Packaging solutions extend pomegranate season
New packaging solutions from StePac have extended the season for pomegranates and their extracted arils by preserving freshness and increasing shelf life.
StePac has expanded its range to include new recyclable solutions, as well as packaging formats tailored to automation of both bulk and retail packing. These will be showcased at the upcoming Fruit Logistica in Berlin, February 5-7, hall 26, booth #D10.
In spite of their tough exterior, whole fresh pomegranates host a range of challenges that arise with prolonged storage. In the absence of proper protection, the fruit can suffer significant dehydration and weight loss, causing it to shrivel. This may be accompanied by the development of skin blemishes and crown decay that eventually leaches into the fruit and impairs the quality and taste of the arils.
From orchard to table
StePac’s pomegranate packaging portfolio incorporates long storage packaging formats to meet the requirements of growers seeking management solutions for post-harvest bulk storage.
Pomegranate growers and packers are now able to load freshly-picked pomegranates directly at the orchard and store up to 400kg of the fruit in each StePac Xtend bin liner for periods of three months or longer, with no negative effect on the fruit. This is in addition to storage liners for weight of 10-80kg that are already widely used in many countries.
The Xtend line also includes unique carton liners that offer the ideal solution for maintaining fruit quality during the lengthy shipments to distant locations.
StePac has also developed film structures containing a unique sealing layer that facilitates leaner packaging and induces savings of up to 40% in material use as well as reduced labour costs, by enabling pomegranates to be flow-packed in both bulk and retail formats.
100% recyclable retail packaging for arils
The company has developed fully recyclable Xgo lidding films and standing pouches, which are designed to inhibit postharvest microbial decay and extend the shelf life of extracted pomegranate arils for up to 17 days. The lidding films are available in lean easy peel and resealable formats.
The technology is based on a modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) system that reduces respiration rates and ethylene production for a combined effect of slowing down ageing and ripening. It also inhibits the proliferation of pathogens.
Water vapour transmission technology enhances performance
StePac has developed a comprehensive repertoire of films with built-in abilities to regulate water-vapour transmission rates as well as provide optimal modified atmosphere conditions. The films incorporate distinct properties to cater to a range of pomegranate packaging applications.
“During prolonged storage of this fruit, it is paramount to strike the perfect balance between eliminating excess free moisture to mitigate the risk of microbial decay and to concurrently avoid excessive product dehydration,” said Gary Ward, business development manager for StePac. “Such balance depends on multiple synergistic factors, including surface area to volume ratio, produce weight, supply chain length, and shipping and storage conditions.”
“Pomegranates are in demand in every continent. The global reach of our technology is instrumental in addressing the challenges facing the pomegranate industry and for ensuring that both the whole fruit and the extracted arils reach the consumers – wherever they might be – in prime condition, while keeping waste to a minimum. Our holistic vision and pragmatic approach are embedded in a range of complex structures and packaging formats that deliver the extended shelf life and sustainability principles our customers seek.”