Published Sunday, 12 January 2014
Innovative water treatment during citrus grading and packing. `Water is essential during the packing and grading of Citrus fruit. Packhouses use significant amounts of water for tipping fruit from bins into the grading line, for fruit washing and sanitation and for fruit protection with dedicated chemicals.
The water applied for this purpose gets polluted rapidly due to various reasons. The fruit always brings dust and small particles of sand and clay into the water. In addition, rotten fruit releases natural sugars and acids. The main concern for many packhouses however represents the spores of the green mold present in the water. Spores originating from only few infected fruits, can contaminate an entire bin or container, resulting in significant product losses. The pilot research project to minimise the use of water and to optimise the quality during packing will be executed at a Citrus packhouse in the Eastern cape (Summerville packhouse, SRCC, South Africa). This project is partly funded by a grant via the ‘Partners for Water’ program from the Dutch Ministery of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation. Aquest is the South African partners in this project.
The research objectives are:
- Maximization of green mold spores removal, without the use of chlorine;
- Removal of non-soluble particles and improvement of the turbidity;
- Disinfection of the water without the use of chlorine;
- Reduction of the water consumption of the packhouse;
Focus of the research is on the realisation of an ecologically friendly water treatment process. In order to validate the outcome the pilot installation will be integrated in the full scale plant and started up before the 2013 packing season. The project results will be reported in the SA Fruit Journal in 2013. For more detailed information about this water treatment in Citrus packhouses research project please contact us at Aquest.