The international marketing magazine for fresh produce buyers in Europe
Carl Collen

BY CARL COLLEN

Stepac pouches combat food waste

Modified atmosphere standing pouches designed to extending produce shelf life in the retail sector

Stepac pouches combat food waste

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StePac has said it is gaining interest in the retail sector for its functional standing pouches, resealable bags crafted with the company’s proprietary Xgo advanced modified atmosphere/modified humidity (MA/MH) technology.

According to the fresh produce packaging group, the pouches are designed to 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 San Diego-based distributor of fruits and vegetables and part of agro giant Grupo Alta, has already adopted the standing pouches.

The pouch is engineered to combine shelf-life extension capabilities by actively slowing the ageing and ripening process, with convenience in a 'grab-n-go' retail packaging format.

Divine Flavor has been using StePac’s Xtend line of bulk packaging for transporting its squash, cucumbers and bell peppers from growing regions in Mexico to US.

According to the company, it began testing the new Xgo standing pouches just over two years ago in a move to expand its line of high value products and bring differentiation by offering supermarkets a means of bringing the purposeful packaging benefits from the farm to the consumer.

“The Xgo standing pouch is a remarkably high performing product, with an unrivalled ability to retain freshness and meaningfully extend product shelf-life,” said Michael DuPuis, quality assurance and public relations coordinator for Divine Flavors. “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 Xgo standing pouch functions to lower oxygen (O2) and increase carbon dioxide (CO2), creating optimal conditions for slowing respiration and ageing in plant tissues, while inhibiting the growth of mold and other microorganisms.

“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,” noted Gary Ward, business development manager for StePac. “It already demonstrated abilities to extend shelf life by 50-100 per cent, bringing promising support to food-waste reduction.

"In the midst of current Covid-19 climate, concerns for food safety are driving demand for more retail packaging," he added. "We have purpose designed our packaging to preserve quality and reduce waste in the most sustainable way possible. We are increasingly venturing into the retail sector to bring this sustainable resource saving solution into consumers’ homes.”

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