Morrisons to trial new film coating to extend produce life

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One of the UK’s top six supermarket chains, Morrisons,  is set to trial a new film packaging technology developed by long standing AIPIA member It’s Fresh! The new film is claimed to prolong the life of fresh produce. Dubbed a ‘purposeful packaging’ technology by the company, ‘Infinite’, a sustainable active deliver system, has been designed to reduce food waste in supermarkets, in the supply chain and at home, it says.

A proprietary ‘active ingredient’ is printed directly onto existing packaging for fruit, vegetables or flowers to prolong shelf life and extend freshness and quality by absorbing the natural ripening hormone ethylene. The company first came to the attention of major retailers with its range of ethylene absorbing filters, used in fruit punnets.

After three years in development, the solution is set to be trialled on packs of berries in Morrisons. According to It’s Fresh, tests have revealed that Infinite is more efficient and environmentally-friendly than alternative methods currently in use since, the technology is non-invasive and can be used in packs of untreated or uncoated fruit.

Co-founder of It’s Fresh! Simon Lee said, “There is a big debate about food packaging at the moment. The reality is that the fresh food industry does need packaging. Ours is what we would call ‘purposeful packaging’, which is genuinely helping to reduce food wastage and which will, in turn, reduce the amount of packaging needed overall, as the produce lasts longer.”

The company recently announced the results from its latest series of trials showing how the technology can prolong life for many fresh fruits:

Independent trials on behalf of Carrefour in France showed that It’s Fresh tech improved the quality and life of strawberries by nearly 50%; in Poland blueberries experienced 40% less waste than those without over a six-week period; a trial in Greece showed the filters gave cherries three days extra life, helping them retain colour and firmness; while tests on bananas in Australia, where huge domestic transit distances mean many batches are rejected, found that the filters increased the fruit’s life by two to three days.

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