Fresh Pod trial outcome and storage tips - Dan Neuteboom of Real English Fruit.
Published: 2 Sep 2015
Founded around a very successful 12-month consumer kit to reduce fresh produce waste, Fresh Pod launched their commercial filters 5 years ago and now have over 50 of their powered ethylene filters in use as well as hundreds of box filters for smaller commercial stores.
The founder's core ethos has remained in the reduction of post harvest waste though concerned that they are only reaching the larger players in the sector who better to ask for guidance than Dan Neuteboom of Real English Fruit who has used one of their box filters for the last 11 months.
Gaining his degree in Agriculture and Horticulture in his native Netherlands and following practical experience on fruit farms in Germany and France, Dan planted his first orchard of 30 acres in East Suffolk in 1960. In partnership with other local growers, gradually more acres were planted. Between 1972 and 1978 he served on the Management committee of East Malling Research Station and today maintains his involvement by supplying local markets as well as having his own market outlet.
Dan Neuteboom 'The increased rate of ripening caused by ethylene and therefore a reduced storage life of the fruit has been known for some time. With great success we used the ethylene remover called Fresh Pod. In summary the fruit kept better and over a longer period, without losing its flavour or firmness. However the following points need to be taken in consideration.
- It is best to store fruit which is slightly under ripe. This in order to maintain fruit firmness.
- Varieties which by nature are suitable for extended storage life, will produce the best result.
- Gather the fruit for storage, when the fruit is at its coolest; early in the morning.
- Store the fruit in open crates to ensure good air circulation.
- Make sure the filter is placed in the air stream, direct off the cooler.
- Do not store damaged fruit, but only the best undamaged ones.
- At all times remove regularly, fruits which show early fruit rot spots, once in store.
- Keep up humidity level during the storage period
- Storage temperature needs to be ideally, around 3 to 4 degree Celcius.
- Keep the storage area rodent free. Mice love fruit as well!
Drawing on these ten recommendations the 20 inch box filter was used by Dan for an 11 month period in a fruit store roughly the size of a shipping container after which the filter media was checked for efficacy. Most of the media had been utilized and there was roughly a month or so of life left in it.
Given the onset of the apple and pear season it made sense to change it however to ensure another 12 months of clean air as its scrubs out air borne fungal spores and bacteria as well as ethylene.