A shipment of Taiwanese custard apples was successfully completed earlier this year from Taiwan to Malaysia with the help of controlled atmosphere (CA) technology from Daikin Reefer.
Taiwan is one of the leading sources of custard apples and growers and shippers have been frustrated over the years by the difficulty of finding new markets with their produce. The custard apple, known by a number of different names such as the atemoya fruit, has a taste similar to that of custard.
The fruit is particularly popular in China which typically accounts for over 90% of Taiwanese exports each year. The initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on fruit imports due to blockages at Chinese ports under lockdown provided an opportunity for the custard apples to be shipped using Daikin Active CA. Previous reefer shipments of custard apples made without Daikin Active CA on this route saw anywhere from 30% to 80% of the fruit arriving spoiled, due to either chilling injuries or over ripening which results in brown spots to the fruit’s skin. Once offloaded, such spoiled fruit typically only has a shelf life of 2 days.
When shipped with Daikin Active CA, the custard apples arrived in optimum condition with an extended shelf life of between 5 and 7 days.
Taiwan custard apples vary in shape, size and color and it is particularly challenging to ship them over longer distances because of the speed at which they can spoil and discolor when transported in normal reefers that rely on natural respiration. This means perishable cargoes with low respiration rates can be transported under optimum conditions – unlike when more passive systems are used.
“To successfully ship Taiwanese custard apples to Malaysia is a very exciting development and we are delighted that Daikin Active CA and refrigerated container technology enabled this successful shipment,” said Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation.
“We were delighted with the results of our research project in 2019 and we now hope that where this initial shipment of custard apples to a new market has led, others will soon follow. It may be that consumers outside of Asia could soon well become familiar with not only the Taiwanese custard apple, but also other Asian fruits with all their flavor, appearance and freshness that are so celebrated by consumers in the Asian region’, said Mr. Ah Huat Goh, General Manager, Global Marketing & Service, Reefer Department at Daikin Reefer.