According to the report Global Food: Waste Not, Want Not, published by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, between 30% and 50% of the four billion metric tons of food produced around the world each year goes to waste. While food waste happens at every stage of the food production and consumption chain, food packagers are stepping up to extend shelf life and minimize the waste and damage of fresh produce. In addition to prolonging shelf life, packagers seek to educate consumers so they can make better, more informed produce purchases.

Extending shelf life

Sirane has developed Dri-fresh Resolve “Soft-hold” fruit cushion pads, which are absorbent bubble pads combining the cushioning and protective properties of bubble films with effective absorbency, high permeability and presentation.

“Fully compostable and available in various colors and sizes, Dri-fresh Resolve ‘Soft-hold’ is the perfect product for soft fruit protection,” says Sandra Evans, sales manager for fresh produce. “Like all Dri-fresh Resolve pads, Safe-hold is available with integrated ethylene absorbing and anti-fungal properties for extending shelf-life in all applications.

“Soft-hold has been developed with distributors and retailers in mind, with an eye on the needs of the companies involved. Our customers have been telling us they want pads that offer more protection for the fruit, that extend shelf-life, and that are compostable,” adds Evans.

Dri-Fresh Soft-hold is one of several products Sirane offers for transporting or selling fresh produce, including Dri-Fresh Resolve and, Dri-Fresh Fresh-Hold pads and shelf-life extending film and bags, Sira-Flex Resolve.

“The concept of our fresh produce range is simple,” says Evans, “We want customer’s fruit or vegetable to arrive with their ultimate customer in the best possible condition. For this they need the ultimate protection – and our range of products offers that.”

Packaging Innovations

Sun World International is raising the bar on standard packaging with its new Cast Polypropylene Pouch bag designed for better product visibility and merchandising capabilities. The bag is designed with high clarity CPP film instead of the industry standard polyethylene. The typical polyethylene bag tends toward cloudiness, which, according to Sun World, is one of the top five negative influencers at the point of purchase.  The pouch bag features a gusseted bottom that allows for stand-up merchandising as well as a slider zip for easy resealing.

Sun World’s high graphic grab and go bag allows the company to highlight its unique and proprietary varieties and offer consumers more information about their products. The bag includes a nutrition panel and product handling tips. As a new feature, the bag will also include a statement touting “Fresh California Grapes” and a seasonality indicator to educate consumers about the seasonality of grapes and encourage them to get their favorite grapes while they are still in season.

Informing Consumers

Emerald Packaging  is taking consumer education to a new, interactive level by providing consumers with more information on the origins of their food through QR codes. The California-based packaging manufacturer, which supplied printed bags to companies including Growers Express, a packer for major food manufacturing brand Jolly Green Giant, invested in Domino’s Bitjet+ inline digital printing system along with its Editor GT ink jet and production line controller in order to print unique QR codes onto each of its bags.

These unique codes, which are supplied by database and software management provider Truetrac, contain a wide range of information on the product including farm locations, grower profiles, food safety notices and nutritional information. These codes are managed by the Editor GT system and printed onto the bags by the Bitjet+. Consumers can scan the code with a smartphone to find out everything about the product, including the field in which it was harvested.

The future of produce packaging not only delivers fresh, undamaged product to consumers, but it does so in convenient packaging with appealing graphics and useful information that allows consumers to stay connected to the origins and nutritional value of their food. F&BP