Imagine that every fresh products you eat everyday from the market are freshly picked from the farmer. That would be good, healthy, and more delicious too, but, apparently, that is only possible if you buy the products straight from the farmer. In fact, almost every products you bought from the marketplace (e.g Supermarket or Traditional Market) are kept for long due to the distance of distribution and insufficient storage capacity, and also low demands from market. Can you imagine how shaggy the vegetables should be, how shaggy and rotten the fruits are, and how smelly those products if they nobody handles them apropriately? Thanks to a company that dedicates its’ service on handling the fresh products so that it stays fresh as if it’s just harvested before. Those companies called The Post Harvest Company, and one of it, PT Bimandiri Agro Sedaya that located in Lembang, will open handedly accepted group of students from 2012 class of Bioagricultural Engineering Studies led by Mrs. Rijanti Rahaju Maulani from Institut Teknologi Bandung.
Having this chance to visit one of the well known Post Harvest Companies in Indonesia, the student didn’t miss any chance to learn a lot from it. Starting from learning the workstations. First one is the Receiving Station, here, the products are received from the farmer. Brought by some trucks that unloads a lot of fresh products, the employees didn’t miss any moment to selectively choose the products and separates the bad parts of the products (e.g wilted leaves, etc.).
After the Receiving Station all products are going to be processed, cleaned, and graded. These processes are happening in Processing Station. When we visited the station, apparently, The Processing Station consists of cleaning station for tuber crops and wet vegetables in the far back, dry vegetables sortation (e.g beansprouts), and chili sortation. Besides those processes, this station also did a lot more process depending on the products that came and the market demands.
Last station is The Packaging Station where every products are neatly packed and ready to be shipped. The packing process adopted the Modified Atmosphere Packaging technique where the packages are carefully prepared and sorted according to its’ maturity so it won’t affect the other products in one package and it would stay fresh. The package are also depends on the products texture where the soft products (e.g. mushrooms) will be packed in a harder package than a hard products (e.g. bell peppers). But also, considering the importance of Biological, Physical, and Chemistry of the product, the packaging process also depends on market requests.
This visit has significantly broaden the whole participants’ minds on Post Harvesting process of fresh products. It also increases our visions on future since once again, it offers us one more line of works. But most importantly, it taught us to be grateful and be aware of the food that we ate. Because way before it was served, there are tons of people make sure it’s safe to be eaten by us.