Pg. 41-45 Experimental export of sulphur free litchis to the UK and subsequent trials to establish the effect of maturity on the procedure

During the 2004/05 season, an experimental consignment of sulphur free HLH Mauritius litchis was exported by sea to the United Kingdom. The trial consisted of combinations of treatments including a prochloraz bath, a Smartfresh application and packing in either 30 micron polyethylene bags or punnets. The experimental trial was successful and it was possible to keep the litchis for 2 weeks in the UK, provided the fruit was stored in a punnet inside a fridge. The prochloraz treatment at a concentration of 30 ml/100 f was shown to be essential while the use of punnets was also a necessity. The Smartfresh application provided the final finishing touch to the procedure. After completion of the experimental export trial , an additional set of five laboratory trials were conducted during the season at different maturity levels so as to establish what effect fruit maturity has on the effectiveness of the procedure. The results indicated that, as is the case with sulphur fumigated fruit, the procedure became less effective as the litchis became over-mature towards the end of the season. The effectiveness of the Smartfresh treatment was most hampered by advanced maturity, as well as the period between harvest and refrigeration. From the results it would appear that it is certainly possible to export sulphur free litchis by sea and it is recommended that exporters consider this procedure on a limited scale under the auspices of the researchers who have developed the technique.

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