UK - Food waste reduction remains high on the agenda for UK retailers, and extending the life of fresh produce during transportation, storage and on-shelf is becoming increasingly important in the battle to reduce waste. Asda is the first retailer to launch into UK stores this summer packed potatoes that have a significantly increased shelf life compared with conventional packs.
Asda worked with Ultimate Packaging and QV Foods to launch the Viridiflex packed Extra Special Cornish Crystal Potatoes in the UK. With the Viridiflex film, Asda was able to extend shelf life by modifying the atmosphere in pack.
Unlike other modified atmosphere packaging solutions Viridiflex film works by drawing moisture away from fresh produce, creating an environment that can help to prevent decay. The film has excellent oxygen barrier qualities that can be manipulated using Ultimate Packaging’s Adapt MAP laser technology, modifying the film to create packaging that can optimise the shelf-life of various types of fresh produce.
Adapt MAP laser perforation patterns specified by the Ultimate technical team were used to adapt Viridiflex potato film, to increase gas transmission through the film and manage oxygen levels to reduce the risk of the Cornish Crystal Potatoes ‘greening.’
Jon Wynn, ASDA Produce Category Technical Manager, said, “I am delighted with the performance of Viridiflex film and the Extra Special Cornish Crystal potato pack.
“ASDA customers have benefited from a significant increase in product life and end of life product quality, highlighted by a 92% year on year reduction in complaints in the first five weeks of the Extra Special Cornish Crystal Potato season.”
Viridiflex is a laminate structure that has been designed by Ultimate’s technical team, working closely with Innovia Films and customers involved in the harvest and packing of fresh produce to supply retailers across Britain. NatureflexTM film, manufactured by Innovia Films, has extremely high gloss and provides a degree of permeability to moisture. This controlled moisture release prevents dehydration on one side and mould growth on the other. Using Natureflex as a component makes Viridiflex ideal for extending the shelf-life of a range of fresh produce.
Transparent, glossy and strong, Viridiflex can be formed into bags or used as lidding film. A perfect solution to extend the shelf-life of potatoes, parsnips, sprouts and soft fruits, Viridiflex films are available in the market now.
“Ultimate Packaging is driven by customer needs with over 70% of our product delivered into the fresh and chilled food sector, explained Chris Tonge, Ultimate Packaging Sales and Marketing Director. “This has seen the company take major technical leaps to advance their offering of innovative films to the marketplace. This experience together with technical knowledge and first rate testing facilities has perfectly positioned Ultimate to establish a new leading edge range of packaging that can extend shelf-life.”