Expert: Quality Storage is an Integral Part of the Apple-Growing Business
Despite two waves of spring frosts in Ukraine this year, industry experts note that producers can harvest a larger harvest of apples than in 2019 when the country recorded a record low result. According to Oleksandr Khorev, head of the APK-Inform: Vegetables and Fruits project, this year, new orchards, which were laid 3-5 years ago, also began to bear fruit, increasing the volume of apples. Agri-gator reports that Ukrainian producers face a fundamental problem: losses during long-term storage and use of existing fruit storage technologies remain at a reasonably high level.
The reason for gardeners’ losses is that existing storage facilities, often outdated, do not correspond to the market’s realities. In turn, an insufficient number of fruit storage capacities hinders import substitution in the off-season and leads to price distortions and loss of business profitability. Today, in countries with a developed horticultural industry, almost all of the commercial apple harvest intended for fresh consumption is stored in refrigerators with a controlled atmosphere with ULO technology (ultra-low oxygen content from 1-3%).
“This technology makes it possible to store some apple varieties from season to season, and even more. Apples are stored for a long period with practically no loss of weight and presentation, and most importantly, without any chemicals and preparations. Analytics of fruit weight loss during long-term storage shows that when using modern storage facilities, apples, due to shrinkage, lose no more than 1-2.5% of their weight after six months of storage,” notes Anatoliy Bogdan, Director of LLC Insolar-Kholod, a company which is the leader of the Ukrainian market in terms of the volume of built storage facilities for fruits, including storage facilities with controlled atmosphere.
According to the expert, high-quality storage is an integral part of the apple-growing business, since for large projects with 40 hectares of intensive orchards and more, it is very important to ensure rhythmic supplies of products to customers in Ukraine and abroad, and it is impossible to do this without a modern storage facility.
In 2019, Insolar-Kholod company’s specialists built the largest in Ukraine innovative refrigeration complex with a controlled atmosphere, which was also equipped with an ultra-modern line for sorting and packaging apples for LLC Sady Dnipra. The innovative refrigerated storage can regulate all the fruit’s biochemical processes, which allows the apple to keep all its juiciness and freshness throughout the year.
The following components make the refrigerator unique: temperature and humidity control, regulation of the oxygen and carbon content in the chamber, the ability to absorb ethylene. An interesting fact is that the refrigerator can be controlled from anywhere in the world, holding only a smartphone.
As the head of the Insolar-Kholod company notes, currently, the storage of products is more relevant than ever before. The construction of such a high-quality storage facility with a controlled atmosphere is a necessary condition for those Ukrainian manufacturers who plan to supply products of the highest quality and at a reasonable price.