CrossTree Blog

Food Loss, Policy, Strategy, Sustaining agriculture, Climate and anything else...

Sort yourself out, Grade yourself in

Sorting and Grading are commonly spoken of as one activity - in the persihable trade. But where lies the difference and where lies the finesse... lets try and understand the discriminating differences!

Sorting: the activity at source when produce is assorted into target lots basis qualitative criteria – as non-edible, as reject or dump, by quality, by shelf life, by market value, etc. This sorting activity is the first step that brings the concept of value to fore. Essentially, this is the first stage categorisation of received produce and separates them into differentiated value-based flow towards an ascertained and useful end-use.

Preserve and protect, Extend and connect - apply sensibly

Essentially, the cold-chain is tasked with two underlying functions - to “Preserve and Protect” and to “Extend and Connect”. Let us explore these two distinctions and by understanding them, the approach to cold-chain development may merit certain changes.

First, let us clearly differentiate the type of products that benefit from the cold-chain.

In further simplifying, we can consider two extremes from a choice of product types... ice cream and fresh mangoes. The first symbolises the frozen (< -18 °C) segment and the other is from the mild chill (10-20 °C) segment. In the case of ice cream, the cold-chain functions to preserve the product, and in the case of mangoes the cold-chain serves to extend its prevailing, but short saleable life.