Posts Tagged “bananas”

Trans-Atlantic Shipments Uses Carrier’s New EverFRESH Technology

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SINGAPORE  – Carrier Transicold, with Chiquita, successfully completed live cargo shipments for the new EverFRESH® active controlled atmosphere system, transporting fully loaded containers of bananas from Panama to the Netherlands. Carrier Transicold is a part of Carrier, a leading global provider of innovative heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC), refrigeration, fire, security and building automation technologies.

Chiquita shipped bananas using 40-foot, high-cube containers equipped with Carrier Transicold PrimeLINE® refrigeration units. The EverFRESH systems were programmed to maintain oxygen levels at 5% and carbon dioxide at 4%. Temperature, gas and humidity concentrations were monitored continuously throughout the 17-day shipments.

Significantly, the containers used in the shipments were not new and had some degree of air leakage due to normal wear and tear, making them more representative of typical containers used throughout the global fleet. Positive-pressures generated by the installed EverFRESH system helped offset issues related to leakage from the existing containers.

“Through multiple trials, the EverFRESH system delivered on its promise to create a controlled atmosphere balance that could be sustained throughout the voyage,” said Stefano Di Paolo, president, Great White Fleet, Chiquita. “The speed at which the EverFRESH system reduced oxygen levels to slow ripening and its ability to maintain high humidity were impressive.”

Jim Taeckens, senior product manager, Global Container Refrigeration, Carrier Transicold, said, “In the shipments, container humidity levels were maintained as high as 90%, a feat other active atmosphere control systems can struggle with, which can potentially lead to a loss of fruit moisture content. We are pleased to have had the opportunity to work with Chiquita on this trial, successfully demonstrating the EverFRESH system’s ability to protect and preserve their valuable cargo en route to consumers in Europe.”

Introduced in November 2019, Carrier Transicold’s new EverFRESH system builds on the first generation EverFRESH system introduced 25 years ago. Today’s EverFRESH system continues to help preserve the quality of perishables beyond what refrigeration alone can do by actively managing oxygen and carbon dioxide levels to slow respiration and the natural ripening of the commodity inside. Moreover, it does so more affordably than the previous EverFRESH system. As an active system, it generates nitrogen to more quickly and responsively displace oxygen, rather than relying on respiration alone to gradually reduce oxygen levels.

The new EverFRESH system will be available in the first quarter for Carrier Transicold PrimeLINE refrigeration systems equipped with the Micro-Link® 5 controller option. For more information, visit

About Carrier Transicold

Carrier Transicold helps improve transport and shipping of temperature-controlled cargoes with a complete line of equipment and services for refrigerated transport and cold chain visibility. For more than 50 years, Carrier Transicold has been an industry leader, providing customers around the world with advanced, energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable container refrigeration systems and generator sets, direct-drive and diesel truck units, and trailer refrigeration systems. Carrier Transicold is a part of Carrier, a leading global provider of innovative HVAC, refrigeration, fire, security and building automation technologies. For more information, visit Follow Carrier on Twitter: @SmartColdChain.

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The Bananas with an Edible Peel; Retail Food Inflation is Small

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AA3Bananas are always right at the top in surveys listing favorite fruits to eat. But now you can eat the banana peel – at least in Japan….Also, only a moderate increase in food prices is seen this year in the U.S.

Edibile Banana Peel

by Joe Dziemianowicz, NY Daily News

The brainchild of food scientists at a farm in Western Japan, the eat-it-all Mongee (pronounced mon-gay) banana derives from a frigid growing environment.

“Typically bananas only grow in tropical climates, but D&T Farms uses a method called ‘Freeze Thaw Awakening,’”

Mongee banana trees grow at -76 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, they’re thawed and replanted. As a result, fruit grows rapidly and are left with a lettuce-like skin.

The designer banana, reports, is “sweeter than regular bananas, with 24.8 grams of sugar, as opposed to the average 18.3 grams.

Retail Food Prices

Retail food prices will rise between 1 and 2 percent in 2018 after dropping 0.2 percent in 2017, predicts the USDA.

The USDA’s January 25 food price outlook report said retail food price inflation has been lower than average because of a stronger U.S. dollar which makes imported foods cheaper.

A high dollar also dampens U.S. exports, which increases domestic supply of food and put pressure on prices. Moderate increases in energy costs and shrinking retailer margins in 2017 may have held down food prices, according to the USDA.

For 2017, the report said retail prices for fresh fruits fell 1.1 percent from November to December but are up 2.1 percent compared with December 2016.

While banana prices rose in December, citrus prices dropped 6.1 percent and apple prices were 2.4 percent lower than in November. The USDA said fresh fruit prices rose 0.5 percent in 2017. For 2018, fresh fruit prices may rise 3 to 4 percent.

Fresh vegetable prices increased 1.3 percent from November to December,  and were 3.5 percent higher than in December 2016. For all of 2017, fresh vegetable prices decreased 0.1 percent. For 2018, fresh vegetable prices are expected to change between -0.5 to 0.5 percent.


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RipeLock Bananas Aim To Keep the Fruit Fresher

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by AgroFresh Solutions, Inc.

ripelock_bagboxPHILADELPHIA —  An innovation from AgroFresh is bringing new life to bananas — with RipeLock – a technology proven to help consistently keep high-quality bananas at the optimal color on display at retail. While it’s important for retailers to stay up on consumer demands for new fruit varieties and packaging options, the quality of flagship items, such as bananas, remain a key indicator for overall consumer perception of the produce department.

Retailers recognize that a limiting factor in sales and consumption is that bananas ripen too quickly. With the new RipeLock™ Quality System from AgroFresh, suppliers, ripeners and retailers now have the tools to deliver bananas with greater consumer appeal and a broader window of freshness. At the same time, shrink and markdowns can be reduced, facilitating sales and inventory management.

“A trend we’re watching is how consumers are looking for healthy snacks and innovative packaging options,” said Kevin Frye, RipeLock North American sales manager for AgroFresh. “These are also the qualities that make RipeLock bananas the perfect option for both on-the-go snacking and increased at-home consumption.”

“RipeLock enhances the banana’s natural ripening process to maintain their bright, yellow color, fresh taste, creamy texture and appealing look significantly longer than traditionally ripened bananas,” Frye said.

RipeLock helps increase the demand for quality produce.

A recent study by MMR Research Worldwide in United Kingdom reveals how RipeLock positively affects banana taste and appearance. In the study, seven out of ten consumers preferred the quality of RipeLock bananas.

“When retailers can stock more appealing, longer-lasting bananas, it not only translates into more banana sales, it’s been proven to drive overall produce sales,” Frye said. “This is because consumers feel confident in the quality and freshness of the other fruit in the store.”

Craig Stephen, a leader in the banana industry for more than 20 years and past Produce Marketing Association Board member, agrees.

“Produce managers that can consistently offer bananas at color stage 5 generate higher consumption and more repeat customers. Until now, that was not possible due to the risk of high shrink.”

RipeLock helps reduce food waste.

The MMR Research Worldwide study also demonstrates the ability of RipeLock to reduce waste by maintaining fruit longer at the optimal color and flavor — both in the store and in the home.

“In talking with banana consumers all over the world, they’ve expressed for years that the biggest unmet need is longer shelf-life, that bananas ripen too quickly, leading to under consumption,” Stephen said.

RipeLock adds flexibility to the supply chain
The longer shelf-life also gives retailers the ability to have consistent, high-quality fruit on display longer with less frequent restocking and without extra deliveries. And in most back-room environments, RipeLock reduces the need to ‘air stack’ boxes.

“Many non-traditional outlets, like coffee shops and convenience stores, are not offering fresh fruit, resulting in a big missed opportunity for sales. Longer-lasting RipeLock bananas can make servicing these non-traditional outlets simpler and more economical, and can lead to increased sales and consumption,” Frye said.

A recent independent study with consumers in the United Kingdom reveals how RipeLock positively affects banana taste and appearance — both key factors in buying decisions.


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Bananas Account for Over 50% of Fresh Fruit Imports.

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DSCN2926+1Bananas claim over 50 percent of the volume of fresh fruit imports,” said the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service.  Excluding bananas, fresh fruit imports rose from 12 percent of domestic consumption.

Bananas are sold the year around in the this country and rank number one in U.S. per capita fresh fruit consumption, followed by apples and oranges.   To meet U.S. demand, bananas are imported, primarily from Guatemala, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Colombia and Honduras.  Excluding bananas, fruit imports increased an average 7 percent annually over the past two decades.

U.S. fruit imports rose during the last three decades, partly owing to the growing minority ethnic populations in the United States and to an increased demand for new products. Not only have imports expanded for commodities already produced domestically and created competition for U.S. producers, but imports have also increased for nontraditional fruits, especially many tropical fruits.

  • Eat at least one banana a day, they are said to contain everything a human needs and they contain all the 8 amino-acids our body cannot produce itself.
  • Bananas are a good source of fiber, potassium and vitamin C;
  • Red bananas are often dried and converted to meal which is used in many ways;
  • Red bananas contain more vitamin C as yellow bananas (the redder a fruit, the more nutritious elements it contains).

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Apples Move into 3rd Place Among Fresh Fruit Sales

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IMG_6824Consumer purchases have moved apples ahead of bananas into third place in total retail sales, trailing only berries and packaged salad in the 52 weeks ending May 29, according to Steve Lutz, executive vice president of Nielsen Perishables Group.  Lutz said apples showed the biggest retail sales growth of any top major produce category, rising about 16 percent over the previous year.

Among the gains by various apple varieties with higher retail saies in the past year included pink lady, fuji, pinata, Honeycrisp, red delicious, ambrosia, Jazz, granny smith and gala, in addition to niche varieties such as Lady Alice, Envy, Opal and Junami.

The best apple consumers are willing to spend on healthy foods and fresh meals, and convenience and price are not a key purchase driver, Lutz said. With the income to afford choice, consumers are looking for unique flavors are driven to the category in pursuit of health, he said.

Despite challenges in the lackluster economy, Lutz said Nielsen data reveals fresh fruits showed an eight percent increase in retail dollar sales over the past year, accompanied by a 4 percent gain in volume. Produce is an increasingly important food choice for a majority of U.S. households.


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From Strawberries to Grapes, Things are Changing at Your Favorite Store

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In case you haven’t noticed strawberries in retail supermarket are costing about 30 percent more, or about a dollar more per 16 ounce claimshell package, than only a few weeks ago.  After a summer of plentiful supplies, this is the time of year when strawberry production is in a transition from the bountiful fields at Watsonville, CA to areas further south, such as Ventura and Orange counties, as well as in Mexico.  It will be the first of the year before supplies increase, and perhaps some break in what you are paying in the stores.

Long gone are days of 99-cent-per-pound apples.  Yet, this fruit is one of the better buys in produce departments.  Despite a freeze wiping out the vast majority of apples in Michigan last spring, plus cold weather hitting New York apples hard, the nation should have nine percent more apples than a year ago – thanks to a humongous crop in Washington state.  Still it depends on the variety, what you will pay.  For example, two of my favorites, the Gala and the fuji apples are selling at my store for $1.77 per pound.  However, another favorite of mine, the Ambrosia apples, costs about 50 percent more.

Table grapes have been another wonderful eating experience this year.  California’s crop has been so sweet and cruncy I sure hate to see the season end.  I’m noticing the late season grapes from California are not quit as good as the super tasting product that has been available for month.  Grapes also have been one of the best buys in the produce department.  The California product will soon be replaced by grapes from Chile.  We can only hope Chile has as good a crop.

Other good buys in the produce department continue to be bananas and kiwifruit.


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Fruit, Vegetable Imports to USA Continue Increasing

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USA imports of fresh fruit and vegetables have increased significantly since the 1990s, and this has increased loading opportunities during a time of the year when it is an off season for a majority of American grown produce items.

These off season suppliers for fresh produce are primarily the Southern Hemisphere countries countries near the equator for bananas.

While it is trendy and cool to be associated with locally grown produce these days, locally grown is minor compared to the strong growth in volume and variety of fresh produce that is imported.  These imported fruits and vegetables has allowed U.S. consumers to eat more produce, and for truckers to haul more produce, on a year-round basis.  This is product that normally would not be available.

The USDA  states that between 1990-92 and 2004-06, annual USA imports of fresh fruit and vegetables surged to $7.9 billion from $2.7 billion, with the share of total USA imports for agriculture rising to 13.3 percent from 11.5 percent. USA exports of fresh produce also increase, but less. As a result, the United States has increasingly become a net importer of fresh produce.

As of 2007, USA fresh produce trade was dominated by a few regions. Fresh vegetable imports from Mexico and Canada were over $3.2 billion, which comprises the single-largest trade channel among regions of U.S. fresh produce trade.

USA fruit trade is more diverse than vegetable trade in terms of foreign trade partners. Whereas fresh vegetable trade is largely concentrated within North American Free Trade Agreement countries and Asia (95 percent of exports and 84 percent of imports), fresh fruit trade with those regions is less significant (85 percent of exports and 28 percent of imports).

Because fresh produce is highly perishable and seasonal, geography has traditionally played a major role in the global trade patterns of fresh produce.

The main sources of USA fresh fruit imports are banana-exporting countries, and the Southern Hemisphere and NAFTA regions. The banana exporters — Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama — are the largest providers of fresh fruit to the United States.

Together, these countries supply 36 percent of total U.S. fresh fruit imports, with bananas making up more than three-quarters of the fresh fruit value shipped by these equatorial countries to the United States. Southern Hemisphere countries — Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, New Zealand, South Africa and Peru — supply 32 percent of U.S. fresh fruit imports. The NAFTA region supplies 27 percent of U.S. fresh fruit imports.

The structure of the U.S. fresh fruit import mix, however, has changed substantially, particularly since the 1990s, as grape and tropical fruit imports have grown faster than bananas.

Blueberries are a good example of an item that has grown quickly and hugely over the past decade. Other fruits and vegetables, such as asparagus from Peru, are also inching toward the list of items that are outpacing banana imports.

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