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The production of blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum) mainly takes place in the US, Canada, Chile, Argentina, Germany, Mexico and Poland.
Harvest of blueberries
The right time to harvest blueberries is determined by the color of the berries and possibly the sugar and acid content. The berries are harvested almost ripe because of the quality that decreases after the harvest. Due to its fragility, the harvest for the fresh market takes place manually. Damage can quickly lead to mold growth.
If the temperature of the blueberries is very high at the time of harvest, the harvested berries should be cooled to the optimum storage temperature as soon as possible (flow cooling). This reduces moisture loss and extends the shelf life.
(CA) Controlled atmosphere / (ULO) Ultra low oxygen storage of blueberries
Blueberries can generally be stored for a relatively short time. Temperature should be around freezing point and Relative Humidity should be as high as possible, otherwise it will be at the expense of the storage time.
Blueberries can be stored for about 2 weeks at -0.5ºC to 0ºC with a RH of 90 – 95% (pre-cooling is important). Mixtures of soft-ripe and hard-ripe berries, which are common in late harvests, can be stored poorly. An increased CO2 content (15-20%) prevents Botrytis and other fungi.
Controlled Atmosphere (CA) storage (at 3% O 2 and 10% CO 2 ) often extends the storage time up to 8 weeks . With Palliflex storage, the berries can be stored for up to 9 to 10 weeks .
The storage conditions depend on the variety and are very different per region in the world. Local research institutes can provide more information about the applied storage conditions.
Blueberries are climacteric fruit and (therefore) react to ethylene. Nevertheless, ethylene removal is not necessary, as blueberries must be harvested almost ripe because the taste does not improve after harvest.
Our solutions for blueberry storage
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