Interko Introduces Next Generation Ripening Cooler

MOERKAPELLE, NETHERLANDS – Interko, the global leader for the design, manufacture and installation of state-of-the-art fresh fruit ripening rooms, has launched a next generation cooler that further cuts energy and labour costs for ripeners at a time when prices worldwide remain painfully high.

The super efficient cooler marks the next step forward in achieving high-quality, low-cost fresh fruit ripening. Importantly, the redesigned technology features an upgrade to Interko’s exclusive REVERSO reversible fans, which have revolutionised the ripening market with their efficient air-movement technology and full user-controllability.

After months of clever engineering by Interko’s expert team, the REVERSO 2.0 fans are now even more efficient. Interko calculates that they will cut operational costs by a further 20 per cent for ripeners.

The Dutch company is already installing the updated cooling system in its Ultimo ripening rooms for bananas. Interko expects to release the upgrade for its popular Optimo and Axesso exotic fruit ripening rooms in due course. The system can be retrofitted within existing rooms, and operates in the same manner as the previous design.

Chris Maat, Managing Director/Partner, reveals: “This is the next generation in ripening cooling! Running at full speed, our upgraded REVERSO 2.0 fans use as little as 80 watts of electricity per pallet, which is 20 per cent more energy efficient compared with the previous generation. With the current high energy prices worldwide, customers will achieve a return on investment in a very short period of time. And because the cooler is more efficient, there is less free air within the room, which gives ripeners an even tighter control over the ripening process.”

This is the fourth generational cooler from Interko; the first having been developed by the founder of the company during the 1970s. In addition to the new fans, the team has made a number of small changes and improvements which add up to big savings for ripeners.

Maat continues: “Our revamped cooler is built using stainless steel and PVC to withstand the potential for corrosion due to the high levels of humidity and condensation in a ripening room. We have also added a hinge to the fan drip tray to enable easy cleaning, plus there is a new motor, rings, and ducts. On top of that, the design of the cooler has been altered to deliver two important benefits. Firstly, the technology can be used in rooms with slightly lower heights, and, secondly, once packaged we can stack more of this system within one truck to reduce the transportation costs for the customer.”

Other Cost-Cutting Innovations

In the last year Interko has made even greater efforts to innovate its ripening technology considering the unprecedented supply and energy challenges facing the global produce industry. To cut costs for its customers, the team has been focusing on raising efficiency and reducing the use of raw materials.

At the end of 2022, Interko launched a ripening control system complete with a market-exclusive fail-safe mode, which has just been branded Ripe Pilot. The sensor-based programme helps operators to go one step further in automating, monitoring and tracing their ripening process, and comes pre-fitted in or retrofitted to Interko’s Ultimo, Optimo, Axesso and Mobilo ripening rooms.

Maat explains: “Ripe Pilot by Interko is a game-changer. Ripeners can automate their ripening with the guarantee of a fail-safe feature. This can help to overcome labour challenges, and enable incredible quality control thanks to optimised ripening cycles that result in fruit with perfect quality, finish and shelf-life, plus minimal loss. Ripe Pilot is easy to use, records lots of data, and enables greater flexibility and responsiveness than any other controller on the market.”

Back In Berlin

Interko will share further news of its latest advances at Fruit Logistica 2023 on 8-10 February. The team will exhibit in their usual spot of Hall 1.2 Stand D-40.

Managing Director/Partner, Chris Maat; Sales Director, Anna Zegveld; and Commercial Office Coordinator, Dan Miller will represent the company at the trade fair. They will be joined by Greg Akins from Catalytic Generators.

Visitors can email to schedule an appointment to meet the team.