Postprint version. Published in Packaging Technology and Science, Volume 20, Issue 5, September 1, 2007, pages 315-324.
Damage to fruits and vegetables continues to be a big challenge as global markets become a reality. Worldwide distribution of sensitive produce is faced with various levels of impacts from shipping and handling. Despite a variety of packaging options available today, bruising damage is commonplace for post-harvest apples throughout the supply chain. The major sources of bruising are compression, impact or vibration forces. Understanding where these forces occur can help reduce this type of mechanical damage to apples. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact characteristics of foam net and corrugated board when applied as wrapping for individual apples. Two grades (count numbers 80 and 100) of “Fuji” cultivar apples imported to Thailand from China were studied. A simple ballistic pendulum test device was developed to measure bruise volume to impact energy relationship. A linear relationship for both types of apples was observed. Bruise volume occurrence probability and impact energy relationship fitted by linear regression were created for cushioned and bare apples. Absorbed energy of various cushioning materials was also calculated under compressive forces.