Reefer Container Temperature For Fruits and Vegetables

Reefer Container Temperature for Fruits and Vegetables

Reefer container temperature plays a vital role in storing your perishable goods at a consistent temperature to prevent them from being spoiled or damaged. The availability of reefer containers has reduced the complexity of the export process and ensured the shipment would reach its desired destination on time. You can choose from a wide range of refrigerated containers that meet both cost and requirements.

In this blog, we’ll go through detailed information about the accurate temperature to store fruits, vegetables, meat , fresh and frozen seafood, and dairy products .

Commodity Type: Fruits

Bananas

Bananas are one of the most popular fruits grown in India. Scientifically known as ‘Musa’, bananas are not only cherished for their sweetness; they are also loaded with nutritional benefits. This delicious fruit is used for making a variety of banana products, such as banana milkshakes, banana cakes, and mouth-watering desserts. Bananas have a wide variety, such as Robusta, Cavendish , Dwarf Cavendish, Nendran, Red Banana Yellaki, Poovan, and others. Among them, Cavendish bananas are exported globally.

When it comes to exporting bananas from India , you need to maintain the required temperature to store the bananas. Due to their perishable nature, bananas can rot easily and can succumb to various germs and microbial growth. This can hinder the entire shipment and have major repercussions for your banana business. Reefer temperature control containers can resist humidity, lessen moisture levels, and sustain rigorous weather conditions.

Choosing the right temperature control is crucial to ensuring the integrity and freshness of the goods during transport. The temperatures required to maintain the bananas are as follows:

Bananas for Transport

  • The recommended temperature should be about +13.3 °C to +13.9° C.
  • The maximum air exchange should be set at 30 M³/hour.
  • The bananas should be stored for approximately 40 days.
  • Keep in mind to switch off the humidity control.
  • After 3 days past the harvest date, the goods should be delivered at the loading port.

If the perishable goods are transported into a normal reefer container, then two types of packaging methods can be used:

Polybag (with holes) :

  • Recommended for transit periods up to 20 days.
  • Banavac Bags (Vacuum Packed)
  • Recommended for transit periods up to 40 days.

Bananas to be Stored

  • The recommended temperature should be set at +14 °C to +14.4 °C.
  • The maximum air exchange should be closed.
  • The bananas should be stored appropriately for 45 days.
  • After the harvest date, the bananas should be delivered to the loading port after 3 days.
  • The humidity control should be kept off.

If transported in a controlled atmosphere (CA) container, polybags or polypacks with holes must always be used. The O2 levels should be maintained at 3% and the CO2 levels at 4-5% to ensure the preservation of the goods.

Grapes

Grapes are a popular cultivated fruit in India that grow in clusters on vines and belong to the genus Vitis. These small, round fruits come in various colors, including green, red, purple, and black. Grapes are consumed in several forms, such as dried as raisins or processed into products like juice, jelly, and wine.

Grapes have been significant for decades in various aspects, including culture, economy, and diet, globally. These fruits are packed with vitamins C and K, antioxidants, and fiber, providing numerous health benefits such as improved heart health, reduced inflammation, eye health protection, a boosted immune system, and potential protection against certain types of cancer.

If you are new to the export business or want to export grapes overseas, you need to take special care to safeguard the goods. With the introduction of reefer container temperature, you can export perishable goods to any corner of the world. Not only are these containers durable, but they also help track the shipment of your cargo, preventing any kinds of risks or accidents.

You need to select an accurate temperature to store your perishable goods for long distances. The temperature levels that need to be maintained are as follows:

  • The grape should be set at a temperature range of -1 to 0 °C or +31 to +32 °F.
  • The maximum air exchange is recommended to be kept at 15 M³/hour.
  • You must store the fruits appropriately for 49 to 56 days.
  • After completing the harvesting process, the goods should be delivered after 6 days at the loading port.

Oranges

Oranges known for their vibrant color and combination of sweet and tangy taste, oranges have a rich cultivation in India. Oranges benefit your health system in many ways, such as reducing inflammation, arthritis, asthma, and anemia, boosting the immune system to fight against germs, and promoting better vision. These fruits have potassium, which regulates muscle function, lowers blood sugar, and prevents cardiac arrest.

These tasty fruits are used to make several products, such as orange juice, orange pulp, and marmalade. In addition, their ability to thrive in diverse climates and the implementation of sustainable farming practices boost their market appeal, making oranges a dependable and demand-driven export commodity.

Shipping oranges overseas is a costly affair. Special care needs to be taken while exporting the perishables from one port to another. You can choose the preferred reefer container temperature to ship your fruits to protect against a humid climate and maintain their freshness during transit.

Maintaining a balanced temperature is required to store the fruits in optimal condition. Depending on the variety, the oranges should be stored in the following temperature range:

  • The recommended temperature should be set at +3 to +8 °C.
  • Maximum air exchange should be at 15 M³/hour.
  • Oranges should be approximately stored for 35–90 days.
  • Keep the humidity control off.
  • The goods should be delivered at the port of loading 7 days after the harvest date.

Pomegranates

Pomegranates , originating from the Middle East and Mediterranean regions, are renowned for their vibrant color and sweet-tart seeds. India plays a significant role in both domestic and global pomegranate markets, with extensive cultivation. Pomegranates are popular for their high antioxidant properties and various health benefits, including combating urinary issues, reducing inflammation, promoting dental health, and improving heart health.

India produces over half of the world's pomegranates and cultivates diverse varieties such as Paper Shelled, Spanish Ruby, Dholka, Kabul, Kandhari, Alandi/Vadki, and Muskat. Among these, Kandhari is particularly notable for its exports to countries like Greece, Israel, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, and Italy.

Pomegranates should be stored at the right temperature levels, as follows:

  • The temperature level should be set at about +4 to +6 °C.
  • The air exchange should be maintained at a maximum 15 M³/hour.
  • The storage should last approximately 60 days.
  • The humidity control should be off.
  • After the harvest date, the pomegranates should be gated at the port of loading after 10 days.

Coconut

Coconut, a tropical fruit, is grown in hot climates and is valued for its health benefits and cultural importance worldwide. Tender coconuts from India find their way to Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, coconut milk, coconut oil, and coconut powder are some of the products that are exported overseas.

Coconut water, found inside young coconuts, is rich in electrolytes and keeps you hydrated. Beyond food, coconuts are used in cosmetics, biofuels, and building materials. It's a must to properly cool and store fresh coconuts before shipping them to international markets. To preserve freshness, they should be stored at 32° to 35°F with a relative humidity of 80% to 85%. Because younger coconuts are more vulnerable to physical injury, like splitting, than older ones, proper handling is necessary. Depending on storage conditions and ripeness, fresh coconuts can last anywhere from one to two months on average.

Tomato

Tomatoes are the best source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K. They also come with antioxidants, such as lycopene, which may help lessen the risk of certain diseases. Tomatoes are loaded with low calories and high in fiber, which makes them a perfect food choice to maintain a healthy weight.

Tomatoes are best for sandwiches and salads and are cooked in various dishes such as stews, soups, and sauces. Tomatoes though botanically, are considered as a fruit, but in culinary terms, they are referred to as a vegetable.

The tomatoes should be stored at these levels of temperature:

  • Recommended Temperature Range: +3 to +8 °C, +37 to +46 °F
  • Air Exchange Maximum: 30 M³/hour
  • 21 days is the approximate storage time.
  • Control humidity: off.
  • After the harvest date, the tomatoes should be delivered to the loading port after 3 days.

Depending on the type, tomatoes should be stored under these conditions:

  • Temperature range recommended: +3 to +12 °C
  • Maximum air exchange rate: 30 M³/h Estimated storage time: 14–21 days
  • Control the humidity: OFF
  • After the harvest date, the tomatoes should be delivered to the loading port after 3 days.

Daniella's Long-Life Tomatoes

  • Temperature recommendations: +6 to +10 °C
  • Maximum air exchange rate: 15 M³/h
  • About 35 days for storage
  • Control the humidity: OF
  • Value Protect Cut-Off Days: 3 days following the harvest date are the number of days the goods must be gated in at the port of loading.

Commodity Type: Vegetables

Potato

The potato is one of the main food crops in the world that are grown in the subtropical regions of India. Potatoes come with a rich source of starch, vitamins, especially C and B1, and minerals. They have 20.6 percent carbohydrates, 2.1 percent protein, 0.3 percent fat, 1.1 percent crude fiber, and 0.9 percent ash. In addition, they also have a good amount of essential amino acids like leucine, tryptophan, and isoleucine.

Potatoes are often boiled, fried, or baked. They are served whole or mashed, cut up into fries, or made into potato chips. Potatoes are utilized in industry for a number of processes, including alcohol and starch synthesis. In laundromats and textile mills, potato starch, or farina, is utilized to size yarn. Moreover, dextrin and glucose are produced from potatoes.

The temperature levels of processed potatoes can be stored as follows:

  • +10 °C is the recommended temperature.
  • Maximum air exchange rate: 20 M³/h Estimated storage time: 60 days
  • Control humidity: ON/OFF
  • Following the harvest date, the goods should be delivered at the port of loading after 30 days. Note: Not necessary, but humidity levels can be set.

Okra

Okra , also referred to as ladies' fingers or gombo, is a good source of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and low calories. Being the leading producer in India, okra grows best in hot and humid climates.

Though okra originates from Africa, it is the main staple in Indian agriculture, leading to the export market. If you are looking to export okra from India, you need to maintain constant temperature control to store the okra and preserve its integrity.

The temperature range of okra is as follows:

Okra/Lady Finger/Gombo

  • Temperature recommendations: +8 to +10 °C
  • Maximum air exchange rate: 0 M³/h
  • Storage time estimate: 7–10 days
  • Control the humidity: OFF
  • After the harvest date, the goods must be gated to the loading port after 3 days.

Green Chilli

Green chili is the secret ingredient for any cuisine, be it Indian, continental, or Chinese. The scientific name for green chilies is Capsicum frutescens. Capsaicin is the compound that gives green chilies their fiery flavor. India has grown significantly to become the world's top exporter of green chilies. India is now a global center for obtaining premium Guntur green chilies for export.

Green chilies assist diabetics in controlling their blood sugar levels. It has an immediate effect on metabolism, which enhances the body's absorption of sugar in an indirect manner. Furthermore, chilies, being high in vitamin C and beta-carotene, are a terrific way to support good skin care practices and maintain radiant, healthy skin.

You need to opt for a suitable reefer container temperature to preserve the quality of the green chillies by following the temperature levels.

  • Temperature recommendations: +8 to +10 °C
  • Maximum air exchange rate: 20 M³/h
  • Storage time estimate: 16–22 days
  • Control the humidity: OFF
  • After the harvest date, the goods must be delivered to the loading port within 3 days.

Onion

India is the world's second-largest producer of onions . Indian onions are available year-round and are well-known for their flavor. Although onions are a temperate crop, they may be cultivated in a variety of climates, including tropical, subtropical, and temperate. Onion plants, however, may tolerate cold temperatures when they are young and sturdy.

Onions are a good source of potassium, a mineral that can aid in cellular function, fluid balance, nerve transmission, kidney function, and muscle contraction. Due to their anti-inflammatory and cholesterol- and triglyceride-lowering properties, onions may help reduce the risk of heart issues. They have a high concentration of quercetin, an anti-inflammatory and flavonoid antioxidant that regulates high blood pressure.

The temperature levels of onions stored in a reefer container are as follows:

Dry Onions

  • Temperature range recommended: +4 to +8 °C
  • Maximum air exchange rate: 25 M³/h
  • Storage time estimate: 180 days
  • Control humidity: ON 
  • Post the harvest date, the goods must be delivered after 60 days to the port of loading.

Note: 60% humidity level

Meat

India exports various types of meat, including cattle, goat, sheep (mutton), pork, fish , and chicken. The meat production process involves stunning, bleeding, eviscerating, and skinning the animals. Carcasses are then inspected and graded according to government quality standards.

Since meat is perishable and sensitive to temperature, it can spoil quickly without proper management, posing health risks. To prevent this, reefer containers are used to keep the meat at the right temperature. Monitoring the temperature and setting up alerts for any deviations is essential to avoid spoilage and ensure safety.

The temperature levels to store the meat products are as follows:

Deep-frozen Meat

  • Temperature recommendations: -20 °C or below
  • Maximum air swap: closed
  • Storage time estimate: 4-6 months
  • Control the humidity: OFF

Freshly chilled meat

  • -1,5 °C is the recommended temperature.
  • Maximum air swap: closed
  • Estimated storage time: 40–45 days

Manufactured Meat

  • Recommended Temperature:-1°C
  • Maximum air swap: closed

Cold Meat Products

  • -2 °C is the recommended temperature.
  • Maximum air swap: closed

Sea Food

Seafood is the name for food that comes from any form of sea life, including fish and shellfish. Over time, the Indian seafood export market has grown to unprecedented heights. Different types of fish, like squid, cuttlefish, octopus, crabs, clams, and mussels, among others, are currently being exported globally.

When it comes to exporting seafood, you must follow the temperature guidelines. With the best use of a reefer temperature control container, you can store the seafood irrespective of any climatic conditions.

The temperature levels are as follows:

Fish Deep Frozen

  • -20° C or lower is the recommended temperature.
  • Maximum air swap: closed
  • Control the humidity: OFF

Fish Products Lightly Preserved

  • The recommended temperature is +34 °F/+1 °C.
  • The suggested temperature is +2 °C/+35 °F.

Fish Products, Semi-Preserved

  • The suggested temperature is +2 °C/+35 °F.

Dairy Products

Lacticinia, commonly referred to as dairy goods or milk products, are food items prepared with milk. When it comes to the production of milk, India will have the largest dairy sector in the world from 2022 to 2023.

India is home to a wide variety of dairy products that are renowned throughout the world for their flavor and quality. You can export a variety of dairy products from India to other countries, such as:

  • Cream of Milk
  • Cheese
  • Custard
  • Butter
  • Fermented
  • Yogurt
  • Frozen
  • Casein

The provision of a reefer temperature container can preserve the temperature levels of various dairy products, such as:

Cheese

  • Temperature range recommended: -1 to +4 °C
  • Maximum air exchange: fresh cheese
  • About 40 days of storage
  • Control the humidity: OFF
  • Note: There are many varieties; look for information on the particular kind of cheese.

Cheese Fresh

  • Recommended temperature: 0 to +2 °C or +32 to +35 °F

Butter

  • Temperature range recommended: 0 to +2 °C
  • Maximum air swap: closed
  • Storage time estimate: 30–60 days
  • Control the humidity: OFF

Frozen Butter

  • A temperature of -20 C or lower is advised.
  • Maximum air swap: closed
  • Storage time estimate: 180 days
Conclusion

When perishable goods are transported in reefer containers, their nutritional content, flavor, texture, and quality are preserved through accurate temperature control. Logistics providers must keep an eye on temperature fluctuations and make necessary adjustments based on the unique requirements of various goods to ensure their optimal conditions to arrive at the desired ports.

Citrus Freight understands the needs of consumers for any particular perishable product. Keeping this in mind, they have launched a mobile-friendly app through which you can book a reefer container as per your choice. The app ensures the right vessel schedules timing for the shipment to reach the port safely.

Don’t waste time. Book the reefer container for temperature control to export your perishables!