BASF will supply its Ultramid Ccycled recycled polyamide to StePac to advance contact-sensitive packaging formats to a higher sustainable standard within the circular economy

The packaging’s MAP properties preserve the quality of the passion fruit.

The packaging’s MAP properties preserve the quality of the passion fruit. (Credit: BASF SE)

Germany-based chemical firm BASF and Israel-based StePac have partnered to develop the next generation of sustainable packaging for the fresh produce sector.

BASF will supply its chemically recycled polyamide 6 Ultramid Ccycled to StePac to advance contact-sensitive packaging formats to a more sustainable standard within the circular economy.

StePac specialises in creating advanced functional packaging solutions and aims to use chemically recycled plastics for the packaging of fresh perishables.

BASF said that it recently received REDcert² certification to use chemically recycled polyamide 6 in its flexible, modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) solutions.

StePac has two brands Xgo and Xtend, which are based on MAP technology with built-in humidity control.

The technology is capable of reducing respiration inside the packaging, delaying the ageing processes, inhibiting microbial decay, and maintaining the quality and nutritional value of the product during extended storage and long-haul shipments.

According to the chemical firm, StePac will incorporate this Ultramid Ccycled in 30% of the packaging material, with the possibility of integrating it at a larger percentage.

StePac business development manager Gary Ward said: “This alliance will help strike a balance between creating plastic packaging that is as eco-friendly as possible to keep fresh produce longer through more prudent use of lean plastic films.

“These upgraded packaging formats will continue to maintain their role of significantly reducing food waste, a most important task considering that global food waste is responsible for about 8% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.”

Jardin Exotics, a Colombian company that exports passion fruits, is said to be the first company to use the new packaging brand Xgo Circular.

The packaging’s MAP qualities will prevent the fruit from ripening too quickly and maintain its quality during the protracted sea voyage from Colombia to Europe, the German chemical firm added.

Repackaging after arrival is also avoided by packaging products at the source in the final retail packaging format.

The combination of the film’s produce-specific modified environment features and its high-water vapour transfer rate is suitable for passion fruit packaging.