A truly extraordinary year has drawn to a close. In many places, companies are looking back on a turbulent year, in which the COVID pandemic has brought many challenges. For FRIGOTEC Kälte- und Verfahrenstechnik, the year nevertheless ended successfully. Managing Director Roland Wirth is upbeat about the future.
Roland Wirth (r) was available for a conversation during DOGK 2020, as were his colleagues.
"Despite the Corona restrictions, 2020 was a successful year and the marketing of our innovative Softripe technology continued. As a result, further Softripe projects were realized in the UK and the Netherlands," Wirth said. In addition to all this, the company was also pleased to receive the rac Cooling Industry Award 2020: "Together with a British customer and distribution partner, we won in the category - 'Environmental Collaboration of the Year'. We were also happy to receive a 'highly commended' at the "World Refrigeration Day Cold Chain Innovation Award".
FRIGOTEC Kälte- und Verfahrenstechnik and its in-house Softripe technology are making waves on an international level. Accordingly there were some restrictions in the past year: "Some international projects, which were set up at the beginning of 2020, had to be put on hold completely. But through the most recent Softripe projects, we were able to see how important and decisive the practical application of the technology is. Ultimately, it produces the most convincing maturity results."
Although Corona has hampered international marketing for the time being, the projects planned for 2021 in Europe and also overseas and Asia, should close the gap: "The fruit market is looking for solutions to improve quality and sustainability. Two approaches are coming to the fore: Coating processes to preserve existing fruit and ripeness qualities, and Softripe. The main difference with Softripe is that fruit ripening is carried out in an optimal biological way, so that the fruit is brought to a new quality level and at the same time a natural seal is achieved. In case of the avocado, for example, moisture and oils in the skin are being enriched. Coating processes are post-ripening treatment methods and do not solve problems of poor fruit ripening and inconsistencies."
Softripe is a brand of Frigotec LLC. It was represented at Fruit Logistica 2020 with its own booth and team.
Exotics continue to be the most important product line for the technology, "Due to the extreme quality improvements achieved in avocado ripening, demand and interest was particularly high for exotics. In parallel, the first mangoes are now being ripened in Europe, so we can also show the outstanding advantages of Softripe in practice here." This course is to be maintained next year: "With the growing success and attention with the exotics avocado and mango and their quality differences, Softripe-ripened bananas will also come more into focus again."
"Softripe is taking fruit ripening and fruit qualities to a new and higher level. With each new plant, optimizations are incorporated into the hardware and software. This allows us to improve ripening quality and consistency even further. The level of fruit ripening quality produced will therefore continue to rise in the future," says Wirth.
And, of course, other fruit varieties will also be tackled for ripening: "For many other fruits, the quality level in terms of degree of ripeness, taste, homogeneity and shelf life is not satisfactory. That's why we want to prove the Softripe quality advantages on other fruits in 2021: These include especially kiwi, stone fruits, pears and persimmons."