The exotic products specialist TFC-Holland in Maasdijk, the Netherlands, has become one of the first companies in Europe to
implement the new Softripe® technology. This artificial intelligence (AI)-supported process impresses with an innovative, optimised ripening process and is characterised by a higher fruit quality as well as a significantly longer shelf life of the products – and all of it completely without the use of additives. This significantly minimises markdowns and fruit losses along the value chain.
“Although the industry is currently focusing more on the
preservation of ripened fruit through the application of protective layers, the decision to use Softripe as a state-of-the-art ripening technology now seems the more obvious and sustainable step for us to transport perfectly ripened avocados and mangoes with a significantly longer shelf life to our customers’ fruit departments,” explains CEO Falk Schlusnus.
With more than 200 fruit and vegetable products from over 50 countries, TFC-Holland is a solid partner of the European food retail industry, offering the highest standards of customer orientation and customised solutions.
The Softripe approach focuses on the fruit respiration rate and, with it, the “well-being” of the fruit throughout the ripening process. The atmosphere in the ripening chamber is permanently monitored by AI-supported technology and continuously and individually adjusted in
relation to the respective metabolic processes of the fruits. This not only produces optimised, more uniform ripening results, but also fruits that stand out on the retailer’s shelves as well as under everyday conditions at home for the consumer thanks to a significantly longer shelf life. Blind tests have also shown that Softripe® avocados are said to have better sensory properties than fruit from conventional ripening methods due to their more aromatic, nuttier flavour and creamier consistency.
Internal quality defects such as vascular browning in avocados – a discolouration of the flesh fibres – can also be significantly reduced with the new technology. TFC’s sister company Worldwide Fruit in the UK has already very successfully implemented this technology after an extensive series of tests with extremely positive results for various fruits.
“The very homogeneous and consistently high ripening qualities have convinced us,” says Falk Schlusnus, who has been on board with this forward-looking investment at TFC since 2019 and helped get it off the ground. “By using Softripe®, we are redefining what the highest standard of fruit quality is and will successively expand the application of the process to other products.” The objective is to reduce food losses along the value chain and not just offer customers fruits that are ripe for consumption, but also perfect, aromatic and sweet fruits
with a longer shelf life whose quality they can reliably trust with every purchase.