Resource Efficient Innovations Database (REID)

Modified atmosphere and humidity combined to extend shelf life of fruit and vegetables

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Modified atmosphere and humidity combined to extend shelf life of fruit and vegetables
Innovative modified atmosphere packaging combined with humidity control inhibit decay and extend shelf life in a wide range of fruit and vegetables
In Use – The Xtend® bags are used for over 50 different fruit, vegetable and herb varieties.

Benefits
Product Waste Reduction, Shelf life extension

Product Categories
Food

Relevant Materials
Plastic – Flexible

Relevant Packaging Formats
Flexible & Films

Supply Chain Phase
Packing

Details

This packaging ensures prolonged storage and shelf life for fresh produce through a combined effect of modified atmosphere (↓O2 ↑CO2), modified humidity (↑relative humidity) and condensation control (release of excess moisture). Xtend® polymers are engineered so that the produce inside the bag equilibrates within the specific range of O2 and CO2 concentrations as required by that specific fruit/vegetable. Xtend packaging slows senescence (aging process), maintains the nutritional value and flavor of produce, and inhibits the growth of pathogens, reducing decay. In addition to providing the optimal modified atmosphere as the produce transpires, the relative humidity in Xtend® packaging increases to 90-95%.
 
This modified humidity reduces dehydration and weight loss, which in turn preserves the firmness of the produce and prevents shriveling. Xtend®packaging also eliminates excess moisture, thereby maintaining produce appearance and inhibiting physiological disorders that are encouraged in the presence of free moisture.
 
Each Xtend® bag is engineered specifically for a certain fruit or vegetable, modifying the atmosphere within the bag/packaging so that the correct balance between oxygen and carbon dioxide for the specific produce is maintained inside the bag. This preserves produce quality during storage and transportation. In addition, humidity levels are precisely regulated to allow excess moisture to escape into the environment, alleviating moisture related problems, such as decay and re-growth of root vegetables. 

Xtend® MA/MH (modified atmosphere/modified humidity)  packaging is manufactured by Stepac.

Potential Benefits

The greatest potential benefit from this technology is the reduction of food waste through increased shelf life and resistance to pathogens afforded by the combination of Modified atmosphere and humidity control.  Additionally, products may be able to reach previously impracticable markets and travel extended distances to market.

Intellectual Property

Xtend® MA/MH (modified atmosphere/modified humidity) packaging is manufactured and registered to Stepac in the USA.

Consultant View

The combination of Modified atmosphere packaging and humidity control provides a useful addition to existing technologies used to prolong shelf life and reduce rates of decay. Reviewers should also consult the REID database using filters such as: Shelf life extension and modified atmosphere packaging.

Contacts and Further Information

Asaf Sgachnai – VP Commercial Management & Technical Support
Tel: +972- (0)4 987-2131  
info@stepac.com
 

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