Cantankerous cauliflower could soon be a thing of the past. A new film for packaging fresh produce has performed well in trials with brassicas, which tend to deteriorate after just one day on the shelf.
In the trials, Sirane’s Sira-Flex Resolve was used to package cauliflower and broccoli. The produce was found to be in good condition five days after packaging with the film. Cabbages, leeks and carrots gained two days of shelf life with the packaging.
In Australia, where long transport distances and high temperatures can shorten shelf life, Sira-Flex Resolve trials showed a shelf life extension of more than 20 days, Sirane’s Managing Director, Simon Balderson, said.
“Initial tests using the film showed the produce had a remarkable shelf life extension when compared with existing products. We await further trials with interest,” said Balderson.
The film is a fully compostable biopolymer. According to the company, it has been developed to give the optimum balance between humidity control and O2 and CO2 permeability.
The film’s permeability to humidity, O2 and CO2 is apparently different in each case, being affected by storage conditions and other variables.
“The unique structure means we are getting some varied results on shelf life extension,” Balderson said. “Because the results are very specific to the conditions, we are finding it difficult to advise on just what the shelf life extension potential is.
“Where one person might get two days, another might get 10 days, as it depends so heavily on the various factors at play in relation to storage conditions and other variables.”
Sirane is encouraging people to run their own trials to assess how the film will benefit their operations.
The film could reduce food waste and costs, Balderson said, making it more likely that the consumer will receive the produce in good condition. Balderson says Sira-Flex has broken new ground, delivering packaging that will keep food from drying out, eliminate ‘fogging’ within the pack and ensure no mould or bacteria growth on the produce.