A UK-based packaging company have created a film that they claim can extend fruit and vegetable shelf-life by ‘two to five days’ and are taking commercial enquiries from UK and Europe.
Sirane’s, Sira-Flex Resolve film, which is a natural bio-polymer made from plants, aims to extend shelf life of chilled fruit and vegetables due to a balance between oxygen and carbon dioxide.
The firm told FoodProductionDaily.com that it was ‘quite a claim to make’ and the film has attracted interest from the UK and Europe, although the company wouldn’t be drawn on specific customers.
Two years of trials have reported four additional days’ shelf-life with potatoes and other significant results with fruit and vegetables when wrapped in the film, which is ready for commercial roll-out.
Sirane added they may look at expanding the range of products suitable to be wrapped in the film in the future but are currently focussed on the latest development.
The film could improve quality, taste and texture, reduce food waste and processing and shipping costs and bring new export markets within range of population centres, said Sirane.
Sirane’s managing director, Simon Balderson, said the new film has an impact from the supply chain all the way through to the consumer.
“The package atmosphere is maintained with the optimum balance of atmospheric gases to prevent degradation. In simple terms, the food lasts longer.
“Shelf life extension of several days and more is achieved for many products. The film is suitable for all types of vegetables including salads as well as many types of fresh fruit.”
Shelf-life extension is the holy grail, with a huge amount of food wasted because it goes off before it is eaten, added Balderson.
He said: “If we can add a few more days to the shelf life, we could reduce the amount of food waste and significantly reduce costs. We can also make it more likely that the consumer will get a quality product in good condition.
“The key to shelf-life is to find a material which balances the O2 and CO2 permeability and the moisture vapour humidity to optimise the environment in the pack to give the maximum shelf life.
“Up to now, no-one has been able to achieve this balance with complete success.”