Reefer Container Temperature for Banana

reefer container temperature for banana

Beyond being a delicious fruit, bananas are beloved all around the world. India is rich in banana cultivation due to their sweetness and nutritional benefits. There are a plethora of banana varieties that are exported from India, such as Robusta, Nendran, Rajeli Nendran Red Banana, Great Naine, Safed Velchi, Karpooravalli, Lal Velchi, Poovan, and Barasi Bananas. The well-known Cavendish bananas exported from India to different countries are generally harvested in an unripe, green condition and exported to the international market in temperature-controlled reefer containers. These delicious fruits are used to make different banana products, such as banana milkshakes, banana pulp, banana cake, and dried banana chips.

Why is reefer container temperature important for bananas?

Reefer containers are ideal for exporting bananas as they maintain the optimal temperature throughout the entire journey. These containers ensure the perfect conditions from loading to arrival, preserving the bananas' quality and preventing spoilage. With the help of reefer containers, exporters can guarantee that the bananas reach their destination safely and comply with the high standards of international markets. Essentially, reefer containers safeguard the freshness and value of bananas during transit.

The ideal temperature to maintain the quality of the bananas is listed below

  • Temperature range recommended: +13.3 to +13.9 °C
  • Maximum air exchange rate: 30 M2/h 
  • Estimated storage time: 40 days
  • Control the humidity: OFF
  • Worth Safe Cut-Off Days: Harvest is three days away the date on which cargo at the port of loading must be fenced in

Bananas at a controlled temperature

  • Temperature range recommended: +14 °C to +14.4 °C
  • Maximum air swap: closed
  • Storage: approximately 45 days
  • Control the humidity: OFF
  • Worth a Safe Cut-Off Days: Harvest is three days away the date on which cargo must be gated at the port of loading

Note: It is required to utilize bags with holes (polybag or polypac) while transporting cargo in a container designed for controlled atmospheres (CA). It is recommended to maintain an oxygen (O2) level of 3% and a carbon dioxide (CO2) level of 4–5%. This streamline process is ideal for long-distance banana transportation, preserving the fruit's freshness and quality until it reaches its final destination.

The benefits of temperature-controlled containers for bananas are as follows

  • Maintaining Quality: Since bananas are vulnerable to temperature changes, temperature control is important in reefer containers. Their texture, flavor, and nutritional content can all be retained if an accurate temperature is maintained. Fluctuations in temperature can result in early ripening or chilling damage, which lowers the fruit's quality.
  • Prolonging the shelf life: Proper temperature control can significantly prolong the shelf life of bananas. The fruit tends to stay fresh, slowing down the ripening process, which makes it easier during transit.
  • Preventing Spoilage: Keeping the banana at the required temperature can prevent it from being spoiled. The reefer container can withstand the perishables, irrespective of any weather conditions. Moreover, fresh, quality bananas can facilitate demand in the international market.
  • Proper Air Circulation and Ventilation: Proper ventilation and air circulation are essential for prolonging the shelf life of perishable goods in refrigerated containers. Sufficient ventilation ensures that cool air is dispersed uniformly inside the container, reducing temperature swings and preserving the cargo over time. Reefer containers are equipped with efficient ventilation systems that are intended to enhance the storage capacity of perishable goods.
  • Humidity Control: Humidity levels inside the refrigerated container are equally important as maintaining the temperature levels to preserve the perishable goods. Excessive humidity promotes the growth of germs and mold, which can cause condensation and speed up spoilage. Conversely, low humidity can cause the banana to become dehydrated and deteriorate.
  • Cost-effective: Though reefer containers are more expensive than traditional cargo shipping, they ensure the quality of the goods and cut down on food waste. This enables the perishable goods to maintain their consistency and extends the shelf-life of the bananas.
  • Global Reach: Reefer containers enable goods to be sourced from a wider array of locations, facilitating the growth of supply chains. This reduces supply chain risks and diversifies markets. By utilizing refrigerated cargo containers, businesses can reach consumers in previously inaccessible areas and explore new markets. This can be revolutionary for those involved in the perishable goods business.
  • Smart Storage: Use smart storage strategies to keep food safe and prolong its shelf life. Make use of specialized storage spaces with suitable environmental settings.
  • Quality Checks: Keep an eye out for fruit quality on a regular basis, especially while they're being packed and transported. If there are any means to reduce the spoilage to keep the banana quality, try to resolve it as soon as possible.
  • Proper Packaging: Implement the right packaging methods to protect the perishable goods from getting contaminated during shipping. Go for different packaging techniques to get the best one.
  • Safe and Clean Handling: Throughout the handling and transportation process, adhere to cleanliness and safety regulations. To avoid damage and maintain the integrity of the goods, make sure that storage spaces are thoroughly cleaned.

The steps in the cooling and storage of bananas are as follows

To ensure bananas remain in their pre-ripened state during long-distance transport for subsequent artificial ripening, these factors are essential. There should be minimal delay between harvesting or cutting the bananas and placing them into refrigeration. Ideally, this process should commence within a day of harvesting. This is achieved by controlling the atmosphere in which the bananas are stored. Moreover, swift and efficient cooling is necessary immediately after harvesting or cutting to maintain the pre-climacteric state of the fruit. These measures collectively help preserve the bananas for later controlled ripening in specialized ripening rooms.


Bananas must be stored properly to preserve their quality and increase their shelf life. Handling bananas gently is important to avoid bruising, which can hasten ripening and spoilage. To keep them fresh, bananas should be kept in an environment with enough ventilation and air movement. To ensure bananas ripen at the desired rate, avoid storing them alongside fruits that produce ethylene gas, as this can accelerate their ripening process.

Chilling Injury

Bananas are susceptible to chilling injury, which can impact both green and ripe fruit, while green fruit is slightly more vulnerable. It occurs when bananas are left out in the cold for an extended period of time. When ripe bananas are refrigerated, they can rapidly turn brown upon thawing and become easily spotted even with minimal pressure. A chilling injury may take up to 18 to 24 hours to manifest its consequences. This can increase the chances of the improper ripening and discoloration of the bananas, which can hamper your business.


You need to be extra cautious while handling reefer containers to export bananas. At Citrus Freight , we check that reefer containers maintain a constant temperature to safeguard the perishable cargo and ensure the safe arrival of the goods at the desired destination.

Go for the varied range of containers tailored to meet your needs and budget at Citrus Freight!