Blog Archives

“Precoolers help Sakuma Brothers get blueberries to you, fresher and faster”

“Precoolers help Sakuma Brothers get blueberries to you, fresher and faster”

Sakuma Brothers, Inc. knows a thing or two about blueberries. The Burlington, WA based company has been in business since 1948, but farming the Pacific Northwest since the early 20th century, cumulatively amassing over 100 years of fruit growing know-how. Their family history reads like an Oscar-winning film, and is the kind of stuff of which American dreams are made.

An immigrant family that worked leased land and sold their produce at Pike Place Market in Seattle, the Sakumas were interred during World War II. Despite sending many of their own sons to fight for their adopted country, they were continuously treated as the enemy in their own hometown. After the war, they emerged from their hardships stronger, rolled up their sleeves and got back to work, persevering and eventually becoming the industry leader we know today.

With all of this history, you’d think the company would have seen it all in regard to postharvest standards, but according to Mike Lee, Plant Manager at Sakuma’s processing facility, there’s a new addition that is making their job significantly easier.

In July, Sakuma Brothers brought in just one precooling unit from Global Postharvest, and the difference it’s making in cooling times and efficiency have opened some eyes.

“[The] cooling unit exceeded our expectations,” says Lee. “We are very pleased with the positive effect it has had on our fruit.”

The difference between Global Postharvest’s Precoolers and existing legacy systems is as follow. The Precoolers’ combination of power, portability, and ease of operation allow for previously unavailable solutions to common forced air cooling issues. Depending on the size of the load, the Precoolers can cool blueberries up to six hours faster than any previously used system, with the added bonus of consistency, allowing for tighter shipping schedules and much greater overall plant efficiency.

It appears that even after all these years, the team at Sukuma Brothers has found a new way to move forward in an increasingly competitive field.

“The unit has run flawlessly since the day [we] fired it up,” says Lee. Here’s hoping that leads to more flawless blueberries on our tables.

For more information:
Jim Still
Global Cooling Inc.
Tel: +1-610-248-9800
[email protected]
www.PreCoolers.net

Publication date: 10/13/2014


FreshPlaza.com

South Africa: United Exports to send first blueberries to UK

South Africa: United Exports to send first blueberries to UK

United Exports will be shipping blueberries to the UK for the first time this season, harvesting of the first volumes got under way a month ago. The first fruit was harvested in May, but due to frost in the north of the country the season has started later than normal.

Blueberry production is in its early stages for the company in South Africa with around 10 ha in commercial production, with a further 50 ha currently being planted. The volumes from these areas will increase as the bushes mature. The company has until now been focussing on the domestic market. This season it will also airfreight blueberries to the UK and will do some seafreight trials.

The variety grown has been tested for shelf life of 42 days, which would allow exports via seafreight. The variety has been bred by “Early Blue”. United Exports is the exclusive licensee for South Africa, North & South America. The berries are currently being marketed under the “OZ blueberries” brand.

For more information contact: [email protected]

Publication date: 9/29/2014
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

South Africa: United Exports to send first blueberries to UK

South Africa: United Exports to send first blueberries to UK

United Exports will be shipping blueberries to the UK for the first time this season, harvesting of the first volumes got under way a month ago. The first fruit was harvested in May, but due to frost in the north of the country the season has started later than normal.

Blueberry production is in its early stages for the company in South Africa with around 10 ha in commercial production, with a further 50 ha currently being planted. The volumes from these areas will increase as the bushes mature. The company has until now been focussing on the domestic market. This season it will also airfreight blueberries to the UK and will do some seafreight trials.

The variety grown has been tested for shelf life of 42 days, which would allow exports via seafreight. The variety has been bred by “Early Blue”. United Exports is the exclusive licensee for South Africa, North & South America. The berries are currently being marketed under the “OZ blueberries” brand.

For more information contact: [email protected]

Publication date: 9/29/2014
Author: Nichola Watson
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com


FreshPlaza.com

Uruguayan blueberries to US markets will be better quality

Access conditions improved
Uruguayan blueberries to US markets will be better quality

The US Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) approved a treatment for the blueberries that Uruguay exports to that country, a decision that will increase the confidence that American customers have on the fruit’s quality and that will help that market to be more sustainable.

Horacio Ozer Ami, President of the Union of Producers and Exporters of Fruit and Vegetable from Uruguay (Uprefruy), confirmed the news and said that this authorization will allow them to fumigate the fruit in the place of origin at 15°C instead of 21°C, which will ostensibly improve the quality of the fruit.

Yesterday, the US Embassy released a statement that said, “APHIS had published in the Federal Register a notice of availability of a document on the evaluation of treatments on fumigation of blueberries,” something that the fruit export industry from Uruguay had been asking for a long time.

The new protocol considers additional treatment for the fumigation of blueberries with methyl bromide to combat the Mediterranean and South American fruit flies.

Ozer Ami said that this stems from an initiative by Argentine producers, backed by and with an economical contribution from Upefruy, which led to a series of tests in Tucuman, at a cost of US $ 60, 000; the results of which satisfied US authorities.

Source: Elobservador.com.uy

Publication date: 6/25/2013


FreshPlaza.com

TransFresh introduces Tectrol Storage Solutions for fresh blueberries

TransFresh Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of Chiquita Brands, has adapted its flagship technology, Tectrol Modified Atmosphere Packaging System, which is widely used to provide protection to strawberries in transit, to meet specific needs of the rapidly growing blueberry market.

“We had various shippers coming to us” asking to use the Tectrol system for pallets of blueberries to be kept in storage for two to four weeks, Rich Macleod, vice president of the TransFresh Pallet Division. said in an interview with The Produce News. “We said, ‘Sure, it sounds like a great idea to us,’” and initially used the same system that is being used for strawberries. “But what we learned is that if you are going to store product in pallet bags and store it in an effective modified atmosphere, your technology must be much more precise, much more concise and much more stable.”

Transfresh-Rich-MacleodRich MacleodRecognizing that simply using the same technology that works for strawberries in transit did not meet the needs of the blueberry industry, “we backed up and said, ‘Time out! Let’s take our blinders off,” said Macleod. So the Tectrol team took a fresh look at the technology. “As soon as we did that, we started getting a series of creative ideas from my team,” and specifically from Reilly Rhodes, TransFresh Tectrol business manager for fresh blueberries, who spearheaded the multi-year development project, as to how things could be done differently.

“It was an incredibly valuable lesson,” Macleod said.

“To develop the unique Tectrol Storage Solution for fresh blueberries, TransFresh looked more closely at storage needs versus shipping needs,” according to a TransFresh press release.

While the strawberry application required high-volume capability on the order of 300 pallets a day in a large facility, working in the range of 100 units a day in a blueberry facility would keep everybody “pretty happy,” Macleod said. “That allowed us to modify our technology.”

The “A-ha” moment, as Rhodes called it, came when the development team decided to try turning the pallet-sealing method quite literally on its head, according to the release.

Rather than pull a pallet bag over the top of the pallet and seal it with tape to a sheet of plastic placed under the stack of trays on the pallet, they tried inverting the bag and pulling it up around the pallet, then sealing it across the top, said Macleod. “As soon as we did that, our seal technology became virtually 100 percent effective.”

Once the sealing system was redesigned, “we married the redesigned seal and bag with the Apio BreatheWay technology,” Rhodes said in the release. Apio is a subsidiary of Landec Corp.

By having achieved precise control over the seal and then combining it with the predictable breathability of the BreatheWay membrane technology, “we have created a package that has a stable atmosphere” with stable, predictable levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide, Macleod said. Blueberry customers who want to store pallets of blueberries “to manage the markets now have a tool that appears to be working beyond their wildest dreams.

The development of the Tectrol Storage Solution for fresh blueberries was “a multi-year research and development,” according to the release. It resulted in “a sealed package system with adjustable oxygen transfer rates that react dynamically to changes in temperature and berry respiration for more reliable fresh blueberry storage.”

“What’s remarkable about the Tectrol Storage Solution for fresh blueberries is that the innovative zip-sealed pallet system combined with the patented breathable membrane allows just the right amount of oxygen transfer needed by the fruit, resulting in greater atmosphere control than previously possible and a virtually fool-proof packaging operation,” Macleod said in the release. “Customers who may have struggled in the past to meet the specific atmosphere needs of fresh blueberries are now finding they have a new solution available with higher consistency and a more stable atmosphere for greater storage reliability.”

Macleod further commented that customers may now have much more confidence in their storage solutions by being able to more effectively match supplies with market demand. TransFresh expects that its new storage solution can be adapted to other commodities such as fresh cherries and grapes.

“Domestic markets have sold 15 percent more blueberries this year than last and represent a fast-growing berry segment,” according to the release. “As these markets have grown, the demand for a more effective storage solution has accelerated. Because blueberries are grown in a variety of countries and districts, and varieties tend to have steep production peaks, the ability to hold blueberries in modified or controlled atmosphere conditions helps to smooth out the bumps in market supply and demand. A pallet-sized atmosphere package such as the Tectrol Storage Solution gives suppliers the flexibility to market a quality product through the peaks and valleys of the distribution system.”

The Produce News | Today’s Headlines – The Produce News – Covering fresh produce around the globe since 1897.

Freezing blueberries improves antioxidant availability

Blueberries pack a powerful antioxidant punch, whether eaten fresh or from the freezer, according to South Dakota State University graduate Marin Plumb.

Anthocyanins, a group of antioxidant compounds, are responsible for the color in blueberries, she explains. Since most of the color is in the skin, freezing the blueberries actually improves the availability of the antioxidants.

The food science major from Rapid City, who received her bachelor’s degree in December, did her research as part of an honors program independent study project.

“Blueberries go head to head with strawberries and pomegranates in antioxidant capacity,” said professor Basil Dalaly, Plumb’s research adviser. In addition, blueberries are second only to strawberries, in terms of the fruits Americans prefer.

Blueberries are beneficial for the nervous system and brain, cardiovascular system, eyes and urinary tract, Dalaly explained. “Some claim it’s the world’s healthiest food.”

The United States produces nearly 84 percent of the world’s cultivated blueberries, an estimated 564.4 million pounds of blueberries in 2012, according to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center.

Since blueberries are frozen soon after they are picked, “they are equal in quality to fresh,” Plumb explained. She analyzed the anthocyanin content of blueberries frozen for one, three and five months and found no decrease in antioxidants over fresh berries.

The leaching that occurs from freezing actually increased the anthocyanin concentration, noted Plumb. “The ice crystals that form during freezing disrupt the structure of the plant tissue, making the anthocyanins more available.”

Antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, eliminate free radicals, which are produced through common biological reactions within the body and outside factors such as the sun, pesticides and other pollutants, Dalaly explained. If left to roam free, these free radicals can attack DNA, proteins and lipids resulting in cellular changes that lead to development of diseases such as cancer.

“They have a domino effect,” Dalaly said. “That is why we need to consume at least seven to nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day.”

He teaches a course on phytochemicals — the naturally-occurring chemical compounds in fruits and vegetable, many of which have the potential to boost the immune system and impact diseases, such as cancer and heart disease. His advice is simple: “the greener, or redder, the better.”

Plumb called her undergraduate research project “a very good experience,’ noting that she learned to both ask and answer questions such as “why is this happening this way?” One of the surprises was that she had to use blueberries from Canada and Argentina because they were in season when she did her experimental work.

Plumb concluded: “Blueberries are a great food, very good for you.”

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by South Dakota State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Agriculture and Food News — ScienceDaily

Port of Miami receives first shipment of Peruvian blueberries

Port of Miami receives first shipment of Peruvian blueberries

PortMiami announced today that the first direct shipment of Peruvian blueberries arrived at the port, ready for immediate distribution. The shipment, delivered on APL Lines, is part of PortMiami’s successful cold treatment pilot program authorized by the United States Department of Agriculture. 

PortMiami’s cold treatment pilot program began last October and has opened a new trade route between Peru and Miami by allowing the direct import of cold treatment grapes and blueberries directly to Miami.  

“PortMiami is very pleased at the arrival of this inaugural shipment from Peru,” said Port Director Bill Johnson. “This is great news for shippers and consumers alike, as using PortMiami extends shelf life and gets fruit rapidly to consumers.”

PortMiami is the closest U.S. port to the fruit-growing regions of the Americas and provides a direct link to the southeastern U.S.  Time is money when it comes to perishable goods and using newly-opened routes via PortMiami ensures the most efficient delivery of goods to markets along the eastern seaboard and into America’s heartland.  As a part of this new pilot, produce from Peru that arrived at PortMiami has been sent to markets such as Atlanta, Maryland and Chicago.

Pat Compres and Maria Bermudez of Advance Customs Brokers & Consulting agree:  “It’s a great opportunity for the produce industry in general. With this, come other avenues for shipping and the opening of possible new markets. We worked hard with our partners in Peru to bring the product to Miami and are thrilled to be part of this new and exciting program.”

The pilot program is a great addition to protocols that expedite the processing of perishables through the Port. Using PortMiami as a perishables gateway allows the distribution of goods to market more quickly than many Northeastern ports, which often face congestion challenges and winter weather delays.

For more information please visit www.miamidade.gov/portmiami.

Publication date: 3/18/2014


FreshPlaza.com