Two Major Innovations for Ecofriendly Exotic Fruit and Vegetable Packaging
Action on plastic pollution: an environmental emergency
According to an Ellen MacArthur Foundation study, “the ocean is expected to contain 1 tonne of plastic for every 3 tonnes of fish by 2025, and by 2050, more plastics than fish (by weight).” In response to that environmental emergency, the Environment and Community Ministry launched France’s National Plastics Pact on 21 February 2019.
In the exotic fruit and vegetable sector, plastic packaging is a pressing issue that raises the challenge of developing eco-friendly solutions from the packaging to the labelling whilst maintaining the quality and traceability of fresh produce.
The company CAPEXPO is now making its contribution with two major innovations in exotic fruit and vegetable packaging and labelling, beating the official target by two years!
EXOTIC FRUIT AND VEGETABLE PRINTING
The patented process, which CAPEXO owns for France, makes it possible to print food-grade ink on the skin of almost all fruit and vegetables, adding a barcode, price or any other consumer information. The innovation heralds the end of excess plastic packaging and stickers for exotic fruit and vegetables and more.
All exotic fruit and vegetables with a relatively smooth skin can be printed. Pineapple, for example, cannot. Grainy-skinned avocado can, but a barcode would not be legible enough to work properly at the checkout. It is possible to print the sale price, however. The printing process also adapts to the fruit’s ripeness to avoid any possible damage.
Food safety guaranteed
The process involves patented, quality-tested food-grade inks — the same ones used in the pharmaceutical industry to coat tablets.
End of checkout shrinkage
In store, on-fruit printing avoids the problem of differentiating between, for example, an air-freighted and seaborne mango, which have different sale prices, at the supermarket checkout. The process removes all possible confusion as either the barcode or price is shown on each individual fruit.
BIOCOMPOSTABLE PUNNET PACKAGING
Ready to eat fruit sold in batches, such as ripe avocadoes or air-freighted bananas, needs punnet packaging to protect it and prevent checkout shrinkage. To replace the plastic film and punnet, which are at best recyclable, CAPEXO biocompostable packaging features cardboard sourced from sustainably managed birchwood forests, wrapped in a protective transparent film, which is also derived from birchwood, and heat-sealed on a flow-pack machine. That makes the punnet packaging fully biocompostable. Corn starch-based biocompostable films are already available. As they may not be 100% GMO-free, however, CAPEXO rejected that option as a precautionary measure.
End consumers can throw the punnet and film away in their home compost bin, where they will naturally degrade in the same way as other compostable waste. Failing which, the packaging can be disposed of in a recycling bin.
Punnet traceability maintained
CAPEXO biocompostable packaging enables ecofriendly product traceability with a batch number, origin, best-before date and all other information required by consumers using foodgrade ink.
Founded in 1996, the company CAPEXO imports and markets exotic fruit and vegetables in France under the Lilot Fruits brand. A key player at Rungis International Market, CAPEXO provides a constant supply of delicious and nutritious produce to wholesalers and the wholesale markets as well as specialist (Grand Frais, Métro, etc.) and generalist (Carrefour, Casino, Monoprix, etc.) food retailers.
Sharing the same high standards as its suppliers, CAPEXO selects produce from the finest sources. The company works closely with one of Reunion’s biggest cooperatives. 90% of the island’s air-freighted fruit is exported by Lilot Fruits.
Victoria pineapple, avocado, mango, passionfruit, lime, etc. are just some of CAPEXO’s flagship products.