Daikin’s controlled atmosphere (CA) container technology ships Taiwanese custard apples to Middle East For First Time

Daikin Active controlled atmosphere (CA) refrigerated container technology selected by Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation for first ever shipment of Taiwanese custard apples to Dubai by leading exporter Fruit Days International Co.

Yang Ming Line and leading fruit exporter Fruit Days International Co. have selected Daikin’s Active controlled atmosphere (CA) container technology for the first ever container shipment of Taiwanese custard apples to Dubai in the Middle East.

Daikin Reefer is a leading supplier of refrigeration and climate control solutions for freight containers. Headquartered in Japan, Daikin Reefer is a business unit of the refrigeration division of global refrigeration, air conditioning and climate control provider Daikin Industries Ltd.

The majority of Taiwan’s fresh produce exports, including Taiwanese custard apples, are bound for Asian countries. This delicate fruit can often have a limited shelf life even after short ocean shipment journeys, due to its tendency to spoil easily or ripen quickly.

However increased demand for Asian fruit globally together with changes to market conditions in Asia mean Taiwan now has the opportunity to reach new and distant markets with its renowned custard apples as well as other fresh produce.  

To successfully ship over long distances, the custard apple must be kept in optimum conditions during transit so that it arrives in a ‘just-picked’ state, ready for onwards distribution to supermarkets and then to consumers. Finding ways in which to ship this fruit under the correct atmospheric conditions has traditionally been a problem that has frustrated Taiwanese growers and international shippers.

Popular with the health conscious, the custard apple has a low GI (Glycemic index) and is naturally sweet with a distinct flavour of custard. An excellent source of vitamins C and B6, it is also rich in potassium. The Middle East has excellent growth rates in the consumption of perishables, and this region relies heavily on food imports due to low local food production. There has also been a rise in the number of high-end restaurants and supermarkets with consumers keen to try new and exotic perishables.

Yang Ming Line’s shipment supported by Daikin’s Active CA meant the custard apples arrived in Dubai after 18 days at sea in optimum condition ready for onwards distribution to leading high-end supermarkets in Dubai. Even after a total 18 days in transit the custard apples still had a shelf life of 8 days in Dubai.

The Daikin Active CA system is unique in that it reduces oxygen and manages carbon dioxide levels, as well as boosting nitrogen levels to quickly put fresh produce into a state of hibernation inside the reefer. This helps to maintain the quality of the fruit and extend both the shelf life (i.e. the selling days on shelf in stores) and the overall storage life of a wide range of fresh produce, even on the longest of journeys.

The custard apples are effectively ‘put to sleep’ on their journey so their freshness is maintained and Taiwanese and other Asian exporters can now rely upon Daikin’s Active CA technology to help them grow their market footprint and reach new international markets.

“Shipping Taiwanese custard apples to Dubai for the first time is an exciting development, opening up Jebel Ali Port and the country of Dubai as new import destinations, thanks to Daikin’s Active CA.  We are excited that we can now open up new distant markets beyond the traditional near market destination of Taiwanese custard apples with Daikin’s leading Active CA technology” said Alex Huang of Fruit Days International Co.

“Since our research project on long-distance transportation of custard apples in 2019 we are delighted that custard apples are now being shipped out of Taiwan to the Middle East to be enjoyed by consumers there.  Earlier this year our CA technology also supported a shipment of custard apples from Taiwan to Vancouver. Both these shipments clearly demonstrate that our Active CA technology is paving the way for Asian exporters to find new markets and for shippers to extend their cargo ranges by safeguarding the freshness of valuable perishable produce” said Mr Ah Huat Goh, General Manger, Global Marketing & Service, Reefer Department at Daikin Reefer.

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