Posts Tagged “Organic Material Research Institute”
While studies have shown transporting strawberries and some other produce items in a modified atmosphere extends the quality and lifespan of the items, how safe are these food items to eat that have been exposed to carbon dioxide (CO2) for nearly a week?
Rich Macleod, a scientist and basically the manager of the pallet divison for Transfresh Corp. feels this is a reasonable question for people to ask.
“The use of carbon dioxide in the handling of perishables is incredibally common,” Macleod states. He points to the use of CO2 in soda, which are the bubbles you see.
As for TransFresh, Macleod says the Organic Material Research Institute has certified the Tectrol application as organic. “So we are certified for use as an organic product,” he states. “The impact of CO2 in terms of maintaining the quality of the product….using a gas we breath in the environment, is an excellent trade off for what you get for enjoying more strawberries.”
As previously reported in this series, using the pallet covered system, Tectrol (CO2), results in less decay in strawberries (see chart).
Macleod, who started out as a lab assistant with a masters degree in post harvest science, sees the next step in research being to define what CO2 does for the nutrient value of strawberries. Such a study has never been done, he notes. He is hopeful such research will take place within the next five years.
While Tectrol’s primary use is with strawberries, it also is used with raspberries, blueberries and other items.
However, it also is found in containers on shipments by boat with items such as avocados, asparagus, and stone fruit for both imports and exports that are in transit eight to 10 days.
“Your cut salads are all cousins to the wrapped pallet program (with modified atmospheres). In fact, the cut salad program preceeded the pallet covered program,” Macleod says.
(This is Part 5 0f 6, featuring an interview with Rich Macleod, vice president, pallet division North America for TransFresh Corp., Salinas, CA. He has been with company since 1976, and has a masters degree in post harvest science from the University of California, Davis.)