The Union of Growers of Brazilian Papaya, an organization that handles the export of Brazilian papayas from the region of Linhares in the state of Espirito Santo, has developed a new twin-pack clamshell for its Golden papayas.
According to Rodrigo Lima, president of Crown Global Corp., a Miami-based company that handles the distribution of the fruit, the goal of the new packaging is to ensure the quality of the fruit for consumersat retail.
“Papayas are very sensitive fruit, and when shipped from Brazil they are shipped green to ripen naturally day-by-day after arrival,” said Lima. “The problem is that we cannot control how they will be handled during transportation and at retail. UGBP noticed that mechanical damage and lower temperatures are some issues that occur due to poor handling. The result is that sometimes we don’t have as good quality as we expect for small Golden papayas at shelves.”
Lima said that the new clamshell pack, which was unveiled at the recent Produce Marketing Association Fresh Summit convention in New Orleans, helps the papayas reach the proper maturity as the closed clamshell can circulate the natural ethylene gas emitted by the fruit, which facilitates uniform ripening of each piece of fruit. Also, the clamshell protects the papayas against mechanical damage and lower temperatures that could happen during handling.
An additional benefit of the new clamshell pack is the ability to include recipes and other information about the fruit. The pack includes a QR code that, once scanned by any smartphone, will show several recipes with videos made by Brazilian chefs.
UGBP promotes the larger Formosa, or Tainung, variety of papaya as well as the smaller Golden variety. The Formosa variety is shipped exclusively to the European market. Lima said the Golden variety has some advantages over its larger cousin, especially the fact that it is a single size. So the whole fruit can be consumed in one sitting.
“Big papayas are mostly cut in half, and the other half goes into the refrigerator and will not be as fresh as before,” he said. “The small Golden papaya can be eaten at one time when all the nutrients are there.”
UGBP is now in its eighth year exporting Brazilian papayas to the United States, Canada, England, Germany, Holland, France, Italy, Poland, Russia and Spain.