BS in Industrial Technology
Finger Limes are a micro citrus that is native to Australia. They are new to the United States and are now being grown in California. The pulp of the Finger Lime is mainly used as a luxury garnish. Shanley Farms is a small family run business that is located in Visalia and Morro Bay that is one of few growers of the fruit. The majority of their sales are to the food service industry. Much of their product is also sent over seas as an international commodity.
A large amount of fruit goes to waste every harvesting season. 15% of the fruit that is harvested is visually unpleasing on the outside although the inside pulp is unharmed and is currently going to waste. Along with all of this fruit going to waste, the fruit can only be harvested for 6 months out of the year even though there is year-round demand.
Our main objective was to determine the shelf life of the Finger Lime citrus pearls. We tested three different types of jars, which included a plastic jar with a plastic lid, a glass jar with a plastic lid and a glass jar with a metal lid along with a control. We found the shelf life to be 13 days and the type of jar that kept the citrus pearls the freshest was the glass jar with the metal lid.
From this, we can confidently say that the natural peel of the Finger Lime keeps the fruit fresher than an alternative package. Although packaging the citrus pearls in a more condensed package and saving second grade fruit seems economical, the shelf life is not extended by packaging the fruit.