Fruit & Vegetables
Extending the Shelf Life of Fruit and Vegetables.
Food safety is vitally important to the food processing industry since all food items are extremely vulnerable to contamination. The uncontrolled growth of microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi and protozoa, results in food spoilage, which reduces both the shelf life and yield of the product. The Food industry always faces a challenging situation in the minimising of microbial contamination, giving the customer the very best product they can buy, whilst protecting their narrow profit margins in a highly competitive market.
However, with the investment and effort made in producing quality products, it makes sense to take the appropriate steps to protect the product. Contamination can happen at any time during harvesting, processing, storage or transportation. For many years, the traditional treatment of many fresh fruit and vegetable products was to wash them in either a ‘bath’ or flume, with a liquid sterilant, e.g., chlorinated water. Unfortunately, the processes themselves result in damage or ‘bruising’ to the product. This reduces yield and increases the cost of getting fruits to market.
Saturn’s DiscMaster™ and DiscMatic™ Spraying Systems have proven extremely adept at solving the issues of applying a very fine precision spray of sterilant to the products, as they pass through the machine, whilst ensuring that product handling problems are minimised. The ‘all over’ sterilant spray capability has proved particularly successful in the processing of berry fruits, such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, grapes, blueberries, blackcurrants and redcurrants. Peppers, tomatoes, carrots, and even ‘Portobello’ mushrooms have benefited from the treatment, where the application of an organic sterilant has successfully been shown to extend the shelf life of these products. Notwithstanding the benefits to the supplier and the consumer, in knowing products are ‘safe for consumption’.
Such has been the success of this development that many suppliers of fruit and vegetable products to the major supermarket chains have installed the Saturn Spraying Systems’ machines in their production lines.