Rind Condition and Cold Chain
Dr. Paul Cronje
Jade North, Dr. Graham Barry, Mitchell Brooke, Tarl Berry
Rind condition is an important research programme of CRI, as physiological disorders occurring in the market place have a severely negative financial impact as losses or opportunity costs downstream of packing are finically very important. Susceptibility of fruit to a particular disorder is an integration of the preharvest fruit development conditions in addition to the postharvest handling and ambient environment in the cold chain. These multiple facets, which influence the rind condition and it’s susceptibility to a disorder, makes finding of solutions difficult and depended on long term research projects. The main focus areas in this programme are firstly to identify the contribution of various growing conditions and new technologies used in the orchard, such as plant growth regulators and shade netting, for its impact on rind quality. The second part of this program focus on testing new postharvest technology and practises, which could be used to prevent or reduce the incidence of disorders. This could involve temperature management, wax type and application as well as strategies to classify fruit in the packline in sensitivity categories in order to reduce the incidence of postharvest disorder
Another aim of this programme is to develop improved handling options in the cold chain to ensure the supply of high quality fruit in all markets. A focus area is the improved use of refrigerated containers and specifically to cold treatment markets. This programme analyses those factors influential in cooling of fruit, e.g. carton design and forced air cooling facilities, as well as maintaining fruit at the desired temperature during export without resulting in the deterioration of the fruit rind.