With the “Cool – Research on the move” concept, research institutes and companies can now carry out independent research into the quality of local perishables wherever they are in the world. The result: less food waste, greater export opportunities and more jobs. This unique concept is a partnership between Wageningen Food & Biobased Research and Fotein. It combines knowledge and techniques in the field of postharvest technology into a single mobile research facility.
On the outside, it looks like a normal reefer container. But on the inside it is an ultramodern research facility with climate chambers, measuring devices and control equipment. This enables a fast, reliable evaluation of the starting quality of fruit and vegetables, it ensures that different storage conditions are arranged for different products and monitors their quality decay.
From mango and avocado to aubergine, asparagus and lychees: the production of fresh fruits and vegetables in emerging countries like China, India, Kenya, Mexico and Vietnam has multiplied in recent decades. “This increases demand for the kind of knowledge and technology required to safeguard the quality and shelf life of fresh products,” says Peter Ravensbergen, business developer at Wageningen Food & Biobased Research. “The mobile research facility will enable companies and governments to make informed decisions about the storage, transportation and sale of fresh products while maintaining the highest quality. This will in turn reduce food losses and strengthen companies’ international market position. The upshot in the long term will be additional economic activity and employment in the relevant regions.”