Environmental Collaboration Win at Industry Awards

JD COOLING | Softripe | Awards

We are delighted to announce that JD Cooling Group has won the Environmental Collaboration Award at this year’s RAC Cooling Awards, alongside Softripe, Frigotec GmbH and Worldwide Fruit Limited for the UK’s first installation of the revolutionary Softripe ripening system.



Furthermore, JD Cooling were ‘Highly Commended’ within the World Refrigeration Cold Chain category for Softripe.



Judges commented, “The winners present a fine example of partnership between the refrigeration industry, technology specialists and the client. Judges liked the fact that the solution reduced energy usage while improving the end products’ quality, and reduced waste through reducing damage to the fruit – and the future for the UK fruit industry. We like the dedication of JD Cooling to provide full-service provision to their client under difficult circumstances.”


Softripe is a new ripening technology that uses controlled atmosphere conditions to ripen fruit without stress – monitoring its respiration and applying the exact, controlled atmosphere that the fruit requires to ripen to its optimum condition.


Softripe has reinvented a process, based on forced temperature changes and distribution that has not changed fundamentally for many years.



L-r: John Dye (Chairman, JD Cooling Group), Mark Everett (Business Unit Director, Worldwide Fruit), Ilona Stylinska (Softripe Manager, Worldwide Fruit), Neal Collishaw (Operations Director, Worldwide Fruit), James Tumber (Specialist Services & Ripening Director, JD Cooling Group).


Although JD Cooling previously evolved the technology with EC fans, glycol and heat recovery to ripen using waste heat from the cooling process, Softripe has enabled us to take a big step forward in ripening technology.


By combining lower temperatures with finite control of oxygen, carbon dioxide and ethylene, and adding in higher relative humidity and temperatures controlled according to exact needs to the fruit at each point within its ripening cycle, the overall result is less stress for the fruit and a ripening cycle of around 40 per cent shorter than the conventional process.


The RAC Cooling Awards, held virtually on Wednesday 5th December recognises the best of the refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump industry.


Congratulations to all the finalists and winners, it truly shows how amazing the industry is – creating solutions all whilst working amidst unprecedented restrictions in 2020.


For more information about Softripe here, or contact us on 01553 767 446, or info@jdcooling.com.

JD Cooling and Worldwide Fruit Launch State-Of-The-Art Softripe Facility

JD COOLING | Softripe

A technological investment that sets new benchmarks for avocado and fruit ripening, Worldwide Fruit Ltd expects:

  • Better product for customers
  • Improved environmental impact through 40% less energy usage
  • Reduced wastage and shortened ripening cycles for greater yields
  • A new level of fruit-quality and shelf life
  • An attractive payback on total investment

JD Cooling Group, the UK’s leading independent supplier of temperature control systems, and Worldwide Fruit Ltd (WFL) has unveiled its new Softripe® avocado ripening facility in Spalding, Lincolnshire. A total of 132 pallet spaces using Softripe® technology are now in operation with fruit set to arrive nationally in stores in October 2020.

A giant leap forward in ripening technology, the industry award-winning Softripe® will bring great benefits to WFL’s operation. It delivers a more efficient, streamlined process – including the reduction of secondary handling – will result in greater consistency and quality of the ripened fruit, coupled with far lower wastage through the reduced need for destructive testing and significant energy reduction. Softripe® amounts to an investment that delivers huge benefits for the retailer and consumer, and which will effectively pay for itself.


Best of all, and as proven in multiple independent taste tests and shelf life trials, Softripe® avocados have an enhanced quality, flavour, and on-shelf life that are ultimately more attractive to retailers by providing a better consumer experience.


Speaking at the official ribbon cutting, John Dye, Chairman JD Cooling Group, said: “It is not very often something comes along in our industry that is game changing, but Softripe® is most certainly that, and indeed the biggest thing to happen in the ripening sector for decades. This facility is going to be a total revolution for the ripe and ready marketplace.”

Softripe® is patented and is the only ripening process that uses a completely gas-tight chamber together with CO2 absorbers and nitrogen generators to enable optimum levels of ethylene, CO2 and oxygen all to be fully controlled. This allows the unique Softripe® software algorithms to establish the optimum conditions for perfect ripening every time.

Softripe® effectively ‘listens and talks’ to the fruit through its respiration gases, adapting to its needs during the ripening cycle and guiding it through an optimum organic (biological) ripening process.


“There’s a lot of noise out there at the moment about other ripening systems, but Softripe® is the only one in the world that’s able to control ethylene, CO2 and oxygen levels by communicating directly with the fruit,“ Dye said, adding: “It also allows suppliers to remove their post ripening grading process and destructive testing and is the only system that can achieve such dramatic increases in shelf life.”


Key to the technology is:

  • The lack of stress caused to the fruit
  • The lower temperatures used
  • Finite control of oxygen, carbon dioxide and ethylene levels
  • Relative humidity levels being far higher
  • Total room environment being controlled according to the exact needs of the fruit at any single point within the cycle itself


Neal Collishaw, Operations Director at Worldwide Fruit Ltd, said: “Our key strategic direction is to deliver zero waste in all of our processes. Avocados are a notoriously difficult product to ripen in a traditional ripening system. Post-ripening, we still had variability amongst the raw material which can end up on the shelf, leading to consumer dissatisfaction. Softripe® now ensures we have a more consistent, superior product and has enabled us to remove the secondary grading from our processes. Along with the reduced ripening cycles, there are clear benefits to producers, distributors, retailers, and consumers.”

Distributed exclusively in the UK by JD Cooling, Softripe® technology has revolutionised the sector delivering benefit to business whilst aligning with calls for greater consideration on wastage, energy usage, and the environment.


To enquire about Softripe®, please contact JD Cooling Group on 01553 767446, or click here for more information.

Watch This Space…

JD COOLING | Softripe

The Ripening Revolution is getting closer.


An exciting milestone has been reached in the Softripe ripening revolution! Watch this space to see what appears behind the window in the coming weeks.


The hunt for the holy grail is over: a new process that is proving revolutionary for avocado ripening is now available on the UK

JD COOLING | Softripe

Written by Luisa Cheshire for the Fresh Produce Journal.


Temperature-control-systems specialist and exclusive UK ‘Softripe’ supplier, JD Cooling, has just won a contract to install the first British Softripe facility for international distributor Worldwide Fruit in Spalding.


The deal was struck during the Fruit Logistica trade show in Berlin in February after Worldwide Fruit successfully ripened 500,000 avocados using the new system in a trial room set up by JD Cooling.


Worldwide Fruit’s new Softripe facilities will be up and running in May, and used initially for avocados, revealed JD Cooling founder John Dye at the trade show.


Pictured (l to r): Mark Everett, business unit director of Worldwide Fruit Spalding; John Dye, group chairman of JD Cooling Group; and Sebastian Bulnes of El Parque – grower and supplier of Worldwide Fruit’s avocados ripened using the Softripe system


“Worldwide Fruit believes it is a game-changer for the avocado industry,” he says.


Softripe, the brand name for the new ripening technology developed by German fresh produce cooling and storing specialist Frigotec and Brazil-based Dr Valdir De Bortoli, a former Nasa scientist, is “revolutionary” for the avocado trade, according to Frigotec managing director Roland Wirth, because it results in evenly-ripened fruit.


“Softripe is unique in that it is able to communicate with the fruit, measuring its respiration activity,” Wirth explains. “Using complex algorithms, the system ‘talks’ to the fruit and guides it to its optimal biological ripeness, all without stressing the fruit. Thanks to this constant ‘dialogue’, the fruit tells the system when it is ripe.”


Specific data about the fruit is first input into the system, such as where it was grown and its variety, to generate its optimal ripening program. Then fruit is placed in a sealed chamber where sophisticated computer software constantly analyses the respiration rate of the fruit and varies air-flow for the ripening process accordingly. The result is homogenous ripening, says Wirth.


The computer-based system can not only predict the exact time the batch of fruit will be ready, but can also transform the chamber into a controlled-atmosphere-coldstore after the ripening process, keeping the fruits in a perfect, ripened condition for up to seven days, Wirth explains.


“The new ripening technology is revolutionary for consumers as well as fruit distributors because it will produce a better and more consistent fruit quality,” he says.


Because the Softripe program is tailored to every batch of fruit, ripening times are shorter than conventional processes, Dye explains. The Softripe system therefore uses around 40 per cent less energy; and, thanks to its ability to measure when the ripening process is complete, it does away with the need to manually test fruit at different stages, thereby cutting waste from the process. Heat used in the Softripe system is recovered and recycled, he adds.


“Although the system requires a considerable initial investment, we have demonstrated in trials that Softripe can take cost out of the ripening process,” says Dye. “It also means distributors can predict exactly when a consignment is ready for customer orders.”


Given the reliability of the process and the consistently ripe fruit it produces, Wirth believes it would hugely benefit UK avocado sales at retail level if Softripe ripened fruit was clearly identifiable with a Softripe sticker.


“We feel it would be a real advantage to retailers if consumers were informed that they are buying a ‘Softripe’ ripened avocado,” he says.


As well as avocados, the Softripe system is being successfully used on bananas, and has been tested on Brazilian mangoes, with fantastic results, says Dye. “We believe Softripe could deliver consumers a much better mango-eating experience too,” he says.


“It’s also good with Kaki/persimmons and other fruits like kiwifruit and papaya,” says Wirth.


Softripe’s story began with Brazilian banana producer Carlos Fava, who after many decades in the business felt frustrated with the imprecision and variability of the traditional fruit ripening process, Wirth explains.


At his wits’ end, about five years ago Fava approached Brazilian ex-Nasa scientist Dr Valdir de Bortoli with his dilemma to ask if a more accurate system could be developed.


De Bortoli believed so, and partnered with Frigotec to develop a commercial solution.


“I’ve been in this business all my life, but never before have we had such an exciting product to install. It’s a game-changer,” says Dye.


Softripe won silver in the Fruit Logistica Innovation Awards 2019.


As well as the UK, Softripe has installing partners in Europe, South America and Asia.


A special thanks goes to Luisa Cheshire for writing this piece for the Fresh Produce Journal / Fruitnet on Wednesday 11th March. Please visit: http://www.fruitnet.com/fpj/article/181126/ripening-revolution


Innovative Ripening Technology Confirmed for Worldwide Fruit

JD COOLING | Softripe

JD Cooling Group has today announced (05/02/2020) the installation of six Softripe® chambers and two new heat recovery chillers. A UK-first, the new system will be used for ripening avocados with the capacity for 132 pallets in total, equivalent to 220 pallets of conventional ripening due to shortened ripening times, at Worldwide Fruit’s Spalding site.


The award-winning Softripe® technology will provide a better quality and tasting fruit, and with a 40% shorter ripening cycle when compared to conventional ripening, energy efficiencies and overall through-put.


James Tumber, Specialist Services Director, JD Cooling, comments, “The first in our country, this evolutionary new Softripe® system is a leap forward for the UK fruit market. Results and consumer feedback from trials have been outstanding, with Softripe® avocados testing better than conventionally ripened ones across the board from taste, texture, quality consistency and shelf-life.


“This contract is also a true demonstration of our Group’s ability to provide a full in-house solution as well as 24/7 365 days a year support to make it easier for the customer.”

Pictured (l to r): Mark Everett, business unit director of Worldwide Fruit Spalding; John Dye, group chairman of JD Cooling Group; and Sebastian Bulnes of El Parque - grower and supplier of Worldwide Fruit's avocados ripened using the Softripe system

JD Cooling have been contracted by Worldwide Fruit to provide a full-service solution, with full installation, ongoing maintenance and specialist cleaning services. Work on the new project will commence this year on 11th February with the six Softripe® chambers estimated to be operational by mid-May 2020.


“We were impressed with the quality of avocados and are excited by the prospect of being the first provider to distribute Softripe® ripened avocados. We’ve worked with JD Cooling for a number of years and really like that they continue to introduce new innovations and work with us in partnership,” said Neal Collishaw, Operations Director, Worldwide Fruit.


Softripe® technology received Silver for the Fruit Logistica Innovation Award 2019 and is available exclusively in the UK through JD Cooling. Contact us on 01553 767 446 or info@jdcooling.com to find out more.

Taste a New Quality of Avocados at Fruit Logistica 2020

JD COOLING | Softripe

JD Cooling will introduce the world of fruit to new Softripe® avocados at Fruit Logistica, 5th – 7th February 2020, with tastings in Hall 27 / Stand E-11.


Ripened in the UK, successful trials in partnership have resulted in a superfruit with a much better taste and more enjoyable texture. Sweeter, nuttier, smoother and creamier, the Softripe® avocados scored higher in independent consumer and expert trials* than conventionally ripened avocados.


Furthermore, Softripe® avocados have both a longer shelf and post-purchase life whilst produced with a 40% shorter ripening cycle when compared to conventional ripening.


“We’re absolutely delighted with the results of the Softripe® avocado trials. Along with the bananas we launched Softripe® with, the fruit we’re able to produce is fantastic. The results are superb and proof that Softripe® is worth the investment. Especially when you consider the long-term benefits of improved yield and through-put along with a large reduction in waste fruit,” explains James Tumber, Specialist Services Director, JD Cooling.


Launched exclusively in the UK in 2019 by JD Cooling, the award-winning Softripe® technology has revolutionised ripening by effectively ‘talking’ to the fruit and adapting to its needs during the process as if it were on the tree. This stress-free process is what enhances quality and flavour to ultimately provide a better consumer experience.


John Dye, Group Chairman JD Cooling Group, “Innovating with our partners for the benefit of end-users is central to our work and Softripe® avocados is another great result of what we can achieve in partnership. We’re so pleased to be working alongside Frigotec GmBH on Softripe®. It’s an exciting time for us and the future of UK fruit growers and importers.”


Softripe® technology received Silver for the Fruit Logistica Innovation Award 2019 and is available exclusively in the UK through JD Cooling. Visit us in Hall 27 / Stand E-11 at Fruit Logistica 2020 or contact us on 01553 767 446 or info@jdcooling.com to find out more.

Softripe Launches New Website

JD COOLING | Softripe

We are delighted to see our award-winning partner Softripe®  launch their fantastic new website this week.


Softripe®, a Brazilian-German fruit ripening innovation, was developed by German company Frigotec GmbH and will revolutionise the way tropical fruit (bananas, avocados, mangoes and other stone fruit) is ripened. This allows a significant improvement in the quality of the fruit compared to conventional methods.


It was recently announced that JD Cooling Group became the exclusive UK and Ireland supplier of Softripe® technology. For more information about Softripe®, please visit their website here.

JD Cooling Visits Brazil to See Softripe’s Revolutionary Avocado & Tropical Fruit Ripening System in Action

JD COOLING | Softripe

Last week saw JD Cooling continue their work with the revolutionary Softripe ripening system with a trip to Brazil.


The trip was arranged with a number of potential ‘Softripe’ end users from around the world, including one of JD Cooling’s existing clients and JD Cooling’s Specialist Services Director James Tumber. This gave James the opportunity to spend time with the Softripe-team, Mr. De Bortoli and Mr. Einenkel to gain further high-level knowledge and training directly. As part of the visit, the delegates also took part in some advanced trials taking place as part of the continuing developments to refine Softripe specifically last week on stone fruit.


To find out more about Softripe and how it can revolutionise the way fruit is ripened, please visit: https://www.jdcooling.com/cooling/ripening-rooms/softripe/

LtoR – Mr. Einenkel (Softripe-Team-Germany), James Tumber (Specialist Services Director, JD Cooling), Mr. De Bortoli (Softripe-Team-Brazil)

A new technology that ripens fruit as if it’s still on the plant

JD COOLING | Softripe

JD Cooling Group, the UK’s largest independent supplier of bespoke cooling, power and control systems, has become the exclusive UK distributor of Softripe®, the award-winning ripening system.

The new technology revolutionises the ripening process for better quality and more natural tasting end-product. Softripe® will ensure that produce like bananas, avocados and mangoes are ripened to an end quality and taste that will enhance the consumer experience, ultimately increasing demand. Softripe “talks” to the fruit as if it is still on the tree. This stress-free process enhances quality and flavour and extends the shelf life of the produce. An additional feature of Softripe® is the ability for the manager to ‘suspend’ ripened fruit in prime condition, allowing fluctuating order trends to be met with minimal wastage.

The revolutionary process of adapting each ripening cycle to match the exact demands of the fruit, delivers added benefits such as reduced ripening periods of up to 50%, increasing output and delivering significant energy cost savings.

John Dye, Managing Director, comments, “This new deal with Softripe® is a really exciting time for JD Cooling and UK fruit importers. At a time when every ripening facility faces the challenges of labour and skills shortages, squeezed margins and pressure to reduce food waste, this system delivers multiple benefits across all of these areas. Combined with our extensive experience and expertise in delivering state-of-the-art cooling systems along with heat recovery technology, backed up by our nationwide service network of over 70 mobile engineers, JD Cooling and Softripe® look forward to changing the face of UK ripening as we move into the next decade and beyond.”

Softripe ripening technology received the silver award for the Fruit Logistica Innovation Award 2019 and is available exclusively in the UK through JD Cooling who are taking enquiries for the system now. The Group has five regional offices throughout the UK and offers a comprehensive range of services and solutions for bespoke ripening rooms.