New avocado ripening facility unveiled with Softripe.

This article first appeared in Fresh Produce Journal

Worldwide Fruit and JD Cooling have unveiled their new “game changing” avocado ripening facility in Spalding, Lincolnshire.

Softripe Tehcnology

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).

The new facility uses Softripe technology that’s able to produce better quality fruit thanks to computer atomsphere control, for a more efficient ripening process, with 40 per cent less energy use.

Avocados from the new facility will reach supermarkets in October.

JD Cooling chairman John Dye said independent taste trials of Softripe-stored fruit have demonstrated better quality, flavour and shelf life.

Speaking at the official ribbon cutting, Dye 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.

“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,

“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.”

 

Softripe is a patented 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 rooms

The new facility at Worldwide Fruit’s Spalding operations also delivers greater energy efficiency and more attractive fruit according to JD Cooling.

Neal Collishaw, operations director at Worldwide Fruit 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 among 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.”