Ripening specialist says its Ultimo rooms are now even more energy efficient and can be built to pre-cool fruit

Interko has announced advances to its Ultimo ripening rooms that ”reconfirm their position as the world’s most energy-efficient ripening solution”, while opening up the technology to the pre-cooling market.

Interko Ultimo two tier ripening room exterior

According to the Netherlands-based group, the engineering team at Interko has cut the energy consumption of its Ultimo rooms by a further 20 per cent, after launching the second generation of its Reverso reversible fans, which are exclusive to Interko.

Added to that, Ultimo’s design and technology has been adapted to enable the room to be used for pre-cooling fruit.

Interko said that further improvements would be made this year in line with its mission to offer the world the most advanced high-quality, low-cost fruit ripening technology.

“Energy efficiency remains a number one goal for fruit ripeners given the ongoing pressure on global energy prices,” said Chris Maat, Interko’s managing director/partner.

”In response, we have re-engineered our Reverso fan technology, so these fans use even less electricity than before. This reduces daily running costs by 20 per cent, as reported by our customers and confirmed by third-party testing.

“Also, our upgraded Reverso fans can now automatically detect reduced loads of fruit within the ripening room,” Maat continued. ”This means that individual fans can be switched off, and, crucially, this will not impact on the airflow to the remaining boxes of fruit. In short, ripeners now have more flexibility and even lower energy consumption which will help to reduce bills considerably.

“What’s more, our world-class engineers have cleverly adapted Ultimo’s technologies to open this room to an entirely new market – for pre-cooling fruits including bananas, avocados, mangoes, and citrus,” he outlined. ”And thanks to our energy-saving fans, our rooms offer much more efficiency and better fruit quality compared with other pre-cooling systems available.”

Interko said that In the past 12 months, it had sold a large number of Ultimo rooms worldwide and already this year’s orders were coming in for the ripening solution for bananas, avocados, and mangoes.

The key differentiator, Interko outlined, was Ultimo’s airflow which ripened large volumes of fruit to the same desired level of maturity.

“Ultimo’s unique design, with one Reverso fan per pair of pallets, creates an equal flow of air moving laterally, rather than longitudinally, across the room,” Maat explained. ”This ensures that all fruit is ripened evenly throughout the room and that the air loss is minimal. Having less free air within the room helps to control the ripening environment and to reduce the energy consumption.

“Talking to our customers, like Fyffes, they cannot see any other ripening room that beats Ultimo,” he added. “Ninety-nine per cent of our competitors use a longitudinal airflow in their ripening rooms which makes a significant difference in performance.

”Ultimo is fundamentally different, which is why it is more effective at ripening, results in better fruit quality, and lower energy bills.”