For fresh fruit and vegetable marketing and distribution in Asia
Matthew Jones

BY MATTHEW JONES

@mattfruitnet

Wednesday 22nd September 2021, 12:42 Hong Kong

StePac launches new top seals

Fully recyclable solutions designed to extend shelf life of fresh fruits and ready-to-eat salads

StePac launches new top seals

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StePac has added to its range of top seal solutions for retail fresh produce packaging.

The Israel-based packaging company said its new solutions incorporate “lean and fully recyclable” easy peel film structures, designed to be sealed onto trays or containers holding summer fruits and fresh cuts.

The films have been engineered with StePac’s flagship Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) condensation control technology, rendered with capabilities to extend the shelf life of fresh produce while also preserving quality and nutritional value.

Gary Ward, business development manager of StePac, said the new solutions are a game changer for the industry.

“We are leading the transition from the use of traditional clamshells for packaging fresh berries to leaner, greener and more attractive top-seal solutions,” said Ward.

“This shift is designed to award multiple benefits. Firstly, it generates as much as 25-30 per cent reduction in plastic use as it is a leaner product compared to the commonly used clamshells. Secondly, it is fully recyclable and thirdly, it provides shelf-life extension properties, enhancing food quality while reducing waste, all of which fall in line with our sustainability strategy. Last, but not least, it also ensures food safety.”

Proven performance

The new solutions are already being used on summer fruits in the Israeli market by Rafkor, a company that packs and markets fresh produce grown by farmers in the Upper Galilee region.

“Since we started using StePac’s fully recyclable top seal solution for cherries, litchi, stonefruits and pears, we have noticed a reduction in waste and quality complaints from our customers,” said Haviv Aharon, chief executive of Rafkor. “This has a lot to do with the shelf-life extension properties of the product.

“Furthermore, since the product is hermetically sealed it helps enhance food safety. This is driving sales of our products in the e-commerce sector. We are now looking to expand the use of the film to other fruits.”

Reliable resealables

StePac’s resealable top seal solutions are also gaining traction in the fresh produce industry.

The innovative top-seal is comprised of a laminated structure composed of two layers, with a pressure sensitive adhesive in between. A die-cut in the lower film layer opens up a window that displays the produce packed in the tray and can be cut to the desired dimensions.

The adhesive between the two layers is sufficiently strong so that the upper layer of film can be peeled and resealed to the lower layer up to 20 times, according to StePac.

“It makes it ideal for multiple servings and can be applied to PET and PP trays as well as eco-sustainable materials,” a release from the company said.

“Each time it is resealed, the Modified Atmosphere (MA) activity regenerates and continues to preserve the quality of the food inside the consumers fridge. These solutions are already being used for preserving quality of summer fruits in the domestic Israeli market.”

Read more about StePac’s range of top seal solutions in the upcoming Summer edition of Produce Plus.

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