StePac standing pouches reduce supply chain waste

Food distributor Divine Flavor has adopted StePac’ modified atmosphere standing pouches for extending produce shelf life in the retail sector

StePac offers a range of functional standing pouches with the company’s proprietary Xgo modified atmosphere/modified humidity (MA/MH) technology.

The pouches are designed to significantly lengthen the shelf life of fresh produce and reduce waste in the supply chain as well as in the consumer’s homes.

Divine Flavor, a distributor of fruits and vegetables, has adopted the pouches.

Since 2010, the distributor has been using StePac’s Xtend line of bulk packaging for transporting its squash, cucumbers and bell peppers from growing regions in Mexico to USA. The company began testing the Xgo standing pouches just over two years ago in a move to expand their line of high value products and bring differentiation of their brand by offering supermarkets a means of bringing the purposeful packaging benefits all the way from the farm to the consumer.

Xgo standing pouches allowed the company to shift to packing fresh produce in the final retail format at source, StePac says. The Divine Flavor technical team fully adopted the protocol in 2020 for direct field-to-home refrigerator packaging of its Persian cucumbers for the US market.

Michael DuPuis, Quality Assurance and Public Relations Coordinator for Divine Flavors said: “The feedback from our customers has been excellent; they’re really happy with the quality and attractive appearance and the fact that it has that sustainability edge consumers are seeking.”

The pouches’ packaging matrix functions to lower oxygen (O2) and increase carbon dioxide (CO2), creating optimal conditions for slowing respiration and senescence (aging) in plant tissues and inhibiting the growth of mold and other microorganisms, the company claimed. The technology is also designed to limit dehydration and product weight loss during storage, shipment, and home use and has inbuilt condensation control.

The pouches are resealable and are also available in recyclable formats.

“Our packaging designs have traditionally focused on the wholesale sector, offering a lean functional solution to bulk packaging of high-value fresh produce that can support long haul shipments as well as storage,” said Gary Ward, Business Development Manager for StePac. “It already demonstrated abilities to extend shelf life by 50-100%, bringing promising support to food-waste reduction. In the midst of current Covid19 climate, concerns for food safety are driving demand for more retail packaging. We have purpose designed our packaging to preserve quality and reduce waste in the most sustainable way possible.”

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