Epta developed the first CO2 banana ripening system in Germany for Matthies & Söhne Fruchtimport GmbH, one of the leading German importers of fresh fruit and vegetables from all over the world. Bananas are a climacteric fruit and continue to ripen after separation from the plant. They are harvested while still green and placed in a refrigerated ripening chamber, at a specific temperature, and exposed to Ethylene gas to complete the ripening process, thus reaching a consistency and sweetness perfect for sale.

The system installed by Epta consists of six chambers in which the fruit ripens over a period of a few days. This system is different from others because the temperature is manually controlled: in fact, the operator can adjust the temperature according to the ripening degree desired, thus guaranteeing meticulous control over all of the process phases. Moreover, using a TCP/IP interface, Epta can remotely monitor the system 24/7, intervening immediately in case of malfunctions.

The solution, complete with a CO2 system and Misa cold rooms, is equipped with three-point adjustment so the operator can set the temperature with maximum precision. If the temperature falls below the lower limit, the heating system kicks in; conversely, if the maximum set temperature is exceeded, the refrigeration system automatically starts up. The cooling system uses CO2, a natural refrigeration gas that ensures energy savings of 25% and a high level of sustainability.

Robert Roßmann, from the Epta central area Service/Sales department explains, “We work with a sensor that constantly measures the temperature inside one of the bananas. Our program controls and records every variation. In this way, our clients obtain better profits, because the raw materials are preserved for a longer period, without rapidly spoiling”.