Our fruit and vegetables will be on customers plates from New York to Japan. Our high quality products must be preserved throughout the journey, from field to fork. We call this the cold chain. An important part of this cold chain is the packaging material for pallets, I would like to tell you more about that.
The material the pallets full of fresh vegetables are packed in is an important part of the cold chain to guarantee the quality of the products. You can imagine that the weather during the trip varies enormously, these temperature differences do not benefit the quality of the fresh vegetables and fruits. BE Fresh has recently tested, invested and switched to this new packaging material in order to maintain our high quality standards.
What is different about the new packaging material? There is no longer any room for warm(er) air to access the products. How? The foil cover that is now used is made out of one piece. A mat is placed on the bottom of the pallet, so warm air cannot enter from below either. The cold products are stacked onto that bottom cover. On top of the products a cardboard plate with ice packs is placed, these cooling elements block the radiation from the sun. The cover is slid over the pallet of products. With the protective carton corners, straps and tape, we close the entire pallet, in fact creating a mobile refrigerator. The foil is more compact, because it has a higher density. This higher isolation value of the packaging material ensures that the coolness of the cold products is used and therefore less sensible for external influences.
But more is being done
Cold products such as baby leaves, different types of lettuce and soft fruits are extremely sensitive to temperature differences. It is important to minimize disturbances in the cold chain. Our new warehouse and the processes in the BE Fresh warehouse have been specially designed to keep cold products at the right temperature to maintain the good quality.
- The pallets are assembled in our 1,500m2 warehouse on a temperature of 2 degrees Celsius.
- There is a strict temperature check on the loading vehicle.
- The cold pallets are stored as long as possible in the cold warehouse before dispatch.
Then the pallets continue their way to the airport and the plane. The thermometers’ mercury at the airport of the destination can even reach 50 degrees Celsius, so the mobile refrigerator must then do its work; keep the temperature of the pallet as cool as possible.
Results of the test
It is proven the quality of the products remain intact. Below you can see a table of temperature differences between the old method and the new method. Wow!
|Location of the products||Old packaging||New packaging|
|BE Fresh warehouse||3 degrees Celsius||2 degrees Celsius|
|Luxembourg airport||7 to 8 degrees Celsius||2 to 3 degrees Celsius|
|Singapore airport||12 to 14 degrees Celsius||5 degrees Celsius|