pallet cover systems other than Tectrol remained open at
the base and without the injection of pressurized CO2 prior to shipment. Six separate shipments of palletized fruit were transported to distribution centers in either Florida or Georgia, with transit times ranging from slightly over two to almost five days. After arrival, berry clamshell
samples from each treatment were retrieved and evaluated for arrival quality. Samples were then held for an added two days at 68º F. to mimic post arrival distribution, after which, quality attributes were again assessed.

Researchers concluded that “transporting fruit in the sealed Tectrol pallet cover system, in which CO2 concentrations were elevated at 11 to 16 percent, was most effective as it also significantly reduced decay development during subsequent simulated retail display.
Researchers pointed that although their data highlight some statistically significant advantages of using strawberry pallet covers in combination with low temperature management, a cost-benefit analysis is recommended to reveal the true commercial value of each system.”
Rich Macleod, vice president pallet division, TransFresh North America, concurred.
“The research conclusion certainly bodes well for the advantages offered by the closed Tectrol pallet bag system, in which optimal CO2 levels are consistently maintained. We encourage key stakeholders to conduct a cost-benefit analysis suited to their own individual business models,” he stated. To assist in that endeavor, TransFresh has developed an online calculator available at www.Tectrol-Calculator.com. Additionally, a full copy of the study, published in HortTechnology, August 2012, is available from the TransFresh Resource Library accessible at www.TransFresh.com.

About Chiquita Brands International, Inc.

Chiquita Brands (NYSE: CQB) is a leading international marketer and distributor of nutritious, high-quality fresh and value-added food products - from energy-rich bananas, blends of convenient green salads, other fruits to healthy snacking products. The company markets its healthy, fresh products under the Chiquita® and Fresh Express® premium brands and other related trademarks. With annual revenues of more than $3 billion, Chiquita employs approximately 20,000 people and has operations in approximately 70 countries worldwide. For more information, please visit http://www.chiquita.com/.

About TransFRESH®

TransFRESH Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Chiquita Brands (NYSE: CQB), is a pioneering and established global company, with nearly 50 years of experience in perishables transport. Tectrol® is the trademarked brand name for the TransFRESH® family of
proprietary modified and controlled atmosphere systems and processes developed and owned by TransFRESH®. The Tectrol® Service Network™ services, markets and supports the Tectrol Pallet Systems operations and technologies. Since inception, TransFRESH’s innovations in packaging, equipment and sealing processes have established Tectrol® as the industry standard.