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Southampton sailing crew goes Bananas Preserving Fruit and Veg on Atlantic Voyage

by Xan Phillip 5 Jan 05:37 UTC

As part of a green business project, a crew from a Southampton sailing school have had success with a fruit and veg preserving experiment while crossing the Atlantic.

By just using specially treated eco-bags and with no refrigeration, they've prolonged the shelf life of bananas, carrots, mangos, tomatoes and Kiwi fruit during their two-week voyage.

"After a week the bananas in the green bags were in better condition than those in the air," said Bev Smith who, along with fellow crewmate Kate Hattersley, took on the role of keeping a daily record of the experiment.

"In the following days," Bev continued, "it was evident the mango, tomatoes, and Kiwi in the bags were plumper and less wrinkled."

This experiment took place during the ARC Rally 2018, a sailing race across the Atlantic from the Canaries to the Caribbean featuring 200 yachts with crews of varying abilities.

The fruit experimenting crew was from First Class Sailing, based in Southampton's Shamrock Quay, and they were asked to carry out a comparison between fruit and vegetables stored in green Eco-Egg bags or unwrapped in dedicated crates.

The crates were kept in the cool sail locker while the rest of the fruit was hung in the galley and saloon in netting.

Over a two week period, they kept a daily record of dryness, firmness, wrinkledness, discoloration, degradation and looking tasty, during which they found some fruit and veg was preserved while others succumbed to the perils of a long voyage.

"At first the normal ripening process affected the avocados, pears, and persimmons with the samples in the bags appearing to deteriorate faster than those in the fresh air," said Bev. "Shortly after this the papayas peaked and were eaten with the same observation."

Although disappointing it wasn't the whole selection of fruit and veg that saw the benefit of these eco-bags the produce that did thrive gives hope for longer voyages.

"Rotting fruit is an age-old problem and many sailors experience 'fruit binges' because a particular group of items has almost gone off and they all need to be eaten on the same day," said First Class Sailing's principal Charlie Tulloch.

"Even if these bags preserve half the crew's supplies we'll see a reduction in waste which can only benefit the planet."

The other side of First Class Sailings' green project involves improving the sustainability of their training yachts on the Solent by converting to environmentally friendly cleaning products and reducing the crews' use of plastic around the coast.

First Class Sailing's green project is in partnership with Jeanette Jones from AnyGreenWillDo, who is the Southampton representative of Wikaniko a company with over 1000 eco-friendly household products including the Ecoegg preserving bags used on the voyage.

More details can be found at www.firstclasssailing.com/green

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