The blackberry is a fruit that is popular around the world. It’s known for its high nutritional content. Blackberries have higher antioxidants than most other fruit, which you can tell by its deep purple-black color. They lower the risk of the flu, cancer, and other diseases. Women can even eat blackberries during labor to naturally reduce the pain. The fruit isn’t the only part of the plant that can be consumed. The leaves can be turned into an herbal tea. The tea is also good for treating inflammation in your gums, sore throats, and it works as mouth wash.
Blackberries are self-fertile and grow easily in shallow soil. They require 3 to 8 feet of space between bushes, depending on breed and should be planted in early spring. Blackberries grow best in full sun in fertile soil that has good drainage. Healthy blackberry plants will produce harvestable fruit for about 15 to 20 years.
General Information about Cooling and Storing Blackberries
Blackberries are more expensive to produce than many other crops. This is because the sensitive berry is easily damaged in stormy weather. Rain, hail, and strong winds can break the berry, making it mushy and inedible. Once you have harvested your blackberries, you need to make sure that you handle, cool, and store them properly so you don’t lose any more crop than you have to. Here is some important information regarding cooling and storing your blackberries so they are perfect for consumption.
Respiration – Blackberries respire, just as many other fruits and vegetables do, so they consume oxygen and release carbon dioxide. You need to make sure that you store blackberries in well-ventilated crates or containers. Without proper ventilation, the carbon dioxide will build up around the blackberries and cause them to spoil. Respiration is also why cooling is so important. The colder your crop is, the slower they respire, allowing them to last much longer.
Temperature – Blackberries need to be stored at an adequate temperature. If they are too warm or too cold after harvesting, they will soften and become rotten. Blackberries should be stored between 31-32 degree at all times.
Relative Humidity – The proper humidity for storing blackberries is about 90-95%. Without the right amount of humidity, they lose moisture. The loss of moisture will turn your plump, juicy blackberries into small, shriveled, black rocks.
Shelf Life – Aside from raspberries, blackberries have the shortest shelf life of all fruit. They can be stored for 2-3 days before they begin to spoil. However, there are some things you can do to increase the shelf life by a couple days. Of course, cooling the blackberries quickly is important for increasing the shelf life. The other sanitizing the fruit.
Methods of Sanitizing Blackberries
Large companies have their own ways of cleaning and sanitizing their crop. If you have a home-based farm, you could be lacking the specialized equipment to do this. Having your own farmer’s market doesn’t mean that you can’t sanitize your blackberries effectively. A natural vinegar wash will kill spores on your blackberries so they can last as long as possible. To do this, you need 1 part vinegar and 3 parts water. Soak your blackberries in the solution for about 10 minutes, and then rinse with water.
Methods of Cooling Blackberries
Room Cooling – Room cooling is one method to cooling blackberries and many other crops. To cool your blackberries with this method, you will put them in space that is lined with cooling units. The unit will be set to cool the blackberries to their proper temperature. This should be done before putting the blackberries in a refrigeration unit
Forced-Air Cooling – If you don’t feel like room cooling is cooling your blackberries quickly enough, you can use the forced-air cooling method. Forced-air cooling works well for blackberries because of how low their required storing temperatures are. If you have a large harvest, forced air cooling tends to work better because it circulates the air between the bunched blackberries. The faster your blackberries are cooled, the slower their respiration rate becomes, and they will take longer to rot.
Semco understands that our clients work hard to grow healthy, delicious blackberries. It is thus imperative that these fantastic berries be properly cooled and stored with great cooling systems. Semco delivers industry-leading cooling and storage systems that can be fully customized to meet each client’s unique needs and circumstances. Please contact us for more information.