First successful export to Singapore

Improved refrigeration technology helps export of Taitung custard apples

Farmers who export their fruit all face the same challenge: how do you keep fruit fresh during transport and in storage. Slowing down the ripening process is one of the key issues for long-distance fruit transport. It helps to reduce product waste during distribution, which means that more fruit can be sold. Keeping fruit fresh is crucial for market expansion and the only way for more customers to enjoy the beautiful flavor of exotic fruits.

"Take Taitung county as an example. The tropical climate in Taitung is ideal for the production of a wide variety of fruits, including the unique Taitung custard apple. Everybody in Taiwan knows the Taitung custard apple, and many consumers in coastal China have enjoyed this fruit as well," said Mr. Huang of Little Farmer.

The main problem is that only Taiwanese residents and visitors to Taiwan can enjoy the Taitung custard apple. Consumers have to personally visit Taitung to try this custard apple variety. Most Chinese consumers will never have the opportunity to visit and try this foreign flavor, let alone potential customers from Europe and the USA.

According to Mr. Huang, "there are several reasons for this situation. First, the Taitung custard apple has to reach a certain degree of ripeness before the fruit can be harvested and prepared for retail. If the fruit is harvested too early, then the fruit becomes inedible. Second, Taitung custard apples will go off in 5-6 days after being harvested. That is why the Taitung custard apple is rarely seen in China or other export markets. Air freight is expensive, and sea freight takes too long."

The Houkaizhong research team came up with an idea to support the Taitung custard apple farmers and increase their income. A team of chemists and other specialists worked for five years to come up with a solution.

"The two main varieties of custard apple in Taiwan are the Taitung custard apple and the pineapple custard apple. There are no significant differences between the two varieties in terms of appearance or texture. Pineapple sugar apples primarily sold in export markets, but the industry has been struggling since China announced a temporary import ban on pineapple custard apples last year," explained Mr. Huang.

The flavor of Taitung custard apples is superior to pineapple custard apples, and that is why the Taitung custard apple is a favorite with tourists who visit the island. However, the fruit is only ripe for a limited time and that has always put a limit on export. After five years of research, the Houkaizhong research team made a technological breakthrough. They will now begin the construction of the first Taitung custard apple processing factory. The first of its kind, this factory will process Taitung custard apples for the export market.

For more information:

Mr. Huang

Little Farmer Co., Ltd.

WeChat: snake19820220 

Tel: +886 908 855 099 


China office:

Wu Mianmian

Xiamen Xingxian Fruit Industry Co., Ltd.

Tel.: +86 138 5995 6708 

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