There’s nothing more enjoyable than lush, fresh produce and fruit. And there’s nothing more disappointing than having it spoil before you even open the package. Today more than ever, packaging is playing a critical role when it comes to extending the shelf life of food and reducing food waste.
The packaging of produce is complex due to the demanding and differing requirements to retain freshness. When many fruits and vegetables begin to mature, they release ethylene gas which can cause faster ripening. Unfortunately, when this gas is present near sensitive produce, like lettuce, asparagus, and cauliflower, it can cause food to spoil faster.
Fortunately, LyondellBasell has a solution. When it comes to packaging technology, LyondellBasell’s Polyfresh masterbatch, an additive concentrate that enhances polymer properties, adsorbs and controls ethylene gas in produce packaging. When compared to standard commercial packaging, results have shown that Polyfresh can nearly double the shelf life of certain produce when remaining sealed until they are ready to be eaten.
Results have shown that Polyfresh masterbatch can retain lettuce freshness by an average of 11 days. In the image above, day 12, reflects the turning point where the lettuce is starting to decline in freshness.
“We continue to see the need to increase the shelf life of food on a global level and specialized packaging can help with this,” says Melanie Longanecker, Research & Development Engineer for LyondellBasell. “From being transported to the grocery story to when you’re ready to eat it, the right packaging can help your food stay fresh.”
Packaging, and the polymers that create it, are vital in combating food spoilage and waste. LyondellBasell continues to research new technologies and innovative materials in the packaging market, making longer-lasting freshness possible.