JD Cooling and Worldwide Fruit launch softripe facility

JD Cooling Group, an independent supplier of temperature control systems, and Worldwide Fruit Ltd (WFL) have unveiled their new Softripe® avocado ripening facility in Spalding, Lincolnshire. A total of 132 pallet spaces using Softripe® technology are now in operation with fruit set to arrive nationally in stores in October 2020.

A giant leap forward in ripening technology, the industry award-winning Softripe® will bring great benefits to WFL’s operation. It delivers a more efficient, streamlined process – including the reduction of secondary handling – will result in greater consistency and quality of the ripened fruit, coupled with far lower wastage through the reduced need for destructive testing and significant energy reduction. Softripe® amounts to an investment that delivers huge benefits for the retailer and consumer, and which will effectively pay for itself.

Speaking at the official ribbon cutting, John Dye, Chairman JD Cooling Group, said: “It is not very often something comes along in our industry that is game-changing, but Softripe® is most certainly that, and indeed the biggest thing to happen in the ripening sector for decades. This facility is going to be a total revolution for the ripe and ready marketplace.”

Softripe® is patented and is the only ripening process that uses a completely gas-tight chamber together with CO2 absorbers and nitrogen generators to enable optimum levels of ethylene, CO2 and oxygen all to be fully controlled. This allows the unique Softripe® software algorithms to establish the optimum conditions for perfect ripening every time.

“There’s a lot of noise out there at the moment about other ripening systems, but Softripe® is the only one in the world that’s able to control ethylene, CO2 and oxygen levels by communicating directly with the fruit,“ Dye said, adding: “It also allows suppliers to remove their post ripening grading process and destructive testing and is the only system that can achieve such dramatic increases in shelf life.”

Key to the technology is:

  • The lack of stress caused to the avocados
  • The lower temperatures used
  • Finite control of oxygen, carbon dioxide and ethylene levels
  • Relative humidity levels being far higher
  • Total room environment being controlled according to the exact needs of the fruit at any single point within the cycle itself

Neal Collishaw, Operations Director at Worldwide Fruit Ltd, said: “Our key strategic direction is to deliver zero waste in all of our processes. Avocados are a notoriously difficult product to ripen in a traditional ripening system. Post-ripening, we still had variability amongst the raw material which can end up on the shelf, leading to consumer dissatisfaction. Softripe® now ensures we have a more consistent, superior product and has enabled us to remove the secondary grading from our processes. Along with the reduced ripening cycles, there are clear benefits to producers, distributors, retailers, and consumers.”

For more information:
JD Cooling Group
Tel: +44 1553 767446

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