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Philippines: Exotic fruits preservation for longer travel

For the longest time, exotic fruit grown in the Philippines could not be shipped even to its capital, Manila, because it quickly becomes overripe. For fruits like lanzones and marang there is now a solution which preserves these to reach faraway markets. Even as far away as the US.

The new technology to lengthen shelf life of seasonal fruits to preserve their pristine ripeness while in transit has sparked hope for farmers that their fruits, which usually ripen in two days and immediately rot upon opening, will now survive the long trip, said Larry Miculob, a trailblazer in the export of durian to Singapore, and with a current agreement to ship to the US.

Durian fruit, which has a longer shelf life when frozen, has no problem with being shipped to the US, but his US buyer also wanted the lanzones, mangosteen and the easily perishable marang.

The technology actually already exists and is used to preserve meat in transit, but for fruits, this is something new to maintain their ripeness when they reach far markets like the US. Miculob, meanwhile, is still awaiting word from the agent of the shipping line serving the direct Davao City to the US route, in order to start the first shipment of durian, lanzones, mangosteen and marang. It would be a one-time shipment for now, he said, with about 300 kilos of durian, and a test volume only for the other fruits.

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