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New packaging boosts mushroom shelf life

ITENE says its packaging with a coating containing calcium chloride allows excess humidity to be absorbed, extending the shelf life of fresh mushrooms, Agaricus bisporus mushrooms (which includes button, portobello and champignon mushrooms) until at least 12 days during storage.

The shelf life of white button mushrooms can reach at least 12 days thanks to packaging developed by ITENE, the Valencia-based Packaging, Transport and Logistics Research Centre.

According to ITENE patent application documents recently published by WIPO, such mushrooms generally have a very short shelf life, usually just 4-7 days after harvest. They are very sensitive to humidity levels, microorganisms, and physical handling, factors which can affect their appearance and appeal to consumers. When packaged, moisture produced by the mushrooms tends to condensate inside the package and on the mushrooms.

But ITENE says a package with a particular coating containing calcium chloride allows this excess humidity to be absorbed, so water drops don’t fall on the mushrooms. Thus the shelf life of fresh mushrooms, particularly edible Agaricus spp. mushrooms, and more particularly Agaricus bisporus (which includes portobello and champignon mushrooms), “can be increased until at least 12 days during storage.” The packaging can also help boost the shelf life of other fresh vegetables and fruit.

ITENE says the packaging’s structural design can also play a role in the conservation of fresh mushrooms, fruits, and vegetables and, among other things, allows for:

  • protecting the product from possible damage during distribution;
  • protecting the top of the product, particularly of mushrooms, to avoid damage (marking) from pressure;
  • keeping the product in contact with the coating;
  • being re-closable and allowing the protection of the product after opening during its life cycle;
  • being transparent or opaque, in one or in two pieces, depending on the applications;
  • nesting of the container for storage and transport prior to packaging.

FIG. 1 shows a package for the conservation of mushrooms comprising an opaque tray 1 and a transparent lid 2 (Fig. 1 a), as well as a detailed section of the closing system by the use of four protruding buttons 3 on the lid that are inserted in the corresponding hollows 4 on the upper part of the tray (Fig. 1 b.
FIG. 2 shows the section of a package with or without lid and the distribution of the mushrooms in the package of the invention; Details of the support between the lid and the tray are shown.

Source: WIPO, patent application: (WO2016016373) PACKAGE FOR MUSHROOMS, FRESH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

Main image of Agaricus bisporus Zuchtchampignon: by böhringer friedrich [CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons