ETHYLENE LEVELS ALONG THE FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN - A KEY TO REDUCING FOOD WASTE?
Ethylene accelerates ripening of fruits and accumulation of ethylene at locations in the supply chain may lead to increased fruit decay and waste. Monitoring of ethylene levels is essential to understanding and managing ethylene and a new generation of instruments is becoming available to enable continuous in-situ determination of ethylene. This new nano-technology provides for portable, battery-driven, light weight devices. In a trial to test utility of one of the available devices, ethylene levels were measured along the supply chain of apple fruit from harvest to the consumer. Ethylene levels ranged from 9-12 nl L-1 in a controlled atmosphere, to 70-72 µl L-1 in the fruit bin within a fruit bin in a storage compartment to 500 ppb on the sorting belt in the grading facility to 15-30 µl L-1 levels in the perforated farm plastic bag of apples. This contribution also takes into account exogenous ethylene originating from other sources than fruit and discusses pros and cons of this new technology and potential applications for the supply chain to aid reducing food waste.
Blanke, M.M. and Shekarriz, R. (2015). ETHYLENE LEVELS ALONG THE FOOD SUPPLY CHAIN - A KEY TO REDUCING FOOD WASTE? . Acta Hortic. 1091, 101-106
ethylene, ethylene scrubber, nano-technology, fruit, postharvest, sensor technology, supply chain, waste reduction