Long-term preservation of fresh produce

Project already available• Protected by patent
Sealed 600-liter box pallet equipped with selective permeability membranes, with automatic atmosphere control (3% oxygen / 3% CO2) for the long-term preservation of any type of fresh living produce (fruit, vegetables, flowers, mushrooms, etc.).
UMI market research for fresh produce preservation

Market benefits

  • Extends the time that fresh living produce can be stored
  • Controlled atmosphere equivalent to that of large storage rooms, but without any large pieces of equipment required
  • Compatible with any volume or type of produce
  • Flexible: can be picked on request using several box pallets
  • Sealed, opaque and stackable box pallet

Issue

Once picked, fresh produce still continues to respire for some time after. This respiration is responsible for the ageing and degradation of the produce, and it is thus this that producers seek to limit in order to maximize the period for which the produce can be stored:
– by storing at low temperatures,
– by reducing the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere, whilst limiting the quantity of carbonic (toxic) gas.

It has been found that the optimal atmosphere for the storage of fresh living produce should contain 3% O2, 3 to 4% maximum CO2, with the rest composed of nitrogen. This type of controlled atmosphere is normally only available over the long-term in large storage rooms many meters squared in size, equipped with O2 and CO2 adsorbers, nitrogen generators, etc.
These large controlled atmosphere rooms are really only suitable for large volumes, and they are fairly inflexible as to their use, as all of the produce to be stored inside must be loaded or unloaded in one batch (with intermediate picking simply not possible).
These controlled atmosphere rooms are also limited to crops whose “natural” period of preservation is sufficient to allow the entire room to be stocked (mainly apples).

Solution

We have developed a new box pallet that enables any type of fresh living produce to be stored (fruit, vegetables, flowers, mushrooms, etc.), regardless of the volumes concerned. The lid of the box pallet is equipped with selective permeability membranes that are able to automatically control (without the use of large pieces of equipment such as adsorbers and generators) the internal atmosphere of the box pallet to maintain the optimum storage conditions for fresh living produce: 3% O2, 3% CO2, nitrogen. Its ability to preserve fresh produce is equivalent to that of large atmosphere-controlled storage rooms. Our solution is much more flexible use:
– possibility to store smaller quantities, which makes it usable for any type of fresh living produce,
– possibility to store large quantities in multiple box pallets, and to only pick certain pallets as needed without impacting the storage conditions of the remaining produce.

We are currently looking for partners to commercialize and distribute our box pallet in local and international markets.

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