Packaging breakthrough hikes fruit shelf-life

By Rod Addy contact

- Last updated on GMT

Packaged strawberries have yielded fresh results backing the It'sFresh system
Packaged strawberries have yielded fresh results backing the It'sFresh system

Related tags: Fruit

Retailers and fresh produce processors can obliterate rubbish and extend the time packaged fruit can be displayed in shops by two days, according to research unveiled this week.

The groundbreaking It’sFresh! method, pioneered by Food Freshness Technology (FFT), involves inserting pads composed of a mixture of minerals and clay, which absorb ethylene gas, into packs of fruit.

Fruits naturally emit the gas, which is responsible for their premature ripening and decay during distribution.

Substantially more effective

FFT claims the It’sFresh! pads are substantially more effective than other materials and are easier to deploy. They are already used by retail chains including Waitrose and Marks & Spencer and are being rolled out in the EU and US.

Now new figures unveiled at the International Conference on Managing Quality in Chains 2013 at Bedford-based Cranfield University this week have confirmed the system cuts packaged strawberry waste in stores by half. The research also shows it boosts shelf-life by at least two days.

‘Potential to make a global difference’

“Our technology is a British innovation with the potential to make a global difference in the fresh produce industry,” ​said Simon Lee, It’sFresh! chief marketing officer.

“It’sFresh! has been shown to effectively remove ethylene throughout the whole supply chain, not only in strawberries and other berries, but also in tomatoes, avocados, stone fruit and pears.”

Chris Bishop, reader in Postharvest Technology at Writtle College at Chelmsford in Essex, and conference speaker, said: “The tests we have carried out showed unequivocally that It’sFresh! ethylene-removal technology extends product life by at least two more days.

“This benefits everyone in the supply chain, from grower to consumer, by reducing waste and boosting consumers’ confidence that they will get full employment and value from the produce they buy.”

Related topics: Fresh produce, Packaging materials

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2 comments

date labelling

Posted by nooshin,

We produce fresh vegetable salads. Is it necessary to use the date of production or can we just use the date of expiry or best before date? Please help and show me the regulations.

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Packaging breakthrough hikes fruit shelf life

Posted by John Hirst,

Further to your article, can I ask if the technology is approved by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)? For info our OxyFresh technology is approved by EFSA, see http://www.emcopackaging.com/index.php/products/oxygen-emitters
OxyFresh was tested by M&S stores, where it doubled the normal shelf life of strawberries. Depot waste was reduced to zero. We are currently testing OxyFresh on UK cherries to extend the UK cherry season!

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