At CONCENTROL we performed a series of experiments with some of our customers and distributors, which resulted in a technical report on the effect of treatment of pineapples with our protector FRUTCOAT AC-36. To do so, there have been a series of tests in their laboratories and facilities in order to measure the effect of the product on pineapples. The tests enabled us to compare three aspects; weight loss, external appearance and ripening of the fruit.

Pineapples are a very special kind of fruit because they are not of the climacteric kind, i.e. unlike other types of fruit, they do not continue ripening after harvesting but instead begin to rot. In addition, pineapple is grown in tropical climates. Both factors: not being climacteric products and being cultivated mainly in a few places in the world, are key to understanding the need for a product that helps keep the fruit in good condition while being transported until it reaches the hands of consumers. So the challenge of extending the life of pineapples increases compared to climacteric fruit. However, in the same way as the rest, pineapples must have an adequate and competitive weight, an appearance attractive enough to be marketable and, of course, the level of ripeness of the fruit must be apt for consumption.

For this reason, CONCENTROL developed the range FRUTCOAT, a series of products based on waxes, resins, oils and natural polymers, for the protection of fruit. Within the FRUTCOAT range, we created FRUTCOAT AC, which was specially formulated for citrus and pineapples. This product is adapted according to the requirements of the FDA and EC regulations. In both cases, concentrated product to be diluted and ready-to-use product are available. The purpose of this product is to improve the appearance of fruit, making it brighter and more attractive, while extending its shelf life. The parameters in which FRUTCOAT operates are the reduction of weight loss (it regulates perspiration and respiration), maintains the freshness and appearance of fruit, provides a stable and long-term shiny surface, even if the fruit moves in and out of refrigerated storage rooms, resisting the effects of condensation water. In addition, the use of FRUTCOAT does not alter the organoleptic properties of fruit.

As for the experiments, to verify what percentage of weight loss there is comparing fruit treated and untreated, we selected eight pineapples in the middle of their ripening process. Half of them were treated with FRUTCOAT AC-36 FDA and the other four did not receive any treatment. Then, they were kept at 7.5 ºC for 24 days. Their weight was periodically checked, every 3 days, in order to measure and compare the results.

Looking at the chart, from the first day you can see a smaller weight loss of those pineapples treated with FRUTCOAT AC-36 compared to those that have not been treated. After 24 days stored, untreated pineapples had lost 16.9% in weight, while pineapples treated with FRUTCOAT AC-36 had reduced their weight by 14.3%. In conclusion, with FRUTCOAT AC-36 they retained 2.6% more water, and therefore weight, compared to those that did not receive treatment.

Regarding ripening and rotting, the result is revealing. On the 24th day, the ripening process was much higher in those pieces of fruit that had not been treated, and they began to rot. The cause is, as already mentioned, pineapples are a type of fruit that, once removed from the plant, instead of ripening they begin to rot. On the other hand, pineapples that had been treated with FRUTCOAT AC-36 retained their pulp in a visibly less ripe state and thus it prolongs their shelf life.

One of our suppliers in Colombia conducted an experiment testing the effects of FRUTCOAT AC-36 simulating the effect a pineapple would suffer after being transported by ship for 35 days. The results are markedly different. While untreated pineapples lost color and ‘greeness’ (looking browner and appearing dry), pineapples treated with FRUTCOAT AC-36 retained the green of the top leaves, as well as the green and yellow hues of the skin.

It has been proven that FRUTCOAT AC-36 treated fruit pieces retain more weight compared to those which do not receive treatment. As for appearance, it has been demonstrated that the effect is remarkable: After a simulated 35-day shipping, FRUTCOAT AC-36 preserves the green color of the top leaves as well as the natural appearance of the body of the fruit. Finally, the most noticeable effect of FRUTCOAT AC-36 was on the process of ripening, as after 24 days, much of the pineapples’ pulp was rotten, and yet, pineapples treated with FRUTCOAT AC-36 kept their pulp in remarkably better conditions. So, in conclusion, we can say that the treatment with FRUTCOAT AC-36 extends the shelf life of pineapples.

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