New-tech standing pouches cut fresh food waste

3 Feb 2021

Divine Flavor adopts StePac’s modified atmosphere standing pouches, extending produce shelf life in the retail sector.

Fresh produce packaging innovators, StePac, are gaining growing interest in the retail sector for their functional standing pouches. The resealable bags are crafted with the company’s proprietary Xgo™ advanced modified atmosphere/modified humidity (MA/MH) technology and are designed to lengthen the shelf life of fresh produce and reduce waste in the supply chain and consumer’s home.

New-tech standing pouches cut fresh food waste

The pouch enhances consumer experience and helps to hold the fresh food packaging sector to greater ethical standards by contributing to the global waste reduction effort.

Divine Flavor, a San Diego based, grower-owned distributor of fruits and vegetables and part of agro giant Grupo Alta, has already adopted StePac’s new standing pouches. The Xgo standing pouch, packaged in a “grab-n-go” retail format, is engineered to combine shelf-life extension capabilities by actively slowing the aging and ripening process.

Since 2010, Divine Flavor has used StePac’s Xtend® line of bulk packaging to transport its vegetables from growing regions in Mexico to the USA. The company began testing the new Xgo standing pouches just over two years ago in a move to expand their product line and differentiate their brand by offering supermarkets a means of bringing the packaging benefits from the farm to the consumer. Xgo standing pouches allow the company to shift to packing fresh produce in the final retail format at source. Divine Flavor fully adopted the protocol in 2020 for direct field-to-home refrigerator packaging of its Persian cucumbers for the US market.

“The Xgo standing pouch is a remarkably high performing product, with an unrivalled ability to retain freshness and meaningfully extend product shelf life,” attests Michael DuPuis, Quality Assurance and Public Relations Coordinator for Divine Flavor. “The feedback from our customers has been excellent; they’re really happy with the quality and attractive appearance and the fact that it has that sustainability edge consumers are seeking.”

The Xgo standing pouch life extension capabilities are due to unique properties inbuilt into the packaging matrix that functions to lower oxygen and increase carbon dioxide. This creates optimal conditions for slowing respiration and senescence in plant tissues, inhibiting the growth of mold and other microorganisms, thereby preserving freshness and valuable nutrients. The StePac technology limits dehydration and product weight loss during storage, shipment, and home use and has inbuilt condensation control, that ensures high visibility of the packed products even under challenging supply chain conditions.

StePac’s breakthrough pouches are resealable and are available in fully recyclable formats, contributing to a circular economy. They can be decoratively printed for personal brands to evoke instant product recognition and come with a convenient grab handle.

“Our packaging designs have traditionally focused on the wholesale sector, offering a lean functional solution to bulk packaging of high-value fresh produce that can support long haul shipments as well as storage,” says Gary Ward, Business Development Manager for StePac. “It already demonstrated abilities to extend shelf life by 50-100%, bringing promising support to food-waste reduction. Amid the current COVID-19 climate, concerns for food safety are driving demand for more retail packaging. We have purpose designed our packaging to preserve quality and reduce waste in the most sustainable way possible. We are increasingly venturing into the retail sector to bring this sustainable resource saving solution into consumers’ homes.”

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