Resource Efficient Innovations Database (REID)

Breakthrough active packaging extends the shelf life of fresh produce

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Breakthrough active packaging extends the shelf life of fresh produce
Novel technology incorporates ethylene absorbers into corrugated board to slow the ripening process.
In Development – The company is still developing and testing the concept.

Product Waste Reduction, Shelf life extension

Product Categories

Relevant Materials

Relevant Packaging Formats
Corrugated box/case

Supply Chain Phase
Storage, Transportation


The shelf life of many fresh fruit and vegetables is affected by the formation of ethylene gas during the ripening process. In response, a major packaging manufacturer is working with a research institute to incorporate novel ethylene absorbing technology directly into corrugated packaging solutions. An ethylene absorbing corrugated board crate could help to slow down the process of decay and reduce product losses due to more rapid ripening.

This will be the first time ethylene absorbing technology has been incorporated directly into the corrugated board substrate. To make the active packaging, a binding element is applied to the corrugation cavities and the ethylene absorber applied to this in powder or granulate form. This is then sealed by the addition of a covering paper layer. All subsequent processing and converting stages for the crate are unaffected.
The company is also investigating the option of incorporating the technology into a printed inner lining.
SCA’s Germany division is working on the technology with the Fraunhofer Institute. Significant testing of the technology is still required in terms of machine testing, potential shelf life extension capabilities and ensuring that the pack complies with all relevant product safety regulations.
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 reducing deterioration of fresh fruit and vegetables this technology and the proposed distribution crate could help to reduce the occurrence of waste arising in the supply chain.

Intellectual Property

The technology has been developed by SCA and Fraunhofer Instutite in Germany.

Consultant View

This is one of many different technologies currently being researched and developed which aim to control fruit and vegetable ripening processes. Readers interested in this field should search the database for other relevant entries. Technologies featured include edible coatings, ethylene gas release technologies, x-ray irradiation, breathable films and many others. To find some of these, try searching the database using the search term "Fruit and veg".

Contacts and Further Information

Anja Roehrle, Marketing Manager
SCA Packaging Germany and Switzerland
Email: anja.roehrle@sca

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