According to information provided by the Chilean Kiwi Committee, the entity is conducting the commercial evaluation, on the arrival of fruit that was already packaged and fruit which is still not ripe on arrival. The idea of this initiative is to validate the conditioning and ripening protocols to ensure that the Chilean kiwi fruit is edible.
Crop ripening, conditioning techniques, fruit ripening with ethylene and temperatures associated with different types of packaging, and the various post-harvest technologies that exist today, are being evaluated. This is part of the FIA program Improving Kiwi Edible Quality through Conditioning and Handling of Postharvest Fruit, which is being carried out by the Committee in conjunction with the Universidad Católica of Chile, where professor Juan Pablo Zoffoli directs the program.
According to Marcela Basualdo, Technical Assistant of the Kiwi Committee, the protocols are being validated according to postharvest technologies, the parameters of fruit arrival, and logistics and business variables of refrigerators, that affect the fruit during the arrival and distribution process. This is done so as to provide a rich kiwi, that is ready for consumption and pre-conditioned.
The evaluations were made in Holland during June and August with real kiwi commercial shipments from two Chilean exporters that provided the fruit for these trials. Representatives from the Kiwi Committee, academic committee of the
Universidad Católica, Juan Pablo Zoffoli and Quality Managers travelled to these exporting companies. "The objective of these trips was to measure and study the conditioning protocols made since origin and validate protocols of fruit ripening on arrival, with fruit that was packed in perforated bags of short and long storage period," said Basualdo.
Commercial trials were conducted under two scenarios. The first with fruit conditioned from origin with ethylene and temperature. Evaluating the effectiveness of treatment by measuring firmness, soluble solids and columella firmness on arrival. Everything is done within the parameters specified by the receiver. The second was performed with fruit that was not conditioned
and firmness higher than 10 pounds. This was how the ripening protocol with temperature and ethylene was evaluated, in order to obtain a kiwi to have kiwi ready for consumption without hard columella and good taste.
These experiences have allowed according to Basualdo, validate the technologies that had been applied at the level of laboratories with real commercial experience.
For Elizabeth Koehler, General Coordinator of the Kiwi Committee, this work it has been able to demonstrate that the protocols are a real alternative to deliver a product ready for the end consumer. However, he noted that there is still a link
missing in the chain, since today it is reaching the receiver and what matters is to reach consumers directly. "This is critical because the receivers are currently working with high pressures and there are issues not considered relevant like the fact export fruit without hard columella, soft pulp and rich flavor," he said.
For Kohler, the success of these protocols requires trained personnel in Chile, as well as in destination, as decision making is required to implement these protocols. It is also important according to the professional, the segregation of producers, so as to deliver a consistent, standard end product.
Source: Kiwi Committee from Chile