Redesigned system features more cost-effective Reverso fan technology

Ripening room specialist Interko has launched a next generation cooler featuring a more efficient version of the company’s exclusive Reverso reversible fans that it claims can cut energy and labour costs for ripeners by a further 20 per cent.

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Interko said the upgrade marks the next step forward in achieving high-quality, low-cost fresh fruit ripening.

The Dutch company is already installing the updated cooling system in its Ultimo ripening rooms for bananas and said it expects to release the upgrade for its popular Optimo and Axesso exotic fruit ripening rooms in due course.

The system can be retrofitted within existing rooms and operates in the same manner as the previous design.

Managing director Chris Maat said: “This is the next generation in ripening cooling! Running at full speed, our upgraded Reverso 2.0 fans use as little as 80 watts of electricity per pallet, which is 20 per cent more energy efficient compared with the previous generation.

“With the current high energy prices worldwide, customers will achieve a return on investment in a very short period of time. And because the cooler is more efficient, there is less free air within the room, which gives ripeners an even tighter control over the ripening process.”

In addition to the new fans, the company has made a number of small changes and improvements which it said can add up to big savings for ripeners.

“Our revamped cooler is built using stainless steel and PVC to withstand the potential for corrosion due to the high levels of humidity and condensation in a ripening room,” Maat explained.

“We have also added a hinge to the fan drip tray to enable easy cleaning, plus there is a new motor, rings, and ducts.

“On top of that, the design of the cooler has been altered to deliver two important benefits. Firstly, the technology can be used in rooms with slightly lower heights, and, secondly, once packaged we can stack more of this system within one truck to reduce the transportation costs for the customer.”

Interko said it has increased efforts to improve its ripening technology in light of the unprecedented supply and energy challenges facing the global produce industry. In particular, it has been focusing on raising efficiency and reducing the use of raw materials.

At the end of 2022, Interko launched a “game-changing” ripening control system complete with a market-exclusive fail-safe mode, which has just been branded Ripe Pilot.

The sensor-based programme helps operators to go one step further in automating, monitoring and tracing their ripening process, and comes pre-fitted in or retrofitted to Interko’s Ultimo, Optimo, Axesso and Mobilo ripening rooms.

“Ripeners can automate their ripening with the guarantee of a fail-safe feature,” Maat said. “This can help to overcome labour challenges, and enable incredible quality control thanks to optimised ripening cycles that result in fruit with perfect quality, finish and shelf-life, plus minimal loss.

“Ripe Pilot is easy to use, records lots of data, and enables greater flexibility and responsiveness than any other controller on the market.”

The company will be showcasing its latest developments at next week’s Fruit Logistica in Berlin.