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JD Cooling Group, with a base in King's Lynn, unveils revolutionary Softripe avocado ripening facility at Worldwide Fruit Ltd in Spalding

Suppliers of bespoke cooling systems JD Cooling, which has a base in Lynn, has just completed its work on a project which has revolutionised avocado ripening.

JD Cooling Group, an independent supplier of temperature control systems, and Worldwide Fruit Ltd have just unveiled their new Softripe avocado ripening facility in Spalding. A total of 132 pallet spaces using Softripe technology are now in operation with fruit set to arrive nationally in stores in October.

Speaking at the official ribbon cutting, John Dye, chairman of JD Cooling Group, said: “It is not very often something comes along in our industry that is game changing, but Softripe is most certainly that, and indeed the biggest thing to happen in the ripening sector for decades. This facility is going to be a total revolution for the ripe and ready marketplace.”

A giant leap forward in ripening technology, the industry award-winning Softripe delivers a more efficient, streamlined process, including the reduction of secondary handling.

It also provides greater consistency and quality of the ripened fruit, coupled with far lower wastage through the reduced need for destructive testing and significant energy reduction. Softripe amounts to an investment that delivers huge benefits for the retailer and consumer, and which will effectively pay for itself.

Best of all, and as proven in multiple independent taste tests and shelf life trials, Softripe avocados have an enhanced quality, flavour, and on-shelf life that are ultimately more attractive to retailers by providing a better consumer experience.

Softripe is patented and is the only ripening process that uses a completely gas-tight chamber together with CO2 absorbers and nitrogen generators to enable optimum levels of ethylene, CO2 and oxygen all to be fully controlled. This allows the unique Softripe software algorithms to establish the optimum conditions for perfect ripening every time.

Softripe effectively ‘listens and talks’ to the fruit through its respiration gases, adapting to its needs during the ripening cycle and guiding it through an optimum organic ripening process.

“There’s a lot of noise out there at the moment about other ripening systems, but Softripe is the only one in the world that’s able to control ethylene, CO2 and oxygen levels by communicating directly with the fruit," said John Dye. “It also allows suppliers to remove their post ripening grading process and destructive testing and is the only system that can achieve such dramatic increases in shelf life.”

Neal Collishaw, operations director at Worldwide Fruit Ltd, said: “Our key strategic direction is to deliver zero waste in all of our processes. Avocados are a notoriously difficult product to ripen in a traditional ripening system. Post-ripening, we still had variability amongst the raw material which can end up on the shelf, leading to consumer dissatisfaction. Softripe now ensures we have a more consistent, superior product and has enabled us to remove the secondary grading from our processes. Along with the reduced ripening cycles, there are clear benefits to producers, distributors, retailers, and consumers.”

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