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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

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Driscoll’s seeks patent protection for raspberry clamshell

Driscoll's says its clamshell pack is great for transporting raspberries – or other soft, fragile produce items – and its air-flow keeps them cool and fresh until reaching supermarkets and consumers.

California-based Driscoll Strawberry Associates Inc. is seeking patent protection for a clamshell raspberry container.

The world’s biggest fresh berry company and a holder of patents in many countries for its berry plant varieties, Driscoll’s says the clamshell is designed to transport raspberries – or other soft, fragile produce items – while the air-flow in the container keeps them cool and fresh until reaching supermarkets and consumers.

In its international patent application, published by the World Intellectual Property Organization on October 29, it says while there are various patents for containers for the shipping of berries or other produce, “there is a need in the art for a new and improved container that can be used in containing, shipping, transporting and storing in a cooled environment produce items that display a notable vulnerability and fragility and a great potential of easily undergoing damage.”

“This is particularly sought by produce exporting facilities, that suffer tremendous financial loss due to poorly designed containers, consequently resulting in a damage to the produce items during transportation and storage. The present invention now satisfies this need by providing such improved containers,” Driscoll’s says.

Among the features of its container is a central divider, which besides providing extensive strength and rigidity to the container, keeps the produce items separated so they don’t “bounce” on each other during transport.

Other aspects of the design include:

  • it is suited to a range of produce items, such as berries, grapes and other fruits,
  • it is typically made of molded plastic, with the preferred plastic being polyethylene terephthalate (PET), either virgin or recycled from bottles or combinations thereof,
  • various configurations are possible but a preferred, rectangular design could contain a total net weight of raspberries of 18 oz,
  • the lid is preferably recessed to allow stacking of one closed container upon another,
  • a soaking pad may be provided in each compartment to absorb moisture from container contents,
  • various snap locks can be used to attach the lid to the tray,
  • the sidewalls of the container are curved to prevent bruising of the contents, and
  • the container generally has various air vents.

On its website, Driscoll’s says that its clamshell packages are stamped with the international recycling code, which is three chasing arrows within a triangle with a number inside to designate the level of recyclability of the package.” Currently our packaging is marked with the recycling code #1 which is the most acceptable recyclable packaging. Containers are PET, Polyethylene Terephthalate.”

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The packaging of the future is being invented right now

The packaging of the future is being invented right now It is increasingly environmentally-friendly and also cheaper, as the manufacturers are innovating unceasingly to meet end-users’ demands.

When it comes to sustainable development, packaging manufacturers, particularly those signed up to the Save Food initiative, want to demonstrate that their products ensure hygienic distribution and cut food waste. Initiatives to lengthen the shelf life of fruit and vegetables are increasing.

Researchers are working on films that allow controlled gas exchanges, allowing the produce to breathe better, and can even compensate momentarily for a break in the cold chain. They are developing patches that allow precise amounts of oxygen and carbon dioxide through when the temperature rises above a certain threshold.

Moisture control is also a crucial factor. As well as perforations, which are placed in an increasingly targeted fashion, new liner pads that absorb humidity and contain active compounds are being developed. Activated by moisture, these compounds are liberated into the punnet in gradual stages, keeping the product fresher, reducing odours and increasing food safety.

Antimicrobial packaging has also become cheaper since it has become possible to use nanoparticles of silver, which bring down the cost of this technique. Sustainability also involves packaging that is lighter and recyclable or compostable. Particularly in Britain, there is also a rise in heat-sealed punnets, which use less plastic than lidded ones and are also cheaper.

Another trend is the ability to print the punnets or moulded trays, giving companies a communication opportunity, enhancing the value of the product and avoiding the need to label the punnet. Lastly, packaging manufacturers continue to innovate in order to respond to new consumption trends like snacking and eating on the go.

VB

This article appeared on page 74 of the July-August 2015 edition, number 138, of Eurofresh Distribution magazine. Read more of that edition here: http://www.eurofresh-distribution.com/magazine/138-2015-julaug

Image of packaging blister made by bioplastics (Celluloseacetat): by Christian Gahle, nova-Institut GmbH [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons

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Patent sought for award-winning watermelon pouch

According to the andnowuknow website, the ‘ready-ripe watermelon pouch’ won the 2015 Innovation Award for Best New Packaging at United Fresh Produce Association trade show and has since been endorsed by America’s National Watermelon Association (NWA) for its ¼ sliced watermelon program.

A resealable, anti-fog watermelon pouch which comes with a handle for easy carrying is the subject of a United States patent application by Wisconsin-based grocery wholesaler The Fresh Group, Ltd.

The application says the zip-lock bag has a gusseted floor to accommodate a large watermelon slice. A transparent window allows consumers to see the watermelon inside the pouch, which also features an upwardly concave interior volume – to orient and stabilise a watermelon for best presentation and least damage – and sturdy sidewalls to support the pouch on a flat surface.

The packaging was developed to keep larger sliced produce, such as watermelon, viable, at a high quality level and freshness for consumption, and easy for the consumer to carry home, the document says.

In an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) earlier this year, Maglio product manager Joseph Delgadillo said an 11-day shelf life had been consistently achieved with watermelon in such a pouch. He said that in a trial in the US, the bags proved popular with consumers, who liked the added convenience, and retailers, who particularly appreciated the extended shelf-life. Delgadillo said the bag was attracting interest from other countries and markets and was a concept that would apply to other kinds of fresh produce, the ABC said.

The patent application has also been published by the World International Property Organization.

According to the andnowuknow website, the ‘ready-ripe watermelon pouch’ won the 2015 Innovation Award for Best New Packaging at United Fresh Produce Association trade show and has since been endorsed by America’s National Watermelon Association (NWA) for its ¼ sliced watermelon program.

 

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Screenshot 2015-08-11 at 12.02.42 PM.png

Some of the drawings included in the patent application.

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De Jong Packaging expands to the UK

De Jong Packaging has started selling its corrugated packaging in the UK and has big ambitions there.

De Jong Packaging has started selling its corrugated packaging in the UK and has big ambitions there.

The Dutch company already supplies corrugated board boxes and trays for fresh produce in Germany, Belgium and its home market. De Jong Packaging’s sales and marketing director Arie Barendregt says being the Netherlands’ cost leader in corrugated packaging – “and its 3rd largest corrugated board factory and the only independent one” – are just two of the strengths it now brings to the UK market.

Speaking to ED at the London Produce Show in June, Barendregt said that at any one time, De Jong Packaging has 25-35 million boxes and trays in stock and ready to ship. It produces more than 300 million corrugated board trays and boxes a year and supplies fresh produce customers 7 days a week, 365 days a year. “Two out of every three trays in use in Holland are produced by us.”

With Aldi and Lidl making strong headway in the UK market, the company has been in touch with these discounters to find out more about their needs. Barendregt said that in Holland, Aldi is already a heavy user of De Jong Packaging’s wooden-look boxes, because of their natural aspect.

De-Jong-Packaging-Logo-Fresh-Blue - Edited.jpg

But when it comes to its fresh produce clients, the company, which celebrates its 20th anniversary next year, has prospered on a policy of doing business with small and medium-sized firms only. Barendregt said it’s because “the big, pan-European companies always want to be the first, so they take away my capacity, they squeeze my prices, they add to my costs, because they want all kinds of additional layers of paperwork.” He said the result is a lot of business but less flexibility and increased costs. “In the end, the customers who I really care about, the small and medium enterprises, have to pay the bill,” he said.

The policy has served the manufacturer well, allowing it to stay close to its customers and meet their needs for bespoke products, strengths it believes will also see it thrive in the UK.

De Jong Packaging has 300 employees in its factory in Holland but also has a share in two Dutch flower box wholesale companies, and three Dutch and one Belgian fresh produce tray wholesale companies. “This brings us closer to indirect customers and gives us control of these sales channels,” Barendregt said.

De Jong Packaging
London Produce Show

De Jong Packaging’s sales and marketing director Arie Barendregt .jpg

De Jong Packaging’s sales and marketing director Arie Barendreg at London Produce Show in June, 2015

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Israel’s Aurora Seedless Papaya wins Fruit Logistica 2015 Innovation Award

borrar fl inno wins

 

Trade visitors at last week’s Fruit Logistica fair in Berlin chose the “Aurora Seedless Papaya” as winner of the Fruit Logistica 2015 Innovation Award (FLIA). It was selected out of a field of 10 finalists, all of which were on display at the event.

 

From Aviv Flowers Packing House Ltd. in Israel, “Aurora Seedless Papaya” has a delicate fragrance and firm, full-flavoured pulp. The product of natural selection and crossing, its target markets include the EU,, Switzerland and Canada.

 

 

The second place FLIA winner was the “Lemoncherry” tomato.



Developed by BelOrta, a growers’ cooperative based in Belgium, this yellow, sweet-tasting cherry vine tomato features a distinctive, lemony aroma.

Lemoncherry - Edited.JPG

 

diy fresh packs 2.JPG

 

Third place honours went to the “DIY Fresh Packs” produced by Bakker Barendrecht (part of the UNIVEG Group) in the Netherlands.

 

These products are designed for consumers who want to use fresh ingredients to prepare a full meal, soup or side dish for four people.

 

Fruit Logistica’s showcase of fresh product ideas

Fruit Logistica global brand manager Gérald Lamusse described the ten finalists for the award as “outstanding new fruit and vegetable industry products and services that are driving new trends in the international marketplace.”

The other finalists were :

  • “Eye-Catcher” – A product display system for crates at the POS, from Cabka Group GmbH, Germany;

  • “FC 15 Fruit Chunker” – A cutting machine for pineapple and melons, from Atlas Pacific Engineering, Inc., USA;

  • “Holzdekor-RPC” – Reusable plastic crates with a natural wood look from Polymer Logistics, Germany;

  • “Low Carbon rPETeCo” – Packaging material consisting of 90% recycled plastic bottles, from Holfeld Plastics Ltd, Ireland;

  • “Portable Nondestructive Fruit Quality Meter” – A portable quality-control measuring device, from Sunforest Co. Ltd., South Korea;

  • “Regal’in™ Apple” – A new apple variety, from Regal’in Europe, France;

  • “UP-8000” – A peeling machine for carrots, cucumbers, white radishes and other long vegetables, from Hepro GmbH, Germany.

Lamusse said the award is “the industry’s most coveted distinction” and attracts huge international media attention.

 

See more photos at the Fruit Logistica site.