Chemical-free storage is now possible
The need to store horticultural products without the use of added chemicals in order to guarantee more wholesome products, together with the greater demand from consumers with the same aim has pushed researchers to study and develop socalled “clean” technology which has now found widespread practical application.
Enormous interest has grown for this type of technology recently, also in consideration of the banning of certain chemical products demonstrated to be hazardous to health (i.e. DPA) widely used in the past to contrast physiopathologies such as scald.
The experiments carried out in the ‘90’s, (Truter in South Africa and Dillley in Michigan) gave Fruit Control Equipments the initial impulse for the study and elaboration of a new technology that represented the evolution of controlled atmosphere and successively UO formulae. Over the last few years we have collaborated with the Istituto San Michele all’Adige (Trento province) to develop the technique, using “field” application of the system at the fruitgrowers’ Association AVN, part of the Melinda Group in Casez, Trento province (the structure where FCE made the first tests). Meanwhile, taking advantage of the experience gained, and improving the initial technology, our company has patented the SWINGLOS® method. The SWINGLOS® method corresponds to a cycle repeated over time (variable) of the initial oxygen stress phase followed by the ULO phase, placing great attention on the CO² concentration variations inside the store depending on the variety of the fruit; combined with some quality control tests on the stored product. The SWINGLOS® application requires above all optimal gas tightness (checked with special gas tightness tests) and should be applied in cells containing the same variety of apples (Red Delicious When loading the fruit into the cells, a representative sample of the various lots inside the cell of 8-10 crates must be placed in front of the hatch (window) each containing 3-5 apples from each lot. During the stress periods quality control checks should be carried out on these samples. The successive gas stress periods and their conditions are decided on the basis of analytical results with particular reference to the apples’ ethanol content (samples of at least 8-10 fruits) which may be carried out with an easy to use kit by the fruit warehouse technician or Fruit Quality Control manager.
The SWINGLOS® system has a dedicated management programme that our company has developed with the GAC 5000 with specialized sensors. The programme, based on specific input regarding the fruits and other cell parameters, manages the plant machinery automatically.
Excellent results can be obtained with this method in the prevention of scald damage over the long term (8 months and more of storage) and with a reduction of 20-25% of fruit firmness loss, maintaining top organoleptical quality even during the shelf-life period.
SWINGLOS® application also represents “clean” technology, without the use of any chemical product in the post-harvest phase and hence safeguarding the final consumers’ health.
THE SWINGLOS® SYSTEM AND SAFETY
The SWINGLOS® system is unanimously considered a safe system, capable of avoiding the risks connected to uncontrolled accumulation of alcohol in the fruit (altering flavour), typical of those “dynamic atmosphere” systems which are based on other forms of monitoring.
It is fundamental that before placing the goods on the market, on opening the stores, the alcohol content be eliminated. A controlled formation of alcohol during the O² stress phase is a condition necessary for scald prevention. The San Michele all’Adige Research Centre bases their “know-how” on this principle and have developed highly tuned quality control techniques in order to safeguard the wholesomeness of the produce for the Customers’ guarantee and satisfaction.
Since 1952, through the unison of a talented designer in close collaboration with researchers, Fruit Control Equipments (FCE), was born, expanding rapidly in the Controlled Atmosphere field for preserving and storage of fruits and vegetables.
A capillary world-wide presence nails Italian colours to the mast, as proof of Italy’s technological primacy in this sector. A philosophy that combines commercial demands with improvements in the farmer’s living standards.
FCE, starting from the physiology of the agricultural products as well as the commercial and mercantile demands, studies industrial applicability of it’s plant machinery together with the economical aspects of the problem while keeping in mind the possibility to improve living standards of the agricultural population, striving to integrate the economic and qualitative advantages at all levels - from the producer to the consumer. Ours is not only a technical-commercial ethic, but is part of a wider vision that ranges from research and experimental projects to the farmers’ well-being.
We at FRUIT CONTROL EQUIPMENTS believe that creativity and technological development, together with an environment friendly policy, make our Controlled Atmosphere a work of art.
We convey our warmest thanks to all our customers world-wide !
Our site is open to all and we invite everyone to send us suggestions, constructive criticism and observations to help us improve our services.
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Our philosophy is to supply plant machinery that can be managed totally by the end user.
For this reason we use components that have been thoroughly tested .
The materials and technologies that we use allow us to reduce technical assistance to the minimum, which is rapidly carried out where necessary and is the pride and satisfaction of the Company’s quality control policy.
FCE is leader on the national and international markets in the controlled and generated atmospheres field. FCE builds plants world-wide, with the ability and experience acquired in over 30 year’s collaboration by FCE technicians with Engineer Felice Bonomi, considered the “father” of controlled atmosphere engineering since 1954.
FCE is owner and depositary of the Bonomi System trade marks and collaborates with the most highly qualified and world famous tecnicians.
The research carried out in collaboration with the most important research institutes in Italy and abroad, allows FRUIT CONTROL EQUIPMENTS to perfect new technologies which correspond better to the needs of horticultural products, cereals included. Controlled atmosphere storage of apples and other fruits and vegetables
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