No one involved in the fresh produce sector can claim it is an easy or straightforward business. Plant disease, mold and fungus pose a daily risk for growers and packers, potentially leading to costly withdrawals and even more damaging losses in reputation. When it comes to JBT’s extensive line of Fresh Produce Technologies (FPT), the emphasis is very much on delivering a level of service and expertise that helps produce companies get their products to market in the best condition possible.
Charlene Jewell, JBT’s FPT Research and Development Manager, explains that two of JBT’s most enduring FPT product ranges – Endura-Fresh™ coatings and Freshgard® decay control – are not only effective, but also benefit from an unequalled support network.
An edible fruit coating, the Endura-Fresh line can be formulated for the requirements of specific types of produce, improving product appearance, shelf-life, and guard against weight loss. “For example, with citrus fruits, a shine is desired, so we develop coatings that have a nice shine,” says Jewell. “In all cases, moisture loss is generally protected with the coating. In the case of tropical fruits, it could help control the rate of ripening.” Whatever the specific needs of the product are, coatings are formulated to help meet those needs.
The Freshgard range comprises decay control and sanitation systems that work to control fruit decay, as well as help destroy organisms in the wider environment so they don’t infect the fruit. Typical citrus diseases such as green mold, blue mold, and sour-rot can be treated, as well as grey mold and some other diseases commonly found on other fruits. Endura-Fresh coatings can also be a carrier for some Freshgard decay control products. “Often Freshgard products are applied in the coating, and that’s a nice way to apply because you can really control how much you are applying,” she explains. “As much coating goes on, a corresponding amount of fungicide is applied.”
However, Jewell emphasizes that what makes the products really stand out is the level of service and expertise behind them from JBT, which makes growers and packers receive optimum benefits from the systems. “Sometimes there’s not a lot of differentiation between products on the market. JBT’s strength is in delivering service and expertise in coatings, decay control, and application systems.”