Thursday, August 11, 2011

Some Produce Just Doesn’t Mix – Load Compatibility – Part 1

Many shipments of fresh fruits and vegetables are what is known in the industry as “mixer loads,” meaning there is a variety of product in the trailer. When preparing mixer loads of varying commodities, many factors must be considered in order to ensure that the products can be safely shipped in a single trailer. Most importantly, odor absorption tendencies, temperature, relative humidity, ethylene sensitivity, and special packaging/equipment requirements top the list as things to consider when dealing with any produce load, and become even more critical on mixer loads.

Today, let’s take a look at the odor absorption tendencies. Below are the most crucial notes for odor absorption as per the industry recognized authority on the subject, the University of California – Davis. The notes below advise on what products should not be mixed in order to avoid odor absorption.

1. Odors from apples and pears are absorbed by cabbage, carrots, celery, figs, onions, and potatoes
2. Avocado odor is absorbed by pineapple.
3. Celery absorbs odor from apple, carrot, and onion.
4. Citrus absorbs odor from strongly scented fruits and vegetables.
5. Ginger odor is absorbed by eggplant.
6. Sulfur dioxide released from the pads that are used to ship table grapes will be absorbed and damage other produce.
7. Green onion odor is absorbed by fig, grape, corn, mushroom, and rhubarb.
8. Leek odor is absorbed by apple, pear, citrus, and celery.
9. Onion odor is absorbed by apple, pear, citrus, and celery.
10. Pepper odor is absorbed by avocado, pineapple, and beans.

It is important to keep these notes in mind, to avoid issues such as pineapples with odors of avocado, or apples with odors of onions!! Odor absorption is just one consideration that must be taken into account for the successful shipping of fresh fruits and vegetables. Stay tuned for more on this series!

Have something to add, or valued experience with shipping mixer loads?? Please share!

References: Accessed on Aug 11, 2011.

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