After winning the silver award at the Innovation Award of Fruit Logistica 2019, novel fruit ripening system Softripe® is now successfully used in numerous European ripening plants. Compared to traditional ripening equipment, the German-Brazilian technology demonstrably leads to reduced losses, longer shelf life and - last but not least - better quality of the fruit on the shelf, says Roland Wirth, Managing Director at Frigotec.
Roland Wirth (r) and his colleagues were available for a discussion during the DOGK.
With the well-tried, conventional ripening technology, which is used in many ripening plants, there are only fixed ripening programs, therefore manual corrections or sorting by the ripening coordinator are necessary. Wirth: "It is not uncommon for too high a concentration of -natural ripening gas- ethylene to be used, which is why the fruits arrive on the shelf stressed and somewhat in decline. people are trying to improve this with alternative after-treatment methods, such as coating."
Complete and safe control
"Our aim was to set new standards in fruit quality and reduce internal damage completely," says Wirth, explaining the basic idea behind Softripe®. Fruit ripening takes place in a precisely controlled, CA-controlled atmosphere. This gives the fruit the necessary conditions for an optimal, biological ripening process. "Ethylene gassing at the right time and at minimum concentrations depending on the fruit ensures complete and safe control at all times."
Win-win situation for the entire fruit industry
For the fruit trader, this solution will be profitable in no time, as complaints and losses are reduced and sorting processes are no longer necessary. In addition, the ripening period is shorter and easier to plan, which means that the customer can be guaranteed greater flexibility. "The most important thing, however, is that the consumer is provided with a stable fruit that is ripe for consumption and will keep longer.. Not only can sales of exotic goods be increased, but retailers can now make a valuable and important contribution to the issue of sustainability: a win-win situation for the entire fruit industry."
The Softripe® process has now proven itself in numerous innovative ripening plants and leads to ready-to-eat fruit products of unique quality. In contrast to traditional technologies, the fruits ripen from the inside out: the skin of the fruit exotics thus remains firm and stable and the fruit flesh becomes soft and aromatic. Wirth: "England is currently a pioneer in the field of ripening avocados. There are further projects in the Netherlands and for Switzerland, among others. My wish, however, would be that German retailers also recognize and apply the potential and advantages of this innovation more."