Improving the Shelf Life of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables (Part 02)

The first part of this article described some innovations in fresh vegetables packaging. Before we go to the section of fresh fruits packaging, two more vegetables innovations. A simple but effective tracking-and-tracing system, which by the way could also be used for fruits, introduced by Tanimura & Antle Fresh Foods Inc. There after I have to describe the “green wok asparagus”, although little is known about it and then we go to fresh fruit: The Grãpple, NGP’s plastic packaging range and Sirane’s absorbent pad both for soft fruit. We end with the new ventilating SPS punnet for crystal clear product visibility and the 6-pack for berries from Driscoll’s of Europe.

Tracking-and-Tracing with KwikTrak’r packaging closure
The KwikTrak’r provides a re-sealable closure, keeping each lettuce head crisp, fresh and protected. Interestingly Tanimura & Antle also introduced with this closure a fresh produce traceability. Each KwikTrak’r clip, used for iceberg lettuce, is printed with the Ranch Number, Field Location, Work Number and Pack Date, so that the consumer (theoretically) can know exactly where the iceberg lettuce has come from. But who is familiar with the codes used by Tanimura & Antle?
This innovative food safety development is a promising step forwards, but misses the code explanation (not even available on T&A’s website). Some homework still has to be done.

Green Wok Asparagus
It is sometimes frustrating how little (technical) information trading companies have available. There is some FreshPlaza news bulletin stating that “Delicious Food and Valstar have entered into an exclusive selling arrangement for the latest convenience food product of Delicious Foods’ ‘Green wok asparagus’, Valstar have obtained the selling rights for this product for Western Europe and will introduce the ‘Green wok asparagus’ at the Fruit Logistica in Berlin.”

Google can’t find any company named Delicious Food and the website of Valstar shows no information at all. Still the development and the packaging is interesting enough to have a look at. So what I have, I give you here. The images give more information then I have in words.

The very small and fine green asparagus come by air and are processed within 24 hours after arrival, so that taste and character are maintained. The asparagus are packed in cups closed with, what seems to be, a second cup with the wok sauce. The four different wok sauces are refined and the sell by date is 10 days because of a balanced packing, which complies with all food safety requirements for this fresh product. The manner of preparation and the nutritional value have been clearly listed on each product.

Smurfit Kappa Zedek, a Dutch manufacturer of offset/silk screen coated corrugated board, developed the new full colour tray packing.

Apples that taste like a grape
The apple industry has been looking for new tastes for many, many years. But the only way of accomplishing this was to cross popular or unique apple varieties with other prominent apple varieties. Grãpple apples begin either as Washington Extra Fancy Gala or Fuji Apples, depending upon the season. These “premium apples” are the ones that take on the grape flavour best. This patent pending process is complex and the ingredient mix primarily includes concentrated grape flavour and pure water. While there are many steps involved (I can’t go into specifics due to the patent application), the basic process involves bathing a specific type of apple for a specific period of time, under a strict set of other criteria. At no time is the apple injected or punctured in any way.
All ingredients are USDA and FDA approved and the process has been licensed by the Washington State Department of Agriculture.

Apples are a fantastic snack and are, in this case, presented as such. Packed in a 4-Grãpple plastic clamshell and displayed in the standard cardboard fruit trays.

And now the soft fruit. Berries are not produced in a factory; they are grown outside in a dynamic biological environment. The farmers’ challenge is to work with nature, using years of experience and know-how to get the very best out of each berry plant. The second challenge is to get the berries in optimum condition on the consumer’s table.
In the next part of this article four examples of how that can be achieved.

to be continued

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