“Turning ordinary packaging into smart tool”: Fresh Inset’s Vidre+ stickers extend mushrooms’ shelf life
15 Nov 2023 — Polish food tech firm Fresh Inset has expanded the application of its Vidre+ technology stickers, which acts as a shelf life extender, to the packaging of Champignon mushrooms.
“Vidre+ is a delivery system that provides 1-MCP [1-Methylcyclopropene] freshness protection to fruits, vegetables and even flowers via a simple-to-use sticker format,” Fresh Inset CTO Tim Malefyt tells Packaging Insights.
“It is triggered to gradually release an active ingredient inside the packaging, spanning 30 hours, without leaving any residue. The humidity present within the packaged product activates this state-of-the-art approach. The technology is a defense mechanism against ethylene-triggered post-harvest deterioration of produce.”
Fresh Inset details that its Vidre+ technology positively impacted mushroom quality, extending the commercial value of sliced mushrooms for 14 days and whole mushrooms for 20 days after harvest.
Currently in use in Argentina, Vidre+ technology is securing regulatory approval in essential food production markets across the Americas, Africa and Europe.
By harnessing the potential advantages of Vidre+, Fresh Inset aspires to establish a novel standard for post-harvest preservation within the food industry. The main element of the Vidre+ technology, 1-MCP, is a synthetic compound used in agriculture to delay the ripening process of fruits and vegetables.
“The advantages of employing timed and gradual 1-MCP-release Vidre+ stickers encompass a reduction in weight loss, safeguarding against browning throughout shelf life, preservation of firmness and protection of vitamin C content that all add up to enhanced overall shelf life quality,” says Malefyt.Fresh Inset shares that its “simple-to-use” sticker format technology protects food freshness.
“Mushroom packaging is very similar to berry and other small fruit packaging in that mushrooms are usually packaged in small clamshell packages or similar-sized trays covered with flexible plastic. Placing a sticker inside this type of packaging is quite simple.”
The company commissioned trials of its stickers on mushrooms. Research conducted by Professor Dorota Wichrowska and her team at Bydgoszcz University of Science and Technology, Poland, assessed the impact of different doses of 1-MCP in Vidre+ technology on the commercial value and shelf life of whole and sliced Champignons (Agaricus bisporus).
Whole mushrooms treated with Vidre+ stickers showed the least weight loss over the 20-day period, 2–4% lower than the control group (mushrooms without Vidre+ stickers). Sliced mushrooms treated with 1-MCP exhibited slower weight loss than the control group, with a 3% reduction on day three and 4% on day seven.
Whole mushrooms treated with Vidre+ stickers demonstrated superior firmness compared to the control group, and untreated mushrooms experienced the most significant browning, reaching 80% of the sample after 14 days.
“In 2021, the global mushroom market was valued at US$50.3 billion, with a projected steady growth rate of 9.7% annually from 2022 to 2030. Champignon mushrooms are a significant part of this market,” Fresh Inset shares.
“Poland is a key player on the international stage for Champignon mushroom production. Every third champignon exported worldwide comes from Poland — exports in 2021 amounted to €397.3 million and have been on a growing path.”
The company emphasizes that with the Vidre+ technology, the industry can also increase profitability by extending fresh mushrooms’ shelf life and contributing to the global food waste battle. “The bottom line is: you can easily change a box, carton, clamshell, etc. from just a package into a smart freshness system — and you do not need sealed environment infrastructure or qualified application staff.”Vidre+ is a delivery system that provides 1-MCP — a synthetic compound used in agriculture to delay the ripening process of fruits and vegetables.
Fighting food waste
Fresh Inset shares that its “simple-to-use” sticker format technology protects food freshness and works on raspberries, pears, apples, avocados, blueberries, mushrooms and tomatoes.
“All you need is a simple Vidre+ sticker placed inside the product packaging, that’s it. The technology can be easily applied on-site at the packing house directly after harvest,” Malefyt explains.
“Growers and packers can turn ordinary packaging they use anyway into a smart tool that prevents loss of weight, quality, or nutritional value of their produce. This gives the food business an incredible competitive advantage.”
Moreover, he says according to Fresh Inset’s internal estimations, Vidre+ technology can save up to 9.46 million tons of fruits and vegetables annually. “That is equivalent to the weight of more than 612 Brooklyn Bridges in New York City.”
“Additionally, the extended shelf life provided by Vidre+ can add flexibility to the current global logistics routes. By adding additional time for fresh produce in delivery, new and more economical trade routes become available for growers, increasing sales, profits and higher customer satisfaction,” concludes Malefyt.
By Radhika Sikaria
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