Wheatsheaf Group Limited (Wheatsheaf), through its wholly owned food safety solutions subsidiary TriStrata Group, has acquired 90% of Purfresh, a global provider of specialized controlled atmosphere systems that reduce the risk of high value cargo loss through spoilage in refrigerated ocean shipping containers.
“At Purfresh, we specialize in offering in-transit cold treatment management,” said DeBlasio. “It saves product shelf life for the customer, but most importantly, we monitor the fruit pulp probe temperatures continuously while the fruit is on the water.” The Purfresh process for cold treatment includes in-transit reefer container temperature changes, when required.
“We provide remote, in-transit corrective actions to containerized shipments.” All year long, vessels shipping fresh produce are moving all over the globe and are in some cases out to sea for a time frame of 30 days or more. Importers, shippers, traders, also called beneficial cargo owners, all want their produce to arrive at the destination in excellent condition for optimum shelf-life and quality product.
“Costa Rica is a world leader in producing high-quality pineapples that have a good shelf-life and travel well,” says Christian DeBlasio with Purfresh. Not only does the country have the technology to produce them efficiently, it also excels in post-harvest technology that includes clean water management, waxing, and pre-cooling.
Purfresh atmosphere systems have been known and utilized for some time now in countries such as Chile, Costa Rica, and the USA, but Mexico’s agricultural industry is now rapidly adopting the usage of Purfresh for one of the largest, and most diverse, fresh fruit and produce export markets in the world. Mexico’s agricultural industry works in alignment with strategic national development priorities that support food security and safety along with reducing poverty.
“International shipping of organic produce is very difficult,” says Christian DeBlasio with Purfresh. Organic produce can experience reduced shelf-life due to the absence of chemical protection. As a result, most organic produce is shipped by air, which can be four to five times the cost of ocean freight. “Some companies even decide not to sell organic produce overseas for that reason,” said DeBlasio.