A shipping container on the outside and a high-tech research space on the inside, equipped with climatic chambers and state-of-the-art measuring and control devices: the COOL – Research on the Move container, which stands in Wageningen this month, is unique in the world. Wageningen Food & Biobased Research and Fotein BV jointly developed this mobile research facility to enable research into the quality and preservation of fresh products anywhere in the world. Businesses and governments in emerging countries can use it to reduce food losses and exploit export opportunities.
From mango and avocado to aubergine, asparagus and lychees: the production of fresh fruits and vegetables in emerging countries like China, India, Kenya, Mexico and Vietnam has multiplied in recent decades. “This increases demand for the kind of knowledge and technology required to safeguard the quality and shelf life of fresh products,” says Peter Ravensbergen, business developer at Wageningen Food & Biobased Research. “The mobile research facility will enable companies and governments to make informed decisions about the storage, transportation and sale of fresh products while maintaining the highest quality. This will in turn reduce food losses and strengthen companies’ international market position. The upshot in the long term will be additional economic activity and employment in the relevant regions.”
On the move
In the meantime, experts of Wageningen Food & Biobased Research are meeting with interested parties who may wish to rent or possibly buy the container. Before the local researchers start working with the equipment, they will go through a comprehensive training programme in Wageningen. And once the container has arrived at its destination the local scientsists get advice when necessary.