Frutas Montosa, Spain

In January 2012 MTX were awarded the contract to install 6 MTX Ripening Rooms for Frutas Montosa in Spain.

MTX were approached at the beginning of 2012 to assist in looking at ways of improving their existing infrastructure for ripening Avocados. The existing rooms in use for this process were simple blast coolers and warming rooms with no forced air capability. However this process was having a detrimental effect on the produce that, in most cases, was being ripened unevenly.

After careful consultation with the Frutas Montosa team we were able to establish that, to increase product turn around and to ensure consistent ripening, 6 No. MTX ripening rooms were required to meet their demand, however in order to achieve this a number of challenges had to be overcome.

Frutas Montosa are at the forefront of the Avocado industry, supplying produce throughout Spain and around the world. In order to do this efficiently, they've introduced large perforated polypropylene bins, each capable of holding up to 300kg of produce. Once full the bins enter the system and have individual barcode tracking devices fitted to them, allowing the produce to be tracked throughout the entire process. Whilst this works as an effective way of transporting and tracking avocados around the world, the bins provided the MTX design team with some inherent restrictions when trying to achieve forced air ripening. However after working closely with the client the design team were able to come up with a bespoke sealing system to ensure the produce consistently reaches and maintains the required set points within the ripening room. In fact after testing samples, from random bins at different locations within the room, the results were extremely encouraging and showed that the system worked even better than originally expected.

The outer shells of the ripening rooms were constructed in part by a local Spanish contractor and once prepared an experienced MTX project team were based on site for 7 weeks to install the specialist equipment shipped from the UK.

Each room comprises of the following:

  • 8 No pressure fans
  • 2 No 22 kw evaporators
  • Steam humidifier
  • 1 No vent fan & damper
  • 16 pallet dampers
  • Co2 sensor
  • Humidity sensor
  • Temperature sensors
  • High temperature cut out
  • Room control panel
  • Room control unit
  • Specialist pallet sealing system
  • Room lighting (PIR activated)
  • Void lighting
  • Sliding access door

The project was completed on time and within budget in just 7 weeks. This project has been a resounding success and since its completion MTX have been asked to look at other areas within their facility to introduce additional forced air ripening room technology.

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