The Fruit Ripening Training: indispensable investment in quality

The Fruit Ripening Training: indispensable investment in quality

The banana is the best-selling tropical fruit in the Western world. In Western Europe, 5.5 million boxes of bananas are consumed every week. However, the quality of bananas and other tropical fruit in the shops often leaves a lot to be desired. The reason? Too little knowledge of the ripening process at the fruit ripening plants.

The VDH Products fruit ripening training gives participants with the knowledge they need to use the excellent Proba 5 ripening system to ripen bananas, mangoes and avocados and other tropical fruits (including papaya) in such a way that they excel in taste, colour and shelf life.

2-day training course

The Fruit ripening training course lasts two days. During these two days, participants learn how to use the Proba 5 ripening system: how to set the system and which settings to use to obtain the best end result. They also acquire extensive knowledge about the cultivation process and the fruit-specific ripening processes. Participants also learn how to make optimal use of the VASP software, which is an advanced management and information system.

The senses follow the fruit

Despite all the technology, the main thing that participants learn during the training course is that good fruit ripening depends on people. Automation is improving all the time, but it is not yet developed enough to surpass the human senses. Controlled ripening is not possible without looking at, feeling and tasting the fruit. The fruit tells the ripener what to do, not the other way around. A good ripener recognises the ripening stage of the incoming fruit and uses the software to adjust the ripening process to that specific stage.

Plenty of exchange of knowledge

During the training, there is also plenty of knowledge exchange: in addition to the trainers, the developers of VDH Products are also present to answer the questions of the trainees and to obtain expert feedback for the next update of the Proba 5.

What the training gives you

  • In short, the training gives you the following: Participants gain:
    an insight into all the ins and outs of the Proba 5, including the service programmes
  • a knowledge of the cultivation and production chains of bananas, mangoes, avocados and other tropical fruits
  • the skill to programme an optimal ripening process per fruit type and per stage

The training course has been taken by participants from all over the world: Russia, New Zealand, France, Spain, Brazil, Bulgaria.

About the trainers

Frits Popma (Popma Fruit Expertise) shares his knowledge of growing bananas and other tropical fruit with the students. Since 2001, his mission has been to share his knowledge of the cultivation, ripening and storage of tropical fruits across the entire production chain. Frits co-wrote the first standard work for ripeners, and was the only non-professor among the 20 authors (Wageningen University edition).

Ralf Smit (System Engineer, VDH Products) is responsible for teaching participants about the capabilities of the Proba 5 ripening system and the VASP software. Ralf has a Master's degree in Sensor System Engineering. He started his career in R&D and has been working as an engineer at VDH Products in Roden since 2016.


The courses are offered individually per customer at the VDH factory in Roden, The Netherlands.
Do you want to optimally use the Proba ripening system and want to acquire the specialist knowledge to enhance the quality of fruit?
Contact the VDH sales department by email or phone +31(0)50 302 89 00.
You can also contact mister Frits Popma by email or phone +31(0)6 511 88 669.