SafePod: New technology for intelligent control of fresh produce storage

Abstract

Over 170 k tonnes of apples are stored annually in the UK. In the absence of post-harvest chemicals, losses due to poor quality and disease are estimated at 3-15%. The project will deliver a new engineering solution to reduce losses. By monitoring metabolic status of fruit, SafePod will allow growers to use lower storage O2 concentrations than currently achievable, extending storage-life of fruit without risking damage. The project will optimise the use of the prototype SafePod in growers' stores and under lab conditions to define optimum storage for different apple varieties and operating conditions for SafePod. Furthermore use of the technology will be translated to other commodities. The project brings together post-harvest researchers, storage engineers, growers and the retail sector to deliver better quality fruit to the consumer and reduce waste. The global market for SafePod is huge with potential markets in UK and worldwide including USA/Canada, Australia, Europe and India.

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