US - Food giant, Dole Food Co Inc is trying to extend the shelf-life of fresh bananas with a new packaging system designed to control the ripening process.
Working together with Market Street United and United Supermarkets, Dole Fresh Fruit – a subsidiary of Dole – is trialling a new plastic bag branded Dole FreshPack in Texas.
According to Bill Goldfield, communications manager of Dole Fresh Fruit, the test will be deemed a success if FreshPack increases banana consumption in Texas. So far, he said, the response has been positive.
Assistant produce manager at Market Street United, Jason Kinkead said its store has carried bananas packaged in FreshPack for about two weeks, and that they seem to be popular among its customers.
“Most people think it’s interesting,” Kinkead said. “I think it appeals mostly to the older clientele because they need things to last longer.
“The packaging keeps the banana at a nice greenish-yellow up to 6 days longer without chemicals.
“They don’t do anything to make that happen. It’s just the design of the bag,” Kinkead added. “This is just a natural, no- chemicals ripening process.”
According to David Bright, Dole Fresh Fruit vice president of marketing, the two-pouch banana bag has microperforations, and drastically slows down the ripening process by reducing the concentration of oxygen around the fruit and increasing the level of carbon dioxide.
The new packaging has two pouches that allow consumers to open one side of the bag immediately and save the other side for later.