Ethylene Management for Floral and Produce Handling
Potassium Permanganate Beads Filters Ethylene from Air
Extends shelf life and maintains quality
Fruits, vegetables and flowers are highly perishable commodities. From the moment they are picked, they require proper ethylene management in post-harvest handling to maximize freshness, quality and shelf life from the field to the table.
DeltaTrak’sAir Repair Ethylene Gas Absorber products can dramatically reduce harmful levels of ethylene gas. The ethylene gas absorbers are composed of high efficiency, activated aluminum beads impregnated with potassium permanganate. The beads large surface area allows for maximum absorption capability. Loose weave packaging material ensures optimum airflow and oxidation of ethylene and other contaminant gases.
Even an extremely small quantity of ethylene can cause irreversible damage! Often not immediately noticeable, ethylene will have an effect even if exposure time is short. Air Repair Ethylene Gas Absorber products oxidize ethylene, changing it into harmless CO2 and water. When fresh, the Ethylene Gas Absorber beads are a bright purple color. Upon exposure to air, and as ethylene is oxidized, they turn brown starting from the surface and eventually penetrating the core of the bead.
Mini Packets: Model 19005: 5 gram Mini-Packet Ethylene Gas Absorbers are recommended for floral shipments and 8 gram Mini-Packets, Model 19006, for produce shipments. They are placed in cartons along with the product to protect it from the time it is packed until it reaches the retail level.
Tubes: Model 19016: The 5 inch Mini Tube Ethylene Gas Absorber is typically used for display cases, reach-ins and small walk-in coolers, by attaching it to the fan guard. Model 19015: The 20 inch tube can be used in walk-in coolers or in the air chute of a refrigerated container.
Blankets: These Blanket Ethylene Absorbers come in three different sizes: Model 19011: 10" x 10", for small coolers. Model 19008: 20" x 20" and Model 19009: 20" x 25" for larger coolers, warehouses and refrigerated containers.
The Blankets should be hung from the ceiling or an overhang, preferably on the return side of the fans, where there is maximum airflow.
Model 19010: available in 50 pound boxes. The loose beads are used as a filter medium.
Air Repair Ethylene Gas Absorbers
Your Key of Protection Guidelines for calculating the amount of protection to be used
Group I Factor .00001
Group II Factor .00002
Group III Factor .00003
Formula Calculating Factor x Days to be Protected x Weight of Merchandise = Size #
A 40 ft containerized shipment is leaving New York for a Caribbean Island. Estimated time of travel to that island is five (5) days. The Total weight of the merchandise is 36,000 lbs. Half the items being shipped are found in Group I. The remainder of the merchandise are items found in Group II> We then calculate as follows: .00001 x 18,000 x 5 = .9 (C.F.) (Wt.) (days) .00003 x 18,000 x 5 = 2.7 .9 + 2.7 = 3.6 Use one size #3 and one size #1 (3 and 1 = 4)
#1 (10" x 10")
#3 (20" x 14")
#5 (20" x 20")
#6 (20" x 25")
DeltaTrak manufactures products under an ISO 9001:2015 registered quality management system
Basic Ethylene Management in Produce & Floral Handling
Exposure of horticultural products to ethylene gas during storage, distribution and at the retail level, can cause increased shrinkage and a decline in quality and shelf life. Following is some information to aid in ethylene management for floral and produce handling.
Minimize or Eliminate Sources
It is important to identify some basic sources of ethylene which could be present in your handling environment. The first phase of good ethylene management, after identification, if elimination, reduction or isolation of different sources of ethylene. These include: Exhaust Fumes - Combustion engines powered by fossil fuel give off significant amounts of ethylene in their exhaust, up to 300 ppm. Forklifts, trucks and airplanes in the distribution chain, even heavy traffic or busy parking lots can be significant sources of ethylene. If elimination of engine exhaust is impossible, then ample ventilation must be provided. Fuel-fired heaters on trucks can leak exhaust ethylene into floral cargo areas during transport if heat exchangers are cracked.
Microorganisms - Rotting flowers, foliage, fruits and vegetables are perfect media for fungus and bacteria to grow and thrive. There microorganisms are capable of producing large amounts of ethylene. This problem is minimized by practicing proper sanitation on a routine basis, in cooler, work areas, and also floral buckets. Discard trimmed leaves, stem cuttings or any decaying plant matter as soon as possible.
Produce - As fruit baskets are becoming more popular in the floral industry, it is important to be aware of the greater risk of ethylene damage to floral while stored or shipped with high ethylene producing fruit. These include: apples, peaches, pears, bananas, and kiwifruit. While oranges and other citrus are low producers, they are susceptible to fungal growth. Even if a fruit basket is shrink wrapped, ethylene can pass through the pores of the poly films used. Fruit should ideally be isolated from floral products.
Tobacco Smoke - When many smokers are in an enclosed area, studies have shown that there can be a significant build up of ethylene gas over several hours. Do not smoke around horticultural products, or be certain that there is plenty of ventilation.
Even with the above measures there will still be ethylene present, and even small amounts can cause significant and irreversible damage. Direct removal is done with ethylene scrubbers. When strategically placed in the air stream, as air passes through them, our Air Repair™ ethylene gas absorber blankets or tubes act as filters. Ethylene gas present in the air is oxidized by the potassium permanganate beads in the filters, so clean air is being recirculated. Air Repair™ ethylene gas absorber filters need to be replaced on a regular basis, depending on levels of ethylene present.
Air Repair Ethylene Absorbers
Place in each box of produce or flowers prior to shipment or storage. Best if placed into the box directly on the packing line. This way Air Repair ™ will protect the product from the time it is packaged, throughout distribution and storage, until it reaches the retail level.
The 5 gram ethylene gas absorber mini-bag is recommended for floral applications. Staple or tape the bag to the top edge, closure flap, or cover of each box. If using tape be sure that you only use a strip small enough to attach the bag without covering too much of it, so air can still circulate through the material and the absorber beads.
One 8 gram ethylene gas absorber mini-bag is recommended for produce applications, for a 10 to 15lb box traveling on short trips (20 days or less) with minimal cold storage. For longer trips, two 8 gram ethylene gas absorber mini-bags are recommended in a 15 to 20 lb box. Instead of stapling or taping, the mini-packet can also be placed directly on top of the produce, as long as there isn’t a lot of moisture present. If so, then stapling or taping will make sure that the mini-packet is hanging, thus less likely to get wet.
Used for small walk-in coolers or refrigerated display cases in floral retail stores. Clip onto the fan guard, of fasten with a twist tie or wire, or free-standing on a shelf.
Used in refrigerated containers where space is tight or in manifold systems for forced air return. Can also be used in small walk-in coolers, fasten to a fan guard, or hanging, suspended in the air flow (preferably the return side).
Same application as the tubes, except hangs in the air flow, again, preferably on the return side of the fans.
Most popular size is the #6 blanket (20” x 25”), there is also a #5 (20” x 20”) blanket. Use inside ocean containers, large coolers or in warehouses. In an ocean container two 20” x 25” blankets are usually sufficient, hang from the ceiling.
How many ethylene absorbers do I need for my application?
The amount is calculated with a formula using the type of product (fruit/vegetable) multiplied by the weight of the product multiplied by the number of days the product is stored. See guidelines under the "Specifications" and "User Guide" tabs above.
Does it make a difference if I use absorber blankets or tubes.
If they have the same number they will absorb the same amount of ethylene. The shape of the product is for particular applications. For example, a blanket will work well in a ventilation system with the air passing through it whereas packets can be placed in various locations within the storage area.