Blueberries – Season Storage Extension 

Material tested:

  • Loose blueberries, 3.5kg box with a MAP Extend plastic liner.
  • It’s Fresh! Small Transit ethylene filter (added at source after harvest, 1 per box)

Produce tested: Blueberries – variety Chandler, source Poland

Company: fruit from FFS

Test date: July 2018

Testing Method:

The fruit was harvested at 25-30°C according to a size and maturity level, transported at 5°C for few hours and stored at 2°C (day1). The following day, the fruit was manually graded and packed at 5°C into 3.5kg boxes with an MAP Extend bag. A total of 32 boxes were packed for this trial and stored at 2°C for 7 weeks. 5 new boxes per treatment were assessed weekly according to an individual fruit count based on major defects (softness, collapse, shrivel and mould), sensory and weight of the total waste of blueberries according to UK retailer specification.

Results:

A significant quality benefit with the use of the It’s Fresh! filters was obtained compared to the Control:

  • It’s Fresh! provided an extension of the storage duration to over 3 weeks, compared to the Control that only provided 1 additional week of storage extension.
  • There was a reduction of 33.7% in total weight of defects (g) with the It’s Fresh! treatment compared to the Control over the 7 weeks of storage.

Figure 1 – Average percentage of total weight of defects on each storage week (note week 1 was not assessed). The tolerance level is under 10%. Equal and over this limit is considered a failure. Note: this limit was reached on week 6 of storage on 2 boxes Control compared to none treated with It’s Fresh. None of the boxes treated with It’s Fresh! reached the 10% limit over the trial period of 7 weeks.

Figure 2 – Average percentage of total weight of defects recorded over 7 weeks of storage.

Figure 3 – Internal quality and external visual quality of Chandler blueberries from week 7 of storage. Note how the Control box is darker and wetter than the box treated with It’s Fresh!

Figure 4– Example of major defects recorded in the control boxes