A unique experiment is currently taking place at a citrus packing house in southern Israel. It involves the containerization of citrus fruit for overseas transport using 40 foot refrigerated containers. Among those particularly concerned with the results are the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Quarantine Division. In fact, parts of the experiment are being conducted solely upon the request and for the benefit of U.S. Quarantine. The tests are a joint undertaking of the Israel Citrus Marketing Board, Zim Israel Navigation Company, and two U.S. manufacturers of refrigeration machinery: Frigitemp and Thermo King. Their overall aim is to ascertain how different container refrigeration systems affect the condition of the fruit and how containers within these different regrigeration systems should be handled. There are two stages to this experiment--The first stage is a stationary test, with the task to check primarily: the rate of cooling down within the container, in order to bring the temperature to the desired level; the actual temperature in different parts of the container and the degree of temperature fluctuations; different stacking patterns of container loads; the flow of air within the container and how it is affected by the different stacking patterns, as well as by the introduction of a new type of carton accommodating 40 pounds of fruit; the condition of the fruit during the experiments which last between eight to twelve days, and the out-turn after their conclusion. The second stage, which is scheduled to begin only after the satisfactory completion of the stationary tests, will involve experimental shipments of various lengths and to different destinations. In both systems being tested, the air movement inside the container is vertical. This made it possible to use "solid bloc" stowage which gives maximum stability, good air movement throughout the unit and equally good temperature distribution. One of the crucial factors to the apparent success of the experiment was the design of the already mentioned special carton. It is perforated on all sides, as well as on top and bottom, thus forcing the air to circulate through eeach carton and not only around it, resulting in nearly equal temperature distribution. The tests were conducted under outside ambient temperatures of 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, to 35 degrees and sometimes even below the freezing point during the night.

  • Authors:
    • Felice, M
  • Publication Date: 1972-3

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00032670
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Container News Incorporated
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 28 1973 12:00AM