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PL14 - Mixed Shipping Loads

  • It is always better to load plums of the same cultivar and of the same maturity into one shipping container because the ideal temperature regime can be selected.
  • More than one plum cultivar can be shipped in the same container provided that the suggested temperature regime is applicable to both cultivars. Ideally the same inner packaging should be used.
  • Cold storage life and shelf life will be compromised if plum cultivars that have to be shipped at a single temperature (PD1) are shipped at a dual temperature and vice versa. This must be taken into account if single-temperature cultivars are co-loaded with cultivars that must be shipped at dual temperatures (PD5 to PDX).
  • The two main reasons why dual temperatures are used on plums are to prevent internal disorders and to allow some cultivars to colour up during shipping. Co-loading these cultivars with single-temperature cultivars at a PD1 can lead to serious internal problems as well as fruit arriving at the destinations with poor colour. In the case of the latter, experience has shown that ripening in the market place to develop skin colour may have serious negative effects on internal quality of some cultivars which may become unacceptably soft before adequate development of skin colour.
  • As a general rule, cultivars where dual temperatures are recommended should never be shipped at a single temperature.
  • If dual- and single-temperatures cultivars are co-loaded the default temperature regime should be the recommended dual temperature for the cultivar involved. However, storage life and shelf life of the single temperature cultivar will be compromised.
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