Softripe® For Avocados
Better quality, tastier, longer life and more energy-efficient, with huge cost savings
Showcased by JD Cooling at Fruit Logistica 2020 in Berlin, the fruit industry’s leading trade show, successful trials using the award-winning Softripe® ripening technology has resulted in an avocado with a much better taste and more enjoyable texture.
Sweeter, nuttier, smoother, and creamier, Softripe® ripened avocados scored higher in independent consumer and expert trials than conventionally ripened ones. 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 – meaning less waste and a more energy-efficiently produced fruit!
Softripe® has transformed the landscape of avocado ripening. This is the only system in the world able to control ethylene, CO2, and oxygen levels by communicating directly with the fruit, and grants suppliers the freedom to remove the post ripening grading process and destructive testing.
Key to the technology is:
- The lack of stress caused to the avocados
- 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
The UK’s First Softripe® Avocado Facility – Worldwide Fruit The UK’s First Softripe® Avocado Facility – Worldwide Fruit
Concept, development, and delivery
In October 2018, JD Cooling Group came across a Dutch manufacturer of controlled atmosphere equipment who mentioned that they were supplying some of their hardware to a company in Brazil who were developing a new type of ripening technology for bananas. We sent our Ripening Specialist (James Tumber) to investigate and identified that the system may have massive benefits for avocado and other stone fruit being imported to the UK.
We reached out to one of our clients, Worldwide Fruit Ltd (WFL), a like-minded company who strive to think outside the box to help reduce waste within food supply chains.
Whilst the system was being trialled for use with bananas and seemed to offer another level of technology, it was not proven to be effective for the ripening of avocados and other stone fruit, after the long cross sea journey to Europe.
After visits to a Swiss CO-OP to view the technology working on bananas and then a further development trip to Belem in Brazil to test the technology on stone fruit, we were encouraged by the potential of Softripe®. With WFL keen to support the idea of UK trials, we progressed with a plan to ripen avocados via the Softripe® system. However, it was clear that significant in-depth work would be needed to allow the technology to work in harmony with the natural characteristics of the avocado.
We put together a proposal to build a one-off test chamber at the WFL facility in Spalding, to develop the Softripe® system on avocados alongside the traditional ripening systems already in place at the WFL facility. The results of the test chamber were successful and led to the installation of six new Softripe® rooms for avocados.
The new facility
In September 2020, JD Cooling and Worldwide Fruit unveiled the new Softripe® avocado ripening facility in Spalding, Lincolnshire. A total of 132 pallet spaces using Softripe® technology are now in operation with fruit available from retailers nationally.
A giant leap forward in ripening technology, the industry award-winning Softripe® has brought major benefits to WFL’s operation including increased yields produced at significantly reduced overall costs. A more efficient, streamlined process – including the removal of secondary handling – has resulted 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 will effectively pay for itself.
Softripe® is a technological investment and Worldwide Fruit Ltd expects:
- 40% less energy usage
- Removal of secondary handling
- Reduced wastage and shortened ripening cycles for greater yields
- A new level of fruit-quality and shelf life
- An attractive payback on total investment through reduced operational cost
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.