Morrisons is set to trial a new film packaging technology developed by food tech firm It’s Fresh! to prolong the life of fresh produce.
Dubbed a ‘purposeful packaging’ technology, 'Infinite' has been designed to reduce food waste in supermarkets, in the supply chain and at home.
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.
After three years in development, the innovation will soon be trialled on packs of berries in Morrisons.
According to It’s Fresh, tests have proven that Infinite is more efficient and environmentally-friendly than any 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: “We are a nation of fresh fruit lovers, and are used to being able to buy our favourites all year round, whatever the season.
“This creates huge challenges for farmers, importers and supermarkets globally to keep produce fresh in transit. 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.”
This week It’s Freshalso announced the results from its latest series of trials showing how its technology can prolong the life of strawberries, blueberries, cherries and bananas in storage and in transit.
The company reported that:
- Independent trials on behalf of Carrefour in France showed that It’s Fresh tech improved the quality and life of strawberries by nearly 50 per cent.
- Recent trials in Poland showed that blueberries packed with It’s Fresh! experienced 40 per cent less waste than those without over a six-week period.
- A trial in Greece showed that It’s Fresh! filters gave cherries three days extra life, helping them retain colour and firmness.
- Tests on bananas in Australia, where huge domestic transit distances mean many batches are rejected upon arrival, found that the filters increased the fruit’s life by two to three days.