Softripe is an entirely new way to think about ripening fruit. Conventional style ripening rooms are used throughout the UK and the design of these has remained relatively unchanged through the years. The typical “UK design” room will be designed and built for a specific type of fruit; banana ripening rooms (first pallet in, last pallet out) aren’t wide enough for ripening avocados or other stone fruit, where pallets tend to reach optimum condition at different times. Issues such as reliance on human intervention for colour monitoring of bananas, flesh pressure of stone fruit and other factors requiring constant supervision and management of the ripening process, have led to the evolution of the innovative ‘Softripe’ process.
The Softripe system revolutionises the ripening process by ‘communicating’ with the physiological state of the fruit and is therefore able to make continual adjustments to ensure optimal conditions are met (temperature, C2H4, CO2 and O2 levels). This in turn prevents stress and excess use of gases.
The ripening process is fully controlled, and the amount of time required to ripen will be determined by the fruit itself. Fruit is ripened more evenly, in the best possible way and gives the best quality results.
- The basic ripening process is fully automatic and safe. For example, if bananas being ripened have temperature damage from transportation, the system will alert you
- No human intervention required for colour monitoring during the basic ripening; after two days operatives can enter the room and control the fruit if required
- Fewer staff required to manage the ripening process
- Fruit is more digestible because of minimal ethylene concentrations and avoidance of fermentation
- No need for expensive grade-out of unripe fruit and reloading of this into a chamber
- All fruit will ripen evenly, and is higher quality in terms of sugar production and taste
- Firmer fruit with a longer shelf life, resulting in more consistent stock availability and minimal wastage
- Fruit can be “suspended” under optimum CA-conditions after ripening to allow pinpoint “Just in Time” order fulfilment with fully retained “post-despatch” shelf life
- The ripening process itself is up to 50% quicker (typically 30-40%), saving on energy costs
- The room will work for any fruit ripening – you don’t need different designs for bananas, pears, avocados or other stone fruit
- The use of reclaimed heat for the ripening process offers large savings on energy usage
Softripe relies on a gas tight chamber construction and control atmosphere technology to ensure that the process is fully reliable. This offers a secondary benefit: the stores can also be used for traditional controlled atmosphere storage for fruits such as blueberries and strawberries