StePacPPC unveils MAP mushroom packaging for extended shelf life in US$50B market
26 Jan 2024 — StePacPPC has introduced a modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) film designed to extend the shelf life of white and exotic mushrooms.
Gary Ward, chief technology officer at StePacPPC, explains that mushrooms’ high metabolic activity and respiration rates result in a short shelf life of just a few days.
“They also generate a lot of moisture during the respiration process, which encourages bacterial decay. On the other hand, they are also prone to dehydration, which causes them to shrivel and become discolored due to oxidation. Sliced mushrooms are even more susceptible to a rapid decline in quality,” he elaborates.
The fresh produce packaging supplier shares that the global mushroom market, valued at over US$50 billion, is expected to double by 2030. However, the highly perishable nature of mushrooms has limited their market potential.
“In post-harvest lab and field trials, our films have demonstrated abilities to maintain the freshness and wholesome appearance of mushrooms,” asserts Ward. “This effectively stretches their shelf life from a few days to more than two weeks, generating reductions in food waste.”StePacPPC’s Xtend bulk packaging solutions can be used for mushroom varieties such as lion’s mane, shiitake and portobello.
Preserving freshness and storability
StePacPPC’s packaging initially proved successful during the COVID-19 pandemic, assisting oyster mushroom farmers in extending storage and reducing waste. The company’s Xtend bulk packaging solutions have since expanded to include mushroom varieties such as lion’s mane, shiitake and portobello.
“We use the Xtend solution for packing our oyster and portobello mushrooms and preserving the quality during shipment to the customers,” notes Roni Sofer, vice president of marketing for Israeli company Marina Galilee Mushrooms. “We have succeeded in preserving the freshness for more than ten days and waste in our supply chain has reduced by more than 35% since we began.”
Meanwhile, Fred Recchiuti of Basciani Foods, a provider of fresh mushrooms for retail and the foodservice industry in the US, shares that StePacPPC Xflow solution for sliced mushrooms preserves freshness for up to 18 days, reducing plastic use by over 94.7%.
“The tamper-proof bag increases food safety and security and eliminates the possibility of foreign materials entering the product in the supply chain.”
StePacPPC’s packaging formats, produced with an option for 30% recycled material, align with its commitment to a circular economy. The company aims to improve inventory management, allowing stakeholders to prolong storage during times of abundance while maintaining quality throughout the supply chain.
“Our highly functional packaging solution has been tailored to improve inventory management and storability of mushrooms, enabling stakeholders to prolong storage in times of glut and preserve their quality along the supply chain. This will boost marketability and consumer experience,” Ward concludes.
StePacPPC will showcase its solutions at the Fruit Logistica trade show in Berlin, Germany, February 7–9.
Edited by Radhika Sikaria
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