Sometimes, fresh vegetables and fruits got stuck in logistics. While delivering food, we need to check its freshness and self-life as well. We will discuss how to keep fresher and longer food for delivery.
I tried to order white button mushrooms for supply from other cities which will take 4-6 days. The supplier was optimistic that they will add ice to keep the mushroom fresh and longer for reselling.
I don’t like to buy their ideas. They might keep the ice for fresh food delivery. The question is will that method give me fresh mushroom? I don’t think so.
If we apply hydro cooling to our fruits and vegetables, we can easily keep the food fresh and increase their self-life. Else, adding ice or refrigerating during transits will not help much.
Advantages of Hydrocooling foods for delivery
If we want to keep fresher and longer food for delivery services, we must apply hydrocooling. Advantages of hydrocooling is that it is fast and easy to apply to most of the foods after harvesting.
Most fruits and vegetables changes their taste and quality harvesting. For example, taste and quality of sweet baby corn are graded by the sugar content. This sugar quality decreases after harvesting. We need to maintain the temperature and humidity of the foods.
Fresh fruits and vegetables require thorough cooling immediately after harvest so as to deliver the very best quality product to the buyer . Proper cooling delays the inevitable quality decline of fruits.
Hydrocooling also increases its self life. Most wholesale food buyers now require that fresh produce items be properly and thoroughly cooled before they are shipped.
It has now become a convenient and attractive method of post harvest cooling of foods on large scale.
Fruits and vegetables like sweet corn, apples, cherries, banana and peaches are difficult to chill. They are often quickly and effectively hydrocooled. Hydrocooling is thus, one among several post harvest cooling methods available to food growers, packers, and logistics.
Methods to keep fresher and longer food for delivery
Peaches, especially the first season varieties, are not suitable for long-term storage. However, some late season varieties are often stored for up to 6 weeks without any noticeable deterioration in texture and flavor. If left unattended, peaches begin to melt and decay during a few hours.
Therefore, it is important to cool peaches to 4 degree Celsius as soon as possible after harvesting, usually by hydrocooling or forced air. Peaches are stored at 0.5 degree Celsius and 90 to 95 per cent ratio with low air velocities.
Nectarines and apricots are also often stored under similar storage conditions. Sweet cherries intended for storage must be picked with stems attached and pre cooled rapidly to 1 degree Celsius by hydrocooling or forced-air cooling.
Thus, Cherries retain their quality during storage for 2 weeks. Controlled atmosphere with 20 to 25 per cent Carbon dioxide or 0.5 to 2 per cent Oxygen helps preserve firmness and full vivid color during storage.
Other Citrus fruits like lemons, oranges and grapefruit,do not undergo much changes in their composition after they are picked. Therefore, after harvesting, these fruits are transported to packing houses where they are sorted,washed, and disinfected.
These fruits are then polished and waxed after they are dried by warm air. Most sorts of oranges are often stored for two to three months at 0 to 1 degree Celsius and 85 to 90 per cent ratio .
Maintaining high humidity in storage rooms is vital since oranges tend to lose moisture rapidly.
Bananas are harvested once they are mature but unripe, as noticed by the green color of the peel. After they are washed, they are boxed and transported by refrigerated trucks or ships maintained at 14 degree Celsius.
New technology from Amcor
Amcor has developed Hydro Armour carton as a replacement for polystyrene foam boxes. The carton is submersible and allows a faster way for food suppliers to hydrocool foods for sale to buyers.
Amcor’s submersible cartons allows fruits and vegetables to remain fresher and longer for delivery services, maintaining nutrients.
Naorem Mohen is a natural farmer, full-time blogger, and entrepreneur dedicated to promoting Manipur’s black rice Chakhao, local beverages, and edible mushrooms.