Chongqing- Workers from Chongqing Rongke Supply Chain Technology Co., Ltd. in Wushan County were busily printing orders, sorting, packing, and loading crisp plums, which were then airlifted to Singapore for sale this July.
"That's great!" said Wang Chenyu, company boss, excited to see the departure of 100 loads of crisp plums.
"The preservation technology provided by the Chongqing University Industrial Technology Research Institute at the Western (Chongqing) Science City allows overseas friends to taste the specialties of Wushan and satisfies homesickness in foreign lands," Wang said.
Located in the hinterland of the Chongqing Three Gorges Reservoir area, Wushan County is the hometown of crisp plums in China. The Wushan crisp plum is not only a Chinese-famous fruit but also a treasure for local people to root out poverty.
The preservation period of the picked crisp plums is only four to five days, which becomes an urgent issue in its industrial chain.
Although various methods such as cold storage and soaking preservatives have been put forward successively, the technologies are all immature, causing the residual dirt or water loss of crisp plums during processing that affects the fruit's taste, reputation, and export.
Knowing the sales difficulties of crisp plums, the team of Liu Kun, Associate Professor of Chongqing University, offered scientific and technological services, a self-developed air discharge radical fruit and vegetable preservation system in early July.
This system is implemented and transformed by the Chongqing University Industrial Technology Research Institute, which can effectively kill the pathogenic bacteria on the surface of fruits and vegetables to prevent decay, meanwhile delaying their physiological aging process. It is the world's first non-chemical preservation air discharge radical system to achieve the above functions simultaneously.
"Our original intention is to reduce fruit farmers' losses (spoilage) and help rural revitalization by technology," said Liu.
Over five years of research and development, the team worked to overcome difficulties and finally obtained the national patent. "It is another successful application of the system to help Wushan crisp plums sell overseas," he said.
In addition, the advent of the system and its introduction into the market have opened up a new path for fruit preservation.
In practice, the staff only needs to send baskets of fruits and vegetables into the equipment without adding any items. The equipment will sterilize according to the preset time, which is convenient, efficient, and saves labor costs.
"In the early stages, we conducted a large number of experiments. Before using air discharge radical preservation equipment, the preservation period was only four to five days, bringing great challenges to exports," said Liu. "Now, the preservation time of crisp plums was increased to two weeks after the equipment was put into use, strengthening confidence in export sales and laying a solid foundation for its subsequent overseas sales."
Next, the Western (Chongqing) Science City will give full play to its advantages of scientific and technological university talents, develop new technologies, and improve the level of science and technology in universities to help rural revitalization. It will provide solid scientific and talent support for rural revitalization and agricultural and rural modernization.
(Ge Rongchen, as an intern, also contributed to this report.)
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