This research investigated the susceptibility of apple fruit to bruising inside two ventilated corrugated paperboard package (MK4 and MK6 package designs) commonly used in fresh fruit industry during a simulated transport damage.

The results showed that both the incidence and severity of apple bruising were affected by package design and frequency of shaking the boxes during transport. Apple fruit inside the MK4 package with higher length–to–height ratio had less damage than fruit inside the MK6 package.

Irrespective of the package design, apple fruit on the top layer were more susceptible to bruising and the range of the proportion of bruised apples was between 50 and 74% at all the three frequencies, which are rather extreme conditions that usually occur when loads of packed fruit damage during transport.

The breakage of the trays highlighted their important role as part of the ‘shock absorber’ system of the cartons, which otherwise would have contributed to more damage of fruit.

In the long term, the authors plan to measure the range of typical vibration and related experienced by fruit during packhouse handling and transport using this methodology so that corrective measures can be recommended.

This all forms part of developing the scientific knowledge towards a design of the Packaging of the Future that meets the multiple needs of industry: cooling and energy efficiency, strength, cost effectiveness and other logistical needs.

Opara paper

Article available from ScienceDirect