StePac develops blueberry packaging

2 Jan 2019

StePac has developed customized, proprietary, polyamide-based packaging technology for ensuring long-lasting freshness in bulk deliveries of blueberries to distant destinations.

StePac develops blueberry packaging

StePac has developed customized, proprietary, polyamide-based packaging technology for ensuring long-lasting freshness in bulk deliveries of blueberries to distant destinations. The new multi-layered packaging, which is the outcome of several years R&D is said to ensure this high value fruit arrives in wholesome condition, with its natural protective bloom intact.

The Xtend packaging solution enhances the consumer experience and safeguards retailers against waste. This resolves the common challenge faced by growers and exporters (mainly from Chile and Peru) who conduct long-haul shipments to faraway countries, such as China — a leading consumer of blueberries. The result is that blueberries shipped in Xtend packaging arrive at destination, even after 35 days, with the full freshness reaped upon harvesting.

Last November, during an arrival evaluation, Elizabeth Paredes Cruz of Fiamma, StePac’s Peruvian distributor, interacted with various Chinese importers to understand what the locals consider to be the pertinent quality criteria for blueberries. Highest on their priority list was the appearance of the “bloom”– the natural powdery white wax on the surface of the fruit which innately protects the fruit and reduces evaporation. Second was the taste and the third most important criterion was firmness of the fruit.

StePac's breathable, multilayered polyamide-based Xtend packaging is designed to not only regulate headspace gas composition, but also relative humidity. This significantly reduces the risk of condensation build-up and ensures that any condensation that might form within the packaging diffuses out.

According to Gary Ward, Ph.D., Technical Development Manager for StePac, blueberries are often packed in polyethylene-based modified atmosphere packaging which minimizes weight loss due to its very low water vapour transmission rate (WVTR). “This is important, but the advantage of reduced weight loss is outweighed by the disadvantage that condensation will inevitably form and become trapped in the packaging. This free moisture is an enemy of the natural bloom and is highly likely to be washed from the surface of the blueberries making it less appealing to the eye and in fact increases the risk of decay.”

“The preservation of natural bloom is a far more important parameter than slightly lower weight loss,” notes Ward. “It is the outward indicator of freshness and translates into higher prices for blueberries in the Chinese market.” Sources from within the industry disclosed that at the time of the visit, Peruvian fruit with high bloom arriving in Xtend packaging were typically sold for prices reaching RMB160-200 per carton of 12 clamshells, in comparison to RMB100-120 per carton of 12 clamshells for fruit with less bloom arriving in polyethylene packaging.

StePac uses a wide range of polymers with varying WVTR values, including polyethylene, for the delivery of fresh produce in different packaging formats. “Custom-designed packaging that provides optimal modified atmosphere and moisture control and ensures that the produce arrives in prime condition requires a thorough understanding of the interaction between the physiology and pathology of fresh produce and its packaging environment,” adds Ward. “. Polyethylene-based packaging solutions are suitable for certain produce items and applications, but are an inferior solution for bulk shipment of blueberries.”

Related categories

Related tags

Innovation

Related news

Kraft-Heinz announces latest Springboard qualifiers

Kraft-Heinz announces latest Springboard qualifiers

7 Mar 2019

Springboard, a platform launched by Kraft Heinz in 2016 to nurture, scale, and accelerate growth of disruptive brands, announced its second Incubator Program class.

Read more 
Campden BRI convenes 3D printing seminar

Campden BRI convenes 3D printing seminar

27 Feb 2019

Campden BRI is hosting a seminar on the 3D printing of food on Thursday 20 June which will, says Campden, appeal to those who work in food manufacturing.

Read more 
New ingredients company launches

New ingredients company launches

27 Feb 2019

Motif Ingredients, a food ingredients company, has launched with $90M in Series A financing to provide next-generation alternative proteins and other ingredients to global food companies.

Read more 
FSAI announces new DNA scanning tool

FSAI announces new DNA scanning tool

25 Feb 2019

The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) now has a new DNA scanning tool to identify the entire DNA content of a food, proactively identifying all the ingredients and their biological sources.

Read more 
Amyris signs $255m deal for cannabinoid development

Amyris signs $255m deal for cannabinoid development

14 Feb 2019

Developer and producer of sustainable ingredients for the health & wellness, clean beauty and flavors & fragrances markets Amyris has signed a binding term sheet for a planned cannabinoid development.

Read more 
McCormick to apply AI to flavour development

McCormick to apply AI to flavour development

5 Feb 2019

McCormick and IBM have announced their ongoing research collaboration to pioneer the application of artificial intelligence (AI) for flavour and food product development.

Read more 
Award-winning startup uses enzymes to cut sugar in fruit juice

Award-winning startup uses enzymes to cut sugar in fruit juice

31 Jan 2019

Fruit juice has come under fire for its high sugar content in recent years, but an Israeli startup called Better Juice has developed an enzyme technology that cuts sugars by up to 80% without adding or subtracting anything from the juice.

Read more 
BENEO to showcase Palatinose-based toffee

BENEO to showcase Palatinose-based toffee

29 Jan 2019

BENEO is to showcase and sample the first toffees with its functional carbohydrate, Palatinose. The new product concept has been created to offer consumers a healthier toffee alternative.

Read more 
Wageningen, NWVA to merge into new institute

Wageningen, NWVA to merge into new institute

21 Jan 2019

RIKILT Wageningen University & Research and the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA)’s Laboratory for Food and Feed Safety will merge into a new institute effective 1 June 2019.

Read more 
Arla creates new innovation organisation, hires new SVP

Arla creates new innovation organisation, hires new SVP

18 Jan 2019

Arla Foods is creating a new Product and Innovation organisation and appointing a new Senior Vice President, driven by the desire to strengthen its innovation and global product agenda.

Read more