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Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture

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More and more consumers are expecting pristine bananas at the checkout, which has resulted in up to 40% product wastage due to banana imperfections.

TIA PhD candidate, Indika Fernando, has recently had his research published in Postharvest Biology and Technology that investigated how bananas are damaged during transit and possible methods to decrease banana wastage.

Indika presented his findings at the recent ICTLE conference in Paris, where he was awarded ‘Best Presenter’ by the conference reviewers.

Through his research, Indika tracked the vibrations of delivery trucks during transit along the post-harvest supply chain to determine how these vibrations could cause damage to bananas.

Indika found that the truck vibrations cause the loosely packed bananas to rub together, creating black spots and damaging the fruit. This banana damage was influenced by the package position within truck, with rear positions and top-tier cartons of the rear trailer showing the highest levels of damage.

Indika’s findings will help industry further understand how banana damage could be minimised. The use of dampening pads as well as improved tighter packaging could be the solution, however more investigation into these methods is required.