Scientific Basis for Bluezone® Fresh Preservation Technology

Scientific Basis for Bluezone®

Ethylene is biologically active gas that affects the ripening of fresh fruits and vegetables (FF&V) as well as many other physiological processes. Certain fruits and vegetables generate ethylene as a natural part of their ripening cycle. Other fruits and vegetables are highly sensitive to the presence of ethylene, but may or may not produce the ethylene themselves. Because ethylene is a volatile organic compound, it diffuses out of plants and into the surrounding air. In this way, plants, fruits and vegetables can be affected by the ethylene produced by other FF&V. Some of the negative effects of ethylene on FF&V are induced at very low (i.e. <0.5 PPM) levels of ethylene.

Removing ethylene from the air prevents the cycle of ripening in which early ripening of some FF&V causes other fruit to initiate ripening. Removing ethylene from the atmosphere slows the ripening process and maintains fruit quality. Since bruising can cause ethylene production, ethylene removal can prevent damaged fruit from causing an entire room to ripen.

Bluezone® ethylene removal claims are based on an extensive database of test results. We measure ethylene in our tests and demonstrations using a gas chromatograph (GC) in order to differentiate ethylene from the other organic molecules that are given off by fruits and vegetables.

We measure Bluezone® performance in a “pull-down” mode, to see how quickly the unit reduces ethylene concentration from a high level to less than a ppm. A typical pull-down graph from a 20’container (1200 cubic feet) is shown below:

Graph showing Bluezone ethylene pulldown performance

In addition, we measure ethylene concentration in rooms with the Bluezone® units compared with control rooms with no Bluezone® Units. An example of these data is shown below:

Graph showing ethylene levels with and without Bluezone

Performance of the units is repeatable and predictable. We can model the concentration in the room based on the number of pallets of fruit, the size of the room, the ripeness of the fruit, and the number of Bluezone® units operating.

Primaira uses state-of-the-art development and testing tools to ensure high product performance

Impactor attached to pump
Impactor to measure microbial load in air
Air samples being analyzed in gas chromatograph
Gas Chromatograph to measure ethylene
Shipping container loaded with produce for ocean trials
Ocean Trials
Fruit quality measurement
Fruit quality measurement
Refrigerated trailers at Primaira location
In-house testing