Dynamic modified atmosphere is the ideal solution to store and improve the quality of extended shelf-life fruit such as apples, pears and kiwis. Pierluigi Mattè from Fruit Control Equipments has been working in the sector for almost forty years.
Fruit Control Equipments has set up the dynamic modified atmosphere system in Melinda's underground units
"Our philosophy is based on ongoing research. Over the years, we have developed various patents that help us store fruit for various months, improving its quality while in the unit." Now we have perfected the system, we are focusing on saving energy while storing more produce.
"The Eastern European market has been growing more and more over the past few years. Companies over there often require turnkey solutions that also include units. We can meet this kind of need as well thanks to partnerships with specialized companies."
Fruit Control has patented the Swinglos method, which corresponds to a cycle repeated in the (variable) time of the initial oxygen stress phase followed by the ULO phase, placing a lot of attention on CO2 concentration variations in the unit according to the various fruit varieties. All of this is combined with quality control checks.
Of course the system needs a dedicated plant that also employs specific generators (PSA) to quickly reach stress values and featuring a specific core temperature control. The power installed for CO2 absorbers is of course suitable for the variety in question. When the fruit is loaded into the units, a sample of crates must be placed in front of the unit window (8-10 in total) holding apples representative of the unit itself (e.g. 3-5 apples for each different batch).
During stress periods, quality checks must be carried out on samples. Subsequent gas stress, its duration and conditions are decided based on analytical results with particular reference to the ethanol content in apples (sample of at least 8-10 fruit). This can be done using a kit that is easy to use by operators or quality managers.
The system features a specialized management system that the company developed with GAC5000. The program manages the machines automatically according to the different inputs provided by the fruit or by other parameters.