Johnson Matthey-owned Stepac has launched a new flow pack solution for blueberries as a cost-saving alternative to traditional bulk packaging.
Called Xflow, the packaging aims to reduce waste through the supply chain and save labour costs.
Xflow combines the modified atmosphere/modified humidity properties of Stepac’s Xtend packaging in a film that also contains a unique sealing layer, making it compatible with conventional flow pack machines.
Stepac has partnered with Delfin, an Italian machine manufacturing company that custom designed and developed machines for Xflow packaging.
With the Xflow system, 12 clamshells are transported on a conveyor belt into the flow pack machine, where they are wrapped with the film, then sealed before being placed in the carton.
Stepac said the packaging improves horizontal airflow across the cartons which is “critical for efficient cooling and cold-chain management”.
The company added that Xflow “significantly extends” freshness of fruit and vegetables by providing the modified atmosphere/modified humidity feature that slows respiration and ageing, while inhibiting microbial growth.
Stepac technical development manager Gary Ward said: “Xflow is a next-gen automatic package that saves time and money while reducing the amount of plastic used by up to 40%.
He added: “We specifically developed this packaging solution to help Peruvian exporters attain more efficient automatic packaging for blueberries. Other customers are currently conducting commercial trials with Xflow for spring onions and green beans and we expect many additional produce items will benefit from this advanced solution.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2021
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