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Pampering pumpkins en route

Halloween isn’t the only time in the world when it’s peak season for pumpkins. Today, the healthy vegetable is an integral part of many cuisines around the globe. When transporting them in containers, having the right temperature and optimal ventilation are key factors for ensuring that they arrive at their destination undamaged.

The time of carved pumpkins glowing on front porches is now over. But now pumpkin is popping up more often on our tables – in soups, as sides or in casseroles. The roughly 800 varieties of winter squash come in all imaginable shapes and colors, with Hokkaido and butternut squash being among the most famous. Kabocha, a green type of winter squash, is particularly popular in Japanese cuisine. Among the places it is imported from is New Zealand, where the main harvest season is in March.

When inside containers, pumpkins are happiest at temperatures between 10 and 13 degrees Celsius. To ensure that the desired temperature is uniformly maintained, the air should circulate well throughout the entire load. “This can be achieved by using the right packaging and stuffing method,” explains Michaela Steineker, Head of Reefer Competence at Hamburg Süd. “Pumpkins also require a certain degree of ventilation, meaning fresh air from outside. But too much ventilation will needlessly increase the CO2 emissions of the cooling unit and can even have a negative impact on cargo quality.”

You can find the settings that Hamburg Süd’s reefer experts recommend for transporting pumpkins here (PDF, 383 kB) . Additional information, practical tips and technical specifications can be found in the Hamburg Süd Reefer Guide (PDF, 5 MB) .

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November 12, 2019