Reefer containers: Africa vs. Latin America in fresh production


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“We generate Active Atmosphere with ozone inside reefer containers”

n today’s world, produce varieties are shipped from one part of the globe to another and in some cases, spend weeks in reefer containers. To ensure produce reaches the end destination in the best possible condition, Purfresh has developed Active Atmosphere. “In 2008, we introduced Active Atmosphere with Ozone to the market,” says Christian DeBlasio, co-owner of Purfresh. “Ozone attacks and reduces mold growth and enhances food safety.” It looks for small molecules to interact with and destroys them, including, ethylene, mold, fungus, e-coli, salmonella and listeria. Produce varieties that benefit from ozone include pineapples, table grapes, citrus, onions, melons, and potatoes as they are susceptible to mold growth and decay.
Elimination of ambient ethylene and reduction of mold growth
“In 2013, we introduced Total Active Environment which is a system that includes controlled atmosphere as well as ozone,” continued DeBlasio. In addition to using ozone, limiting mold growth and destroying ethylene, controlled atmosphere is a way to manipulate CO2 and O2 levels to delay ripening. Many produce varieties create ethylene, resulting in fruit ripening quickly. “Through respiration and ethylene reduction, produce doesn’t ripen as quickly and stays firm longer. Blueberries, avocados, and mangos see significant, quality shelf life extension from this environment.” 
Patent on electrical connection
“The challenge with ozone is that it destroys itself quickly,” said DeBlasio. The only way to keep ozone active during transportation is through a steady supply of electricity. The Active and Total Atmosphere devices are plugged into the power system of a reefer container. “The electricity allows us to generate ozone on demand during shipment. We are the only company in the world that generates Active Atmosphere with ozone inside reefer containers.” Purfresh has a patent on the electrical connection of these devices. 
Latin America is key 
Latin America is critical for Purfresh as more than 60 percent of the world’s ocean exported fresh fruit and produce comes from this part of the world. “Africa is also growing as a fresh produce export region. Countries such as Kenya, Ghana and South Africa are starting to compete with Latin America,” shared DeBlasio. Other key transit routes for Purfresh include exports from North America, Europe and Australia/New Zealand.
Door-to-door monitoring
“Our clients rent the device from us and we work with third-party service agencies in 190 container ports around the world to install and remove the Active Atmosphere devices.” The 20 lb. devices are installed before the produce goes into the container and are taken off after the produce has left the container. “We differentiate ourselves through our communication and monitoring capability. We are the only company in the world that offers door-to-door monitoring of atmosphere levels directly to the cargo owner,” said DeBlasio. “Our customers have a secure login on and are able to monitor the atmosphere levels of their produce 24/7.” There are two ways we provide communication: GSM is used on or near land while satellites are used for communication at sea. Currently, Purfresh is planning to double its global fleet equipment capacity the next two years. “Production has already started,” finished DeBlasio.
For more information:
Christian DeBlasio