South Africa has been producing and exporting table grapes for more than a century. The industry produces table grapes mainly for the export market and continues to expand from year-to-year. Grapes are produced in South Africa from mid-November to mid-April, and growers and exporters are committed to providing their customers with a premium product to maintain international competitiveness.
One of the biggest challenges with the post-harvest care of grapes is the control of the development of rots and molds such as Botrytis.
Botrytis development in packed grapes is controlled with pads impregnated with SO2 (sulphur dioxide) placed inside the cartons and gradually release this into the carton to control the further development of any Botrytis spores present. It is an extremely effective measure for grapes which can experience up to 8 weeks storage before they are finally consumed.
With organic grapes however, the use of this is not permitted and other measures must be employed to control Botrytis. Elevated levels of Carbon Dioxide can be used to suppress the development of Botrytis. Carbon Dioxide levels above 10% are considered to have a fungistatic effect, much desired for controlling Botrytis.
South Africa exports Organic Grapes mainly to Europe with some shipments to the USA. Liventus has been providing Controlled Atmosphere for South African Organic Grapes since 2018 with great success.
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