INDIA – With increasing demand from the Indian fresh produce market, Uflex Limited, one of the country’s largest flexible packaging company, saw the need for packaging solutions that offered greater shelf life and product protection.
In 2014, Uflex collaborated with a foreign technology partner and developed the FlexFresh Equilibrium Modified Atmospheric Packaging (EMAP) that helps maintain consistent oxygen and carbon dioxide levels inside the package during the shelf life of the produce.
“During the initial phase of trials, the technical team came up with the nuances of tropical produce and felt that the traditional polymers being used for shelf life extension of fresh produce may not work,” explained Ashok Chaturvedi, Chairman and Managing Director, Uflex Limited.
“Their sound logic was that most polymers available were either good barriers to oxygen or water and it is critical to have a unique polymer which could offer the precise requirements of both oxygen and water barriers.
“In fact, all existing fresh produce packaging solutions in the world grappled with the problem of water condensation inside the bag - a fact that was established during our market study,” he noted. “Also for products that perspired heavily, it was found that the MAP did not work due to the higher CO2 inside the bag changing the organoleptic of the produce.”
This is critical for fresh produce packaging because the oxygen needs to be maintained to keep the product in aerobic conditions. During transpiration, moisture is released and condenses inside the bag, causing fungal and bacterial infections on the produce.
“Thus we conceived Flexfresh with the Holy Grail of oxygen and water barrier for packaging fresh produce,” said Chaturvedi. “While maintaining the humidity inside the bag at 98%, Flexfresh keeps the product absolutely dry without allowing condensation of the humidity."
The icing on the cake is that in addition to offering all the shelf life benefits, Flexfresh Film is biodegradable by composting… For the full story, subscribe to Packaging Business Insight Asia here.