StePac has developed a multi-layered packaging technology to ensure the long-lasting freshness of blueberries in bulk deliveries.

The result of several years of research and development (R&D), the new polyamide-based packaging Xtend resolves the challenge commonly faced by growers and exporters of delivering high-quality fresh fruit following long-distance shipments.

The packaging is claimed to maintain the condition of blueberries for up to 35 days of transportation. It regulates headspace gas composition and relative humidity to reduce the risk of condensation build-up. It also ensures that any condensation that does occur is diffused out.

“The advantage of reduced weight loss is outweighed by the disadvantage that condensation will inevitably form”

According to StePac technical development manager Gary Ward, blueberries are usually packed in polyethylene-based modified atmosphere packaging that minimise weight loss due to its very low water vapour transmission rate (WVTR).

Ward added:  “This is important, but the advantage of reduced weight loss is outweighed by the disadvantage that condensation will inevitably form and become trapped in the packaging.

“This free moisture is an enemy of the natural bloom and is highly likely to be washed from the surface of the blueberries making it less appealing to the eye and in fact increases the risk of decay.

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“It is the outward indicator of freshness that translates into higher prices for blueberries in the Chinese market.”

This product will be displayed at the upcoming Fruit Logistica 2019 to be held from 6 to 8 February 2019 in Berlin, Germany.