StePac has developed Xtend iceless Modified Atmosphere/Modified Humidity (MA/MH) bulk packaging for broccoli.
Xtend iceless MA/MH bulk packaging has been designed to maintain the freshness of broccoli in transit, helping to reduce carbon emissions and food waste for customers in the fresh produce industry.
The MA/MH packaging technology will help avoid the use of ice and nonrecyclable wax cartons, as well as improve food safety.
Broccoli and other produce items are packaged in waxed cartons filled with ice to keep the produce cool and retain freshness during storage and shipment in certain countries such as the US.
Waxed cartons are non-recyclable, while mess will be created when the ice melts onto the produce and may lead to the growth of both plant and human pathogens.
Xtend Iceless packaging was demonstrated to be a better alternative to the ice to preserve quality and minimise bacterial growth on produce during prolonged storage in a study conducted at the Agricultural Research Organization in Israel.
The research has shown the ability of Xtend Iceless packaging to significantly decrease the growth of microorganisms on broccoli.
StePac business development manager Dr Gary Ward said: “Xtend Iceless offers a dry – and much leaner and greener – means of transporting fresh produce, wholly eliminating the need for ice.
“Moreover, it makes waxed cartons totally unnecessary. Xtend Iceless MA/MH packaging is fully recyclable and offers an affordable solution suitable for land or sea freight. The packaging is ‘climate positive’, generating a net savings in carbon emissions as a result of significantly extending the shelf life of fresh produce and reducing supply chain waste. It’s a ‘win-win’ for all.”
In December 2018, the company also announced the availability of Xtend polyamide-based packaging technology for blueberries.
Designed to safeguard retailers against waste, the Xtend packaging will help customers to extend the freshness of blueberries in bulk deliveries to distant destinations.
StePac also produces Xgo, Xflow and Xbloom modified atmosphere/modified humidity packaging solutions, which will help reduce weight loss, slow respiration, and aging, and inhibit microbial decay.