Significant increase in shelf-life of tomatoes

Sira-Flex Resolve packaging film can increase the shelf-life of tomatoes

An innovative packaging film used with tomatoes has shown a shelf-life increase of more than seven days when compared with traditional packaging methods.

Tomatoes packed with Sira-Flex Resolve® – Sirane’s range of compostable shelf-life extending bags and films – retained perfect texture and colour throughout the trial.

Jeremy Haydn-Davies, sales director, said: “This is once again further testament to the unique properties of Sira-Flex Resolve®, and results like this keep coming in.

“The trial was run in standard retail conditions using a 2kg pack of tomatoes. After five days the tomatoes in the traditional packaging were starting to become unacceptable for sale, while the tomatoes in Sira-Flex Resolve®, were still acceptable after 11 days.

 “We know Sira-Flex Resolve® has some remarkable properties, and we’ve had people running trials around the world, many of whom are now starting to share their results.

“Supermarket shelves can be full of discounted tomatoes. Selling produce in packaging like Sira-Flex Resolve® could help retailers keep their tomatoes fresher for longer.

“With many retailers having recently signed up to the Courtauld 3 Commitment – pledging to significantly reduce food waste – this could be exactly the news they’ve been needing.”

Sirane’s Sira-Flex Resolve® is a unique film which has been developed to have the optimum balance between humidity control and O2 and CO2 permeability.

The permeability is temperature dependant so that the perfect atmosphere is maintained inside the pack even if the storage temperature is variable.

Simon Balderson, Sirane’s managing director, said: “The results are remarkable. There is no condensation on the inside of the film and the product does not dry out.

“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.”

The film is a natural bio-polymer made from plants. It is sustainable and fully compostable. The permeability is controlled by the property of the film itself.

Due to the unique structure of the film material, the permeability to humidity, O2 and CO2 is different in each case. This has allowed Sirane’s team of scientists to balance the permeability of each component to achieve the optimum result.

Earlier trials have shown very positive results with many other types of fresh produce.

Last year trials with UK distributors revealed double the shelf-life on brassicas.

In the trials cauliflower and broccoli – which following transportation had been deteriorating after just one day on the shelves – was still in good condition after five days.

The same trials showed an additional two days shelf-life for cabbages, leeks and carrots.

Other very positive findings have been reported in strawberries, green beans, salads and potatoes. Mr Haydn-Davies added: “We try to avoid making claims that Sira-Flex Resolve® will achieve a particular level of shelf-life, as there are so many factors.

“What we suggest is that customers try the film in their own food chain, in their own set of conditions, and see what results can be achieved by using Sira-Flex Resolve®.”

Shelf-life extension is a hot topic, especially in the light of the Courtauld Commitment – Phase 3 of which was backed by 45 signatories, including all the major grocery retailers and many leading brand manufacturers, when they signed up to it earlier this year.

Targets include reducing household food and drink waste by 5%, and reducing waste in the grocery supply chain by 3%, as well as delivering better product protection to reduce waste.

Simon Balderson, Sirane’s MD, said: “Courtauld 3 wants retailers to ensure packaging develops and evolves. Not only is it possible to reduce packaging waste significantly, but it’s also possible to reduce food waste significantly with more advanced packaging.

“For many years now that’s what Sirane has been striving to do and we’ve had some major successes in the last 12 month. We’ve already worked on technology that will enable people to move towards achieving the aims of Courtauld 3 and beyond.

“Many companies may look at Courtauld 3 and think it will cost them more money,” said Mr Balderson, “but using more advanced technology can actually save companies money in the long-run, as they’ll get money back from reduced discounting, wastage and returns.”

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