ETEN sachets are the Polish product which is innovative on the national market. Due to the special formulation of the active ingredient, it allows chemical absorption of ethylene from the environment. The efficiency of ethylene removal has been confirmed by the results of studies carried out in the Research Institute of Horticulture in Skierniewice, Department of Fruit and Vegetable Storage and Processing. The sachets placed in the fruit or vegetable packaging container promotes the slowdown of ripening, thus allowing the potential reduction of unfavourable qualitative changes in horticultural products as well as the prolongation of their shelf life in the trading period. The sachet application may also promote longer shelf life of cut flowers, in particular those expedited in mixed shipments with other horticultural products.
Available in the following dimensions:
M – 2 g of the content,
L – 10 g of the content,
XL – 20 g of the content
Effects of ethylene concentration control:
Ethylene removal (absorption) from the atmosphere surrounding horticultural products after harvest slows down natural ripening processes which lead to the decrease in the product consumption quality, and in consequence to changes which eliminate these products from the human nutritional chain.
What is ethylene?
Ethylene (C2H4) is a natural plant hormone (phytohormone) which promotes ripening and is commonly found in nature; it stimulates, for example, leaf fall, aging of plants, flower wilt and shedding, as well as ripening, senescence and decay of fruits and vegetables. It is emitted practically by all parts of any plant. Controlling the ethylene levels in the atmosphere surrounding horticultural products after harvest may prolong the trading period while preserving the high quality of products. Although maintaining optimal air temperature and humidity after harvest slows down the processes of fruit and vegetable aging, it does not stop the production of ethylene which in this case negatively affects the maintenance of the product quality.
Ethylene can also have positive impact on prompting the ripening processes and the uniform quality of certain fruits and vegetables, for example banana, tomato and avocado. Exogenous ethylene makes bananas turn yellow and ripe, causes the change in tomato colour from green to red as well as the softening of avocado and adding to it the features that make it ready for consumption. While ethylene is used under controlled conditions as the stimulator of biochemical ripening processes, its presence, even in low concentrations, during transportation and storage, results in accelerated ripening and in consequence in decay of fruits and vegetables. Scientific studies suggest that there is no “safe” level of ethylene in the air which would not cause negative results in the entire post-harvest chain – from garden to table. Already the concentration at the level of ppb (parts per billion, i.e. 10-9) may be metabolically active and accelerate the ripening of certain fruit, vegetable and flower species. In addition to ripening and rotting plant products, external sources of ethylene include combustion engines, plastics, smoke and fluorescent lamps. For example, a single gas-powered forklift working in confined space may be the source of ethylene at the level which can cause serious damage in horticultural products, which are particularly vulnerable to ethylene effects.
Negative effects of ethylene
Commonly observed negative effects of ethylene include mainly decay (fresh fruit and vegetables, flowers), russeting (leaf vegetables and aubergine), yellowing (cucumber, broccoli and sprouts), odour (garlic and onion), wilting (vegetables and cut flowers), superficial scald and softening (apples) and peel injuries (citrus fruits).
How to use ETAN sachets:
Place sachets in the packaging containing fruits, vegetables or flowers. Depending on the rate of ethylene production by a given horticultural product, apply the appropriate quantity of sachets per one unit packaging. The rate of ethylene production should be determined by the operator in distribution chain, prior to packaging the product.
Protect from damp!
ETAN sachets should be protected against direct contact with humidity in liquid form, e.g. flooding with water, atmospheric water vapour condensation, etc.
Even if horticultural products were in various phases and conditions of the distribution chain (packaging room, cold chamber, sorting room, distribution rooms) for a very short time, the effect of the increased levels of ethylene in individual phases is cumulative. The consequence may be their very short shelf life for the end recipient, i.e. consumer. The effectiveness of the sachets in minimizing unfavourable quality changes caused by ethylene may be significantly limited by the condition of horticultural products, their ripeness and transport conditions (temperature, humidity, duration, etc.)
Safety of use of the sachets:
ETEN sachets are safe in contact with fruit and vegetables.
Nevertheless, sachets should not be soaked or torn open, and any contact of their contents with protected horticultural products should be prevented.
Both new and used sachets should not be disposed of via wastewater system or in places close to water reservoirs. After use, sachets should be collected and disposed of according to local regulations.
Should the sachet contents come into contact with the skin of hands, wash hands and rinse with plenty of water.