Published in Applied Research
The quality of fresh fruits and vegetables in mixed cargo exported by sea


Global agricultural exports are expected to increase in the future. Sea transportation facilitates the carrying of an incomparably large amount of cargo for a much lower cost than by air freight. However, sea transportation takes much longer and the produce quality is inferior to that transported by air. Accordingly, it is necessary to develop technologies to create a more suitable environment for sea transportation. 

For this reason, a method was devised by Japanese Researchers in which all fruit and vegetables packaged for domestic distribution are wrapped from the outside of the package as additional packaging with a more versatile film, and an actual export demonstration using this method was conducted in this study published in Packaging Technology and Science journal. Namely, two sets of 28 different kinds of fruits and vegetables were prepared, one that was wrapped in additional packaging and the other with ordinary packaging. These sets were then exported from Japan's Shimizu Port to Singapore as mixed cargo. Following transportation, instrumental analysis and sensory evaluation were performed to compare the quality of the additionally packaged produce with that of the ordinarily packaged produce. This additional packaging greatly reduced the loss of fresh weight of Chinese cabbage, lettuce, cabbage and Japanese white radish. Moreover, the additional packaging reduced the drying of "Shine Muscat" grape stems. However, some produce such as peaches deteriorated in quality due to slight changes in gas concentration. For many items, additional packaging can be a low-cost option for maintaining quality when exporting fruits and vegetables packaged for routine domestic distribution. 

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