Magnum Plus Optima, new technology from Thermo King actively delays ripening, ageing and decay of perishables to preserve their quality, taste and value during long distance transportation

People around the globe expect fresh goods at stores and restaurants to be of the same quality and appearance as at the moment of harvest. To meet this demand, global exporters want the most advanced options available so they can deliver perishable products from their origin to the most distant locations with preserved quality, taste and nutritional value.

Thermo King, a manufacturer of transport temperature control solutions for a variety of mobile applications and a brand of Ingersoll Rand, meets the needs of shippers and customers alike and is the first to introduce Magnum Plus Optima, an active oxygen removal system within its controlled atmosphere solution.

This active technology for marine transportation enables exporters to provide their customers with more sensitive types of fruit and vegetables ensuring they arrive at their final destination in the best quality, taste and appearance.

By prolonging the post-harvest life of fresh products, cargo owners can extend shipping distances and reach unexplored markets. The new Magnum Plus Optima system helps maintain the firmness and crispness of the transported fruits, vegetables and flowers, reducing shrinkage and decay of the cargo. Additionally it also permits growers to harvest produce closer to its natural maturity time and peak flavor.

“Many global shipping lines utilize passive controlled atmosphere technology today, which only maintains the atmosphere within a reefer container after it has been established by the respiratory activity of the fresh produce,” said Michel van Roozendaal, vice president, Global Marine, Rail and Bus for Thermo King.

“What’s remarkable about this new active Magnum Plus Optima system from Thermo King is that it doesn’t depend on the respiration of the fresh produce and allows for more precise control over the reefer environment, effectively slowing down the aging and ripening processes of fruits, vegetables and flowers during transit. This extension of post-harvest life allows growers to reach new customers with products that previously could not be shipped by sea at an affordable cost.”

Fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers are living organisms that consume oxygen (O2) and produce carbon dioxide (CO2) during natural respiration, a process that continues after harvest and causes aging and ripening. The quick removal of oxygen is crucial to slow down the decay process and extend their post-harvest life.

“When compared to passive systems that rely solely on the respiration of produce to eventually generate an initial atmosphere, active controlled atmosphere systems have the added benefit of promptly establishing and regulating the desired environment in the reefer container, thus more effectively extending the shelf life of the produce,” says Dr. Patrick Brecht, president, PEB Commodities, Inc. a consultation service provider for growers, shippers and transportation companies.
“With decades of experience in helping customers deliver goods from point A to point B, Thermo King designed the controlled atmosphere solution that extends the application of active systems from high respiring cargo such as avocados to lower respiring cargo such as apples. This will enable exporters to extend their shipping distances and provide new customers with fresh produce in the quality they expect,” added van Roozendaal.

Mike Hall
Thermo King