Food waste hit the news last week with the revelation that two thirds of salad bought in one major UK supermarket goes in the bin – signalling the end of ‘multi-buy promotions’.
What it should signal, according to innovative food packaging experts Sirane, is the beginning of a move to packaging which actively extends the salad’s shelf-life.
‘What a Waste of Good Food!’ screamed the headlines in one daily newspaper as it revealed the supermarket giant threw away 33% of its salad with customers binning another 35%.
“That’s a staggering amount of salad that never even reached the customer,” said Sirane MD Simon Balderson, “and that figure could be reduced significantly with better packaging.
“It goes without saying that reducing that figure would save supermarkets a lot of money, as well as customers who would get the chance to eat the salad before it goes off.”
One way Sirane could help is with our incredible new packaging material Sira-Flex Resolve. The material, a natural bio-polymer of corn, has significantly extended the shelf-life of packaged fruit and vegetables – with salads particularly successful during trials.
Sirane’s Sira-Flex Resolve is a new, 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.
Mr Balderson 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 – we’ve had some great results with strawberries, mushrooms, green beans, tomatoes, potatoes, cucumbers and some herbs.
“As an added bonus, the Sira-Flex Resolve packaging is 100% compostable.”
The same study revealed that 24% of grapes are also thrown away. Trials using Sira-Flex Resolve to protect grapes have also show very significant shelf-life extension.
“We avoid making too many claims,” said Mr Balderson, “as actual shelf-life extension depends on so many factors. However, we would urge anyone looking to extend the shelf-life of fresh produce to trial our product and see how well it works for you.
“We’re working with a major international supermarket at the moment, and they are trialling the Sira-Flex Resolve packaging in store – and the results are looking very impressive.
“And we’re also working with a major importer of grapes into the UK who are trialling the Sira-Flex Resolve packaging – and once again the results are looking very promising.”
Sirane offers a full range of fresh produce packaging solutions aimed at helping growers, distributors and retailers get their produce to market in the best possible condition.
An ethylene-absorbing label is another recent innovation. The label could be placed inside fruit packaging where ethylene causes faster degradation to slow down the process – leading to additional shelf-life. This could particularly benefit tomatoes.
And in the next few weeks a new product which has the potential to change the way soft-fruit is packaged worldwide will be unveiled after extensive research and trials.
Sirane is an innovative food packaging development-to-manufacture company based in the UK with an ever-growing reputation in products offering shelf-life extension.
For more information, visit www.sirane.com or contact sales director Jeremy Haydn-Davies on +44 1952 230055. Alternatively email email@example.com