The shelf life of citrus and other fruit and vegetables is the limiting factor when exporting fresh produce. Citrosol, a Valencian company, rolled out its extensive catalog of post-harvest solutions at the recent Fruit Logistics 2019 fair in Germany; an innovative package of solutions allowing exporters to fulfil market demands – even their more distant markets – with enhanced reliability, mitigating claims and delivering withfood safety intact.
Citrocide® is revolutionizing the organic segment
Among the comprehensive range of post-harvest tools Citrosol brought to the Messe in Berlin, Citrocide® systems stand out, and have recently led to a de facto revolution among organic operators given the limited tools available to assist them. The new scope that Citrosol has opened up for them with the hygienic washing of their produce, is outlined by Martín Mottura, the company’s precision post-harvest manager: “Year on year, our customers add to the number of kilos of produce washed with Citrocide® as a result of their expansion, largely thanks to the contribution of our systems that allow them to service new markets, as well as consolidate those already being supplied. In addition, more and more exporters are coming on line and those that stand out are those dedicated to “bio” products, as Citrocide® is authorized for use on certified organic produce”.
The authorization of Citrocide’s use in organic agriculture is drawing in fruit and vegetable producers facing decay difficulties, as the “bio” producer’s profile implies that there are fewer tools to combat decay in the field at their disposal. In this sense, Citrocide® systems have the added benefit of controlling post-harvest decay without leaving any type of residue.
Although these systems have been developed for the hygienic washing of products such as pepper, tomato, avocado and peeled garlic, their use is currently being expanded to include mango, persimmon, sweet potato, cherry and minimally processed fresh cut produce (cut leaves, carrot and baby leaf).
“There are numerous and wide ranging requests coming to us for us to explore the possibility of applying Citrocide® technology to other fruits and vegetables. Over the past year, the level of consultations has been such that we have had to prioritize particular fruit and vegetable produce on which we are working to develop a hygienic wash based on Citrocide®”, said Martín Mottura, referring to the aforementioned produce.
Easy kit® grows and internationalizes
The Easy kit® portable laboratory, which allows on-site analysis to be undertaken by non-technically qualified personnel in just 40 minutes, has completed its first year, exceeding all expectations. Its market segment has expanded and the number of fungicides it can measure will be added to shortly. Thiabendazole will soon join Imazalil, Pyrimethanil and Orthophenylphenol in water, waxes and on the fruit. “This will make Easy Kit® an even more comprehensive and versatile instrument for the control and monitoring of residues throughout the fruit’s value chain,” assured Juanjo Ferrandis, manager of this innovation.
In its first year of marketing, Easy Kit® has been very well received, its use cutting across all areas. Easy Kit® is being used not just by the packing houses, but also by intermediaries and supermarkets, the juice industry and even inspection services. As for its deployment on a geographical level, Easy Kit® is currently present in seven countries, where its reception has been magnificent, as in many countries, access to external laboratories is not always easy. Back home, in Spain, the balance of this first year is very positive; it is already being used by customers from Tarragona, Castellón, Murcia and Valencia.
“Customers appreciate that Easy Kit® allows them to prevent problems and mitigate complaints arising from inadequate residues, both where there is too much and too little, as it allows measurement of the fungicidal residue on their fruit almost in real time” said Juanjo Ferrandis, “another highly valued use is the control of the waste water discharged from the packinghouse, making it possible to ensure the absence of fungicidal residues; and thus comply with the legislation and avoid contaminating the environment ”.
The fresh cut range is opening up new horizons
Fruit Logística is the benchmark fair for the minimally processed fruit and vegetable sector. More than 500 companies related to the fresh cut sector meet at the German fair among them processors, input suppliers and machinery manufacturers. Included in the latter is Kronen GmbH, Citrosol’s strategic partner in the aqUAFRESH project (http://aquafreshproject.eu), also exhibiting in Berlin.
The project, which anticipates the release of a commercial washing machine to the market at the end of 2019, will provide the fresh cut industry with a comprehensive solution for the washing of minimally processed fruit and vegetables, providing the sector with an alternative to current, chlorine based, systems, which is not only technically feasible, but economically efficient and environmentally sustainable, guaranteeing food safety.
Citrosol at Fruit Logística 2019
Fruit Logística is an unmissable event for Citrosol, its customers and its distributors. Countless meetings and encounters take place over just three days. February is an ideal month for planning both the start of the season for exporters in the southern hemisphere and the marketing of late varieties in the northern hemisphere. Each, one as much as the other, require the most appropriate post-harvest treatments.
“This is where Citrosol adds value for its customers, with consistent homogeneity in our application, measurement and verification, and with innovation in our products and equipment. In short: post-harvest precision”, summarized Inma Navarro, technical-commercial director of the company.
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