Jan 18, 2021
RipeLocker containers hold freshly harvested organic blueberries well

RipeLocker, which extends the postharvest life of perishables, announced  Jan. 13 its RipeLocker containers recently held freshly harvested organic blueberries in pristine condition for eight weeks.

According to a news release, in the trial, the company used six of its pallet-size RipeLocker containers to store fresh organic blueberries from Blueberry Hill. Based on the strong results, Blueberry Hill plans to lease commercial RipeLocker containers, which will be available this summer.

In addition to growing its own blueberries, Blueberry Hill owns Sorbatto Fresh, a packing and storing facility for 20 blueberry growers in Washington state. About 90% of the blueberries managed by Sorbatto Fresh are organic. By using RipeLocker containers, Blueberry Hill can greatly extend its normal selling season for blueberries, increase margins and provide higher quality for longer periods of time to its many customers. Retailers and consumers gain better eating quality berries with longer shelf-life.

The patented, low-atmosphere RipeLocker containers are used for storing and shipping fresh produce and flowers, and extend the post-harvest life by weeks, often months. They are pallet-size, made from recycled materials and are reusable. RipeLocker containers are leased to customers on an annual basis and the realized returns far exceed the cost of the lease. The company has already completed efficacy trials with several high-value commodities such as berries, pomegranates, cherries, papayas, fresh hops and flowers, and it expects to announce additional orders of RipeLocker containers soon.

George Lobisser

“Using RipeLocker containers to extend the post-harvest life of fresh produce and flowers quickly translates to better quality, longer selling seasons and greater margins for growers and packers,” said George Lobisser, CEO and co-founder of RipeLocker. “We have seen excellent results in our efficacy trials, including this one with Blueberry Hill, and are confident we will soon become the preferred container for storing and shipping perishables around the world. In addition, the ultra-low oxygen and pressure environment of our RipeLocker containers makes them perfect for organics.”

“We were extremely pleased with the pristine quality of the blueberries that had been stored in the RipeLocker containers for eight weeks. They looked like they came right out of the field,” said Jeff Weijohn, owner of Blueberry Hill. “After seeing such great results, we quickly signed up to lease the RipeLocker containers as we anticipate a strong ROI from using them.”

Blueberry Hill plans to use the RipeLocker containers it leases to store and ship its blueberries and potentially other perishables in the future. The company expects to be able to use each container 4-5 times each season.

The technology behind RipeLocker containers

RipeLocker containers offer a unique, patented system to manage the atmospheric pressure, humidity and gas composition (oxygen and CO2) within the containers to extend the life of fresh produce and flowers. The containers suppress pathogen growth, resulting in significantly less decay. In addition, RipeLocker containers can provide a vehicle for delivering organic fungicide vapors to kill the pathogen.

Based on the specific needs of each type of fresh produce or flower, RipeLocker tailors operating parameters, such as internal pressure, oxygen and CO2 levels, to optimize the longevity and freshness. The system responds to changes in the storage or shipping environment, making automatic precise adjustments to prevent damage and reduce decay.

RipeLocker designed its containers so that they can easily be deployed and used in the existing cold chain. Produced via injection molds, the RipeLocker container is the first solution that can be delivered cost effectively in mass volume. RipeLocker has patents on both the container design and method of operation.

RipeLocker’s company’s patented, dynamic, low-atmosphere containers are used for storing and shipping fresh produce and flowers, and extend the post-harvest life by weeks, often even months.

When RipeLocker containers are used, consumers benefit from better taste and shelf-life, and retailers experience less waste at their stores.

RipeLocker, founded in 2016 and based in Seattle, Washington, is a science-based and data-driven company. It has been testing the efficacy of its RipeLocker containers for several years with many of the largest growers in the world.

For more information, go to www.ripelocker.com

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