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Ocean Mist Farms – Castroville, CA

August 2005, Ocean Mist Farms will begin shipping their iceless broccoli program with the patented StePac system.  Ocean Mist has adopted this state-of-the art technology to “improve our year-round iceless broccoli program for the customers that are accustomed to our rigid quality standards that we strictly adhere to with our artichoke and full vegetable product line.”

The new system includes installation of programmable logic controllers, which precisely monitor product quality at critical points throughout the cooling process, as well as a total packaging system that extends shelf life of the broccoli.  The StePac cooling technology brings Ocean Mist the tools to measure and manage the iceless broccoli cooling process based on the  varying core temperature of the product coming in from the field.”

1.  Packaging:

  • Film

Patented StePac-permeable film to line each broccoli carton is designed specific to broccoli and decreases condensation that can potentially cause decay in a conventional pack.

·         Valve

Allows the process of modified atmosphere

2.  Cooling Process:

  • Measures and traces entire cooling process:

Typically, product temperatures vary coming in from the field, and conventional cooling practices treat all product in the same manner despite those varying product temperatures from the point of harvest.

“Stepac takes the guess work out of cooling & brings science to the cooling process, which is critical for the shelf life of iceless product.  You can’t manage what isn’t measured,” says Don Stidham, President, StePac USA.  The StePac cooling technology brings Ocean Mist the tools to measure and manage the iceless broccoli cooling process based on the actual core temperature of the product coming in from the field.”

3.  Consistent Quality:

The Stepac packaging allows product to be field packed similar to the conventional iced broccoli pack.  With Stepac there is less labor and less handling than the conventional way of repacking iceless broccoli. The end result is a consistent pack and quality standard.

“Ocean Mist has invested in this licensed technology to improve our control over the quality pack we produce day in and day out.  We are at an advantage by owning our cooling facilities that gives us the ability to implement the technology and expertise that Stepac brings to our program.”

“Our main goal out of adopting StePac is the ‘consistent quality’ it will assure our customers in. Our customers will benefit from the elimination of ice and waxed cartons from their facilities and decrease transportation costs without sacrificing product quality.”  Ocean Mist will harvest and cool their iceless broccoli line year round with the StePak technology out of Castroville and Coachella California growing regions.