Innovative persimmons packaging and protocols bridge gap season
Persimmon consumption in Europe and North America is on a rise and the demand for year-round supply drives growers and shippers to seek ways to bridge the supply gaps between Northern and Southern Hemisphere crops.
A request came from MOR, a leading grower and exporter of Sharon persimmons grown in Israel and South Africa, to develop packaging and postharvest protocol for preserving the freshness of the fruit harvested in October and November for marketing in March and April.
After three years of research and development together with ROP, a leading Israeli modified atmosphere (MA) packaging manufacturer, Postharvest Hub not only reached the initially specified goals but was also able to realize the additional benefit of auto de-astringency of the fruit while in transit. This eliminates the need for the traditional ripening process using exposure to high CO2 — a definite increase in ROI.
Shay is passionate about what he does. He is a consummate professional in his approach and a gentlemen in respect to his interactions with people at all levels in any organization.
-- Don Stidham, Director BT9
Lychee protocol and packaging preserves natural flavor and appearance
"This one tastes spoiled" said my wife when she had a lychee that I'd peeled for her. "Not like the others I had before." I laughed. It wasn't spoiled but it had been treated with sulfur and acid as dictated by the prevailing postharvest protocol for lychee. "All the others that you ate before were not treated with chemicals, but instead packed in special MA packaging for lychee."
To preserve the appearance of lychee it is fumigated with sulfur right after harvest. At the end of the process the fruit loses its reddish color and turns pale-yellow. As this is not a desired, marketable color, the fruit is then dipped in various acids to bring back the familiar uniform red color that we all know.
The natural flavor of fresh lychee is known only to the lychee growers and to those with lychee trees in their back yard.
Following the trend to reduce the use of chemicals on fruit, a project was initiated to develop alternative postharvest treatment and packaging to preserve the natural color and flavor of lychee through the distribution chain.
Together with Dr. Wentao Jia, a polymer engineer at ROP (Israeli modified atmosphere (MA) packaging manufacturer), packaging was developed for preserving the freshness of lychee for up to 3 weeks without chemical application. The packaging was successfully tested during two seasons by Israeli exporters including MOR International and Galilee.
The color of the lychees in the new packaging is the natural color of the harvested fruit rather than the artificial-red color consumers are used to finding in stores—and its flavor is superb.