Shelf life, shelf life, shelf life!

Produce has an interesting mix of factors to consider before mapping out a truck, especially if there will be different types of produce in the same load.

Even though transportation takes only a few days of shelf life of produce that could be a month or more, the handling during transit is extremely important to maximize this shelf life. For example, if “x” fruit or vegetable warms up out of critical range such as 30% above the recommended storage temperature, it could cut the shelf life in half.

If a truck is loaded with ethylene-sensitive produce, and it comes in contact with fruits or vegetables that product high volumes of ethylene as they ripen, it accelerates the ripening of the sensitive product. This would be detrimental to the shelf life for the sensitive produce!

Here’s a detailed chart on how different produce should be handled:

ProductTransit Temp
Temp F
Freezing
Temp F
Humidity
%
Ethylene
Production/Sensitivity
Ice
Yes/No
A
Apples32-363090-95Very High/HighNo
Apricots3230.190-95Medium/HighNo
Artichokes33-3829.995-100Very Low/LowYes
Asparagus, green32-3530.995-100Very Low/MediumNo
Asparagus, white32-3695-100No
Avocados4031.585High/HighNo
B
Bananas56-5830.690-95Medium/HighNo
Beans, green40-4530.795Low/MediumNo
Beans, haricot40-4595No
Beans, lima37-413195Low/MediumNo
Beets3230.398-100Very Low/LowYes
Blackberries3230.590-95Low/LowNo
Blueberries31-3229.790-95Low/LowNo
Broccoli3230.995-100Very Low/HighYes
Brussels sprouts3230.595-100Very Low/HighYes
C
Cabbage, green3230.498-100Very Low/HighYes
Cabbage, Chinese3295-100Yes
Cabbage, red3230.490-95Very Low/HighYes
Carrots, w/greens3229.598-100Very Low/HighYes
Cauliflower3230.690-98Very Low/HighNo
Celery34-3631.185-90Very Low/MediumYes
Celery root33-3595-100Yes
Cherries3228.890-95No
Chicory33-3595-100
Clementines38-4090-95No
Coconut, fresh32-3530.4Low/HighNo
Corn, sweet34-3830.985-90Yes
Cranberries38-4030.490-95Low/LowNo
Cucumbers45-5031.190-95Low/HighNo
Cucumbers, seedless50-5585-90No
E
Eggplant46-5430.690-95Low/MediumNo
Eggplant, Japanese46-5490-95No
Endive, Belgian36-3895-98Very Low/MediumNo
Endive, curly3231.990-95Very Low/MediumYes
F
Fennel3290-95
Figs3485-90Medium/LowNo
G
Garlic32-3430.565-75Very Low/LowNo
Grapes3229.785Very Low/LowNo
Grapefruit, AZ, CA50-553085-90Very Low/MediumNo
Grapefruit, FL, TX50-603085-90Very Low/MediumNo
K
Kale34-3695-100Very Low/MediumYes
Kiwifruit322990-95Low/HighNo
Kohlrabi34-3695-100Very Low/LowYes
Kumquats4090-95No
L
Leeks3230.795-100Very Low/MediumYes
Lemons45-4829.285-90No
Lettuce, Boston3290-95Low/MediumYes
Lettuce, iceberg34-3631.798-100Very Low/HighYes
Lettuce, romaine3231.795Yes
Limes5529.185-90No
M
Mangoes5530.385-90Medium/MediumNo
Melons, bitter53-5585-90Low/MediumNo
Melons, cantaloupe35-4029.990High/MediumNo
Melons, honeydew45-5030.590-95No
Melons, mixed5030.590-95No
Melons, pepino40-4285-90Low/MediumNo
Melons, water50-6031.390Very Low/HighNo
Mushrooms34-3830.485-90No
N
Nectarines31-3230.490-95Medium/HighNo
O
Okra43-4528.785-95Low/MediumNo
Onions, dry3230.665-70Very Low/LowNo
Onions, green3230.495-100Low/HighYes
Oranges, AZ32-4830.685-90Very Low/MediumNo
Oranges, CA45-4830.685-90Very Low/MediumNo
Oranges, FL32-3430.685-90Very Low/MediumNo
Oranges, TX32-4830.685-90Very Low/MediumNo
Oranges, blood40-4490-95No
P
Papayas50-5585-90No
Parsley3295-100Yes
Parsnips33-3595-100Yes
Passion fruit45-5485-95Very Low/HighNo
Peaches3230.490-95High/HighNo
Pears3229.290-95High/HighNo
Peas, green32-3530.985-95Very Low/MediumYes
Peppers, bell45-5030.785-90Low/LowNo
Peppers, chili38-4430.760-70Low/MediumNo
Persimmons40-4590-95Low/High
Pineapple, green50-553085-90No
Pineapple, ripe453085-90Low/LowNo
Plantains54-5885-90Low/HighNo
Plums3230.590-95Medium/HighNo
Pomegranates4190-95No
Potatoes45-5030.990Very Low/MediumNo
Potatoes, new45-5030.990Very Low/MediumNo
Pummelos45-4885-90No
Pumpkins50-6030.550-75Low/MediumNo
Q
Quince31-3290No
R
Radicchio32-3495-100No
Radishes3230.795-100Very Low/LowYes
Raspberries, black323090-95Low/LowNo
Raspberries, red3230.990-95Low/LowNo
Rhubarb33-3595-100Very Low/LowNo
Rutaba gas3298-100No
S
Satsumas37-3985-90High/HighNo
Shallots3295-100Low/LowYes
Spinach3231.595-100Very Low/HighYes
Squash, hard50-5530.570-75Low/MediumNo
Squash, soft41-5031.195Low/MediumNo
Squash, zucchini45-5090-95Very Low/LowNo
Strawberries3230.690.95Low/LowNo
Sweet potatoes55-6085-90Low/LowNo
T
Tangerines4030.190-95Very Low/MediumNo
Tomatoes, green62-6885-88Very Low/HighNo
Tomatoes, pink62-6885-88High/LowNo
Tomatillos55-6085-90Very Low/MediumNo
Turnips3285-90Very Low/LowNo
W
Watercress33-3595-100Very Low/HighYes
Source: US Department of Agriculture

 

Another consideration to take is how different products affect each other if they are in the same truck. Get in touch with the team at BOA Logistics! We have experience in planning LTL with all the nuances that come with your temperature sensitive freight and most major distribution centers.

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