Investigating quality issues after the introduction of humidifiers into table grape pack houses : a Northern Cape case

Kisten, Chloe (2020-03)

Thesis (MCom)--Stellenbosch University, 2020.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY : Introduction & Background to study: South Africa is the third largest producer of table grapes in the southern hemisphere following Chile and Peru respectively. Deciduous fruits and vegetables are South Africa’s second most exported horticultural products. Table grapes form part of this export category. Post-harvest physiological disorders such as brown stems, decay and other quality defects have a negative impact on the quality of table grapes exported from South Africa. Within the agricultural sector of South Africa, the table grape industry has drawn major attention over the past few years as the demand for table grapes has increased considerably. However, Company Y has identified many quality issues as a cause for concern. Purpose & problem definition / main research question Objectives: While conducting investigations along the supply chain, other industry market players have found that the implementation of a certain type of humidifier into pack houses decreases the number of quality issues faced by table grapes. Company Y implemented this humidifier system into one of their pack houses and did not install this system in the other six pack houses that data was collected from. The purpose of this study was to determine whether an investment in this humidifier system is justified, if proven to decrease quality problems for the table grapes distributed. Methodology (scope declared): Relative humidity, ambient temperature and quality control data was collected over a period of three table grape seasons, namely November 2015 to February 2018. The data collected from Farm 1’s pack house, which had the humidifier system installed, was compared to six other pack houses and against the data from Farm 1’s pack house prior to the system being installed. Quality control messages were collected at the port of destination, which were linked back to the pack location (farms) where the grapes were harvested. Main findings: The results from the statistical data analysis revealed that there is a significant relationship between the pack house with the humidifier system installed and the ambient temperature, causing fewer quality control messages to be detected. Other analysis and results supported the fact that fewer quality control messages were identified at Farm 1’s pack house after the installation of the humidifier than any of the other pack houses. The results show that Farm 1 experienced the least number of quality problems. Results also revealed that higher levels of humidity and lower temperatures were maintained at Farm 1’s pack house after the installation of the humidifier than any of the other six pack houses. Main Conclusions: This research finds that the installation of the humidifier system provides positive results whereby fewer quality issues are experienced and recommends investing in the system across multiple table grape pack houses. The installation of the humidification system can be implemented as a standalone source of improvement for the quality of table grapes harvested. Furthermore, this study recommends tighter control of the cold chain within the pack house, which could reveal stronger results in future studies.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING : Inleiding & Agtergrond tot studie: Suid Afrika is die derde grootste tafeldruif-produsent in die suidelike halfrond naas Chili en Peru onderskeidelik. Sagtevrugte en groente is Suid Afrika se tweede mees tuinbouprodukuitvoerder. Tafeldruiwe vorm deel van hierdie uitvoerkategorie. Na-oes fisiologiese afwykings soos stamroes, verotting en ander defekte het ’n negatiewe impak op die kwalitieit van die druiwe wat van Suid Afrika uitgevoer word. Met die beduidende toename in die aanbod vir tafeldruiwe het die bedryf baie aandag daarop gevestig in Suid Afrika se landbousektor. Maatskappy Y het eger verskeie kwaliteitsprobleme geidentifiseer wat rede is tot kommer. Doel van studie en definisie van die probleem / Belangrikste navorsingsdoelwitte: Gedurende die ondersoek van die voorsieningsketting deur ander rolspelers in die bedryf, het hulle bevind dat die implementering van ’n sekere tipe bevogtiger in die opbergingstore, die aantal kwaliteitsprobleme wat by tafeldruiwe voorkom, verminder het. Maatskappy Y het hierdie bevogtigerstelsel segs in een van hulle opbergingstore geimplimenteer, en nie in die ander ses opbergingstore waar data ingesamel is nie. Die doel van die studie was om vas te stel of ’n belegging in die bevogtigerstelsel geregverdig kan word indien kwaliteitsprobleme van die tafeldruiwe wat versprei word, sou verminder. Metodologie (omvang verklaar): Data met betrekking tot relatiewe humiditeit, aanvoelbare temperatuur en kwaliteitskontrole, is oor ’n tydperk van drie tafeldruif-seisoene, van November 2015 tot Februarie 2018, ingesamel. `Die data wat ingesamel is by die opbergingstoor op Plaas 1 waar die lugbevogtigersisteem geinstalleer is, is vergelyk met die data van die opbergingstoor voor die lugbevogtigersisteem geinstalleer is. Kwaliteitskontrole-boodskappe is by die plek van bestemming versamel, en is dan weer terug herlei na die opbergingstoor (plase) waar die druiwe ge-oes is. Hoofbevindinge: Die bevindings van die statistiese data-analise het ’n beduidende verhouding tussen die lugbevogtiger en die aanvoelbare temperatuur in die opbergingstoor waar die bevogtiger geinstalleer is, getoon. Gevolglik is daar ook minder kwaliteitskontrole-boodskappe waargeneem. Ander analises en verslae het bevindinge van minder kontroleboodskappe bevestig by die opbergingstoorvan Plaas 1, na die installasie van die bevogtiger teenoor die ander pakhuise. Die bevindinge het getoon dat Plaas 1 die minste aantal kwaliteitsprobleme ondervind het. Die uitslae het ook getoon dat hoër vlakke humiditeit en laer temperature onderhou is by Plaas 1 se opbergingstoor, na die installering van die bevogtiger as by enige van die ander ses store. Hierdie navorsing het bevind dat die installasie van die bevogtigersisteem positiewe resultate toon en daar minder kwaliteitsprobleme ondervind is. Die aanbeveling is dat daar in die sisteem belê word in ander tafeldruif-opbergingstore. Die installasie van die bevogtigersisteem kan as ‘n alleenstaande bron van kwaliteitsverbetering van die kwaliteit van tafeldruiwe geimplementeer word. Verdermeer is die aanbeveling van hierdie studie dat die koueketting in die opbergingstoor strenger gekontroleer wat gevolglik beter resultate in toekomstige studies kan toon. Sleutelwoorde: Aanvoelbare temperatuur; Koue ketting; Relatiewe humiditeit; Suid Afrika; Voorsieningsketting; Tafeldruiwe.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/108266
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