Vacuum cooling is an energy efficient pre-cooling method for leafy vegetables and mushrooms. Pre-cooling is an essential step in cold chain management to maintain freshness and quality.
Singapore imports more than 90 per cent of our fresh produce. Once these perishable items reach the city-state, they are repacked into retail bags in packing houses and stored in distribution centres before finally being delivered to retailers. Along the supply chain, there is a need for importers, wholesalers, distribution centres and retailers to adhere strictly to best practices in post-harvest handling to ensure the freshness and quality of our produce.
AVA has launched a new guidebook, ‘Good Handling Practices in Packing House for Vegetables’ to help the industry do just that. Through this guidebook, packing house operators can adopt a set of consolidated best practices to ensure the highest standards of safety, quality and wholesomeness of their produce. Aside from post-harvest handling techniques, the guide also covers good cold chain management such as how operators can best design the facilities of their packing house to achieve optimal effects. In addition, it contains advice on how to establish effective internal control systems for hygiene, sanitation, maintenance and monitoring.
“It gave me insights into the new post-harvest technologies available to extend the shelf life and maintain the quality of fresh produce. The publication was also helpful in our internal trainings.”
Ms Lin Rui Wen,
Senior Manager, CMM Marketing Management Pte Ltd
To complement the launch of this guidebook, an industry seminar was organised to provide insights into the best practices for cold chain systems, Good Manufacturing Practices and research findings on the pre-cooling of fresh produce. Benefits of the air purification system, an useful innovation for participants looking to prolong the shelf life of their fresh produce, were also covered. In addition, attendees were able to experience first-hand the latest packing house and cold storage technologies offered by various service providers.