|Author: ||A.L. Snowdon|
|Keywords: ||chilling, diseases, ethylene, leaf-spot, losses, Musa, postharvest, ripening, 'yellow pulp'|
Information on the cargo condition of bananas (Musa spp.) is obtained during out-turn surveys at destination (on behalf of cargo receivers, underwriters, ship owners or charterers) or during the study of claims documentation submitted by lawyers acting for one or other of the above parties.
There may also be occasion to visit the producer country.
Preshipment factors influencing cargo quality and out-turn condition include the weather, crop husbandry in relation to leaf-spot diseases, harvesting and handling techniques, postharvest treatments, method of packaging, schedule of loading, and carriage instructions written by the shipper/exporter.
Shipboard factors include design and function of the refrigeration and ventilation equipment, method of stowage, interpretation of carriage instructions, and duration of voyage.
For container shipments it is the shipper’s responsibility to ‘stuff’ the container in an appropriate manner; the container operator accepts the closed box and undertakes to supply refrigeration/ventilation in accordance with the shipper’s carriage instructions.
Deterioration (such as premature ripening) is often the result of a combination of adverse factors.
Particular problems include the difficulty of achieving uniform air circulation through a palletised stow, and the challenge of shipping additional commodities (which may produce ethylene) in the same vessel.
Accurate diagnosis of the causes of deterioration can assist in prompt settlement of claims and reduction of losses in the future.
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