Post-harvest optimisation: 'The best conditions for every apple variety'
Apples from UApple in Ukraine are flown around the world. Many go to Europe, but Asia and the Gulf states are important markets too. To guarantee the high quality of their products and to meet food safety requirements in the different countries, UApple receives expert advice from Wageningen Food & Biobased Research.
‘As a relatively young company, founded in 2016, UApple is committed to the most innovative techniques for cultivation, storage and distribution. We grow various apple varieties such as Gala, Granny Smith and Golden Delicious. Because of our favourable climate and fertile soil, we harvest apples of the highest quality. In order to maintain quality after the harvest, the postharvest consultancy team at Wageningen Food & Biobased Research helps us to optimise the postharvest process. They advise both on storage and on conditions during distribution, thereby ensuring that our products arrive at their final destination in optimal condition.’
Knowledge partner in postharvest technology
‘We chose Wageningen Food & Biobased Research simply because we want to work with the best players in each industry. The consultants have extensive knowledge about postharvest technologies. They have identified how current storage conditions affect our specific apple varieties. We have followed their advice and implemented the technologies they recommended in order to optimise quality.’
Online monitoring of postharvest facilities
‘Wageningen consultants continue to be involved, adapting their advice to the current situation, such as changing climate conditions. The team is very flexible and responds quickly. If the situation changes, they offer practical solutions that we can introduce immediately.
‘This year’s weather conditions have affected the quality of the apples and we had to pull out all the stops to maintain our top quality. The experts at Wageningen collected information, both digitally and on location, and were able to give us the post-harvest advice we needed for each variety.
‘As well as advice, we are also assured of control. The experts carry out online monitoring to see how our plants are operating and whether we are using the right settings for our refrigeration systems. So with Wageningen’s help, we’re continuing to learn.’
‘2020 was an extraordinary year because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the many quarantine measures. And yet we have been able to achieve a lot and even to step up our collaboration since the previous year. Although our company is not exactly a short distance away, we met face-to-face on average twice a year. And we maintain contact by email and through WhatsApp. We even have a group app and we feel quite at liberty to contact Wageningen if we have questions or there’s something we’re not sure about.’