Resource Efficient Innovations Database (REID)

New film extends shelf life of fresh produce

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New film extends shelf life of fresh produce
Transparent, breathable biofilm helps maintain product quality for longer.
In Use – Commercially available, released November 2012.

Benefits
Product Waste Reduction

Product Categories
Food

Relevant Materials
Biopolymer, Plastic – Flexible

Relevant Packaging Formats
Flexible & Films

Supply Chain Phase
Raw materials / Ingredients

Details

A Finnish films manufacturer has launched a transparent biofilm which can help extend the shelf life of fresh produce such as fruit and vegetables.

The film is made from a combination of corn starch based materials which results in a film which forms a breathable membrane. As a result, the packaging film helps create an optimum balance between humidity control and oxygen and carbon dioxide permeability which, in turn, contributes to slowing product degradation.
The company’s development of multilayer materials based on sandwiches of biomaterials with different properties that can be tailored to customer requirements are key to the new clear packaging product. By combining the right mixtures it is possible to create stronger products with a better tolerance of grease, water vapour and gases.
The packaging film is sealable and can be used on its own or as part of a carton box or tray. Depending on customer requirements it can be supplied in different thicknesses and roll widths for use in most types of packaging machinery. The film also has good strength properties (equivalent to the physical properties of conventional plastic films). Lower sealing temperatures are required compared to conventional films, and therefore less energy is required during the film packaging process.
The performance has been rigorously tested with customers in Europe who have reported significantly increased self-life extensions of fresh produce.
As the film is biodegradable it could also potentially be sent to appropriate recovery processes (such as composting or anaerobic digestion) along with any supply chain food waste that does arise.
The launch of this product by Plastiroll follows the company’s significant investment in production capacity for biodegradable films in 2010. Thist doubled the company’s production capacity and supported production of an increased range of products.
The content in this entry has been obtained from publicly available information sources only (e.g. press releases, website and trade press articles) and is subject to completion of a validation process with the technology supplier.

Potential Benefits

By extending shelf life this packaging solution could help to reduce wastage of perishable fresh produce both in the supply chain and in the home.
In addition, lower processing energy required for heat sealing the film compared to conventional plastics will result in reduced carbon emissions from this stage in the product life cycle.

Intellectual Property

This material has been developed and is available from Plastiroll. 

Consultant View

There are a number of suppliers working to develop similar products which utilise the properties of biomaterials to improve the shelf life of fresh produce. The market and technology is developing fast. Readers interested in this field should search the Internet for other suppliers and keep abreast of developments by subscribing to appropriate information sources.

Contacts and Further Information

Jani Avellan, Product Development Manager
Plastiroll
Vanha Vaasantie 13
33470 Ylöjärvi
Tel: +358 3 3800 800
Email: jani.avellan@plastiroll.fi
http://www.plastiroll.fi/en

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