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Process and Stages of Food Product Development

Shelf Life Enhancements in Fruits & Vegetables

There's nothing worse than having your fresh fruit expire too soon as a producer or supplier.

This may harm your reputation and be costly to resolve. Not to mention the hundreds of millions of tonnes of food wasted and lost each year throughout the world.

Growers and exporters enhance the shelf life of their fruits and vegetables to give them the best chance of staying fresh.

Shelf Life Enhancements in Fruits & Vegetables



Methods


Packaging Improvements and Modified-Atmosphere Packaging (MAP)

 Improving packaging is a simple way to increase the shelf life of fruits and vegetables. Packaging that extends the shelf life can regulate the rate of respiration, ripening, and microbiological development.

Extended seasonality, reduced food waste, and a better possibility of keeping freshness are advantages of longer shelf life.

The gases that surround an object are controlled using modified atmosphere packaging (MAP). Limiting the amount of oxygen that surrounds fruit, for example, can extend its shelf life.

Pallet coverings, carton containers, and sheets can all aid with ethylene control.

Procedures for treatment and handling are being improved.

You must ensure that your treatments and handling procedures do not damage fruit or vegetable when picked.

Using polluted water to clean products or putting them in contaminated crates are examples of inadequate treatment practices.

Furthermore, ensuring that fresh produce is not subjected to high pressures would assist in preventing damage. Even slight issues might shorten the shelf life. It is critical to follow standard operating procedures (SOPs) to guarantee correct handling.

Identifying Cold Chain Temperature Weaknesses

Maintaining a low temperature helps to prevent deterioration and microbial development. The products can be harmed if any portion of the cold chain between harvest and buyer is disrupted.

 According to one research, waiting four hours between harvest and precooling strawberries increased water loss by over 50%. It also detracted from the look when the package arrived at the distribution site.

 There are a few ways for recording temperature across the cold chain that are useful. This information can also be used to forecast shelf life.

 

Monitoring Humidity to Find Areas for Improvement

Temperature tracking isn't the only thing to keep track of. The two are frequently combined as well.

 

High humidity aids in the preservation of moisture in fruits and vegetables. Refrigeration can cause humidity loss, thus maintaining correct humidity levels is essential for shrink prevention.

 

IoT sensors monitor the temperature and humidity of products as they travel from the farm to the client, allowing for identifying areas for improvement.

Food Trays and Pads with Absorbents

Pads that can go in the containers of fresh-cut vegetables have seen a lot of experimentation. Pads absorb extra fluids and can aid to reduce the rate at which a product breathes.

 

Although they are currently widely utilized in the business, it's essential to stay current with the growing capabilities of absorbent pads.

Antimicrobials from nature

Antimicrobials like herbs, spices, and plant extracts can aid to prevent spoiling and improving shelf life.

 It's critical to look for natural alternatives to chemicals as buyers want safer components. This may also be utilized as a selling element to attract more clients.

 

Changing Varieties

Since the dawn of agriculture, people have been looking for innovative methods to create better-tasting varietals. Produce types with longer shelf lives are a focus now that our planet is increasingly spread out, and we ship across the globe.

 

The USDA, for example, just released a strawberry with a longer shelf life. After a week in cold storage, just 29% of the strawberries decayed, compared to 93% of Camarosa strawberries.

 

If you're open to trying new types, it's a good idea to keep an eye on what's available and weigh your options.

Coverings for Individual Items

Fresh vegetables with natural, plant-based coverings have recently gotten a lot of attention. Apeel, for example, has collected several hundred million dollars for their answer.

Produce deteriorates as a result of water loss and oxidation (a chemical process requiring oxygen). Apeel's covers keep moisture within while allowing oxygen to escape.

 

What immediate advantages would you gain if you could increase the shelf life of your produce by days or even weeks?

An answer is most likely a large number.

 You may accept more shipments, have less shrink and loss, and increase your profit margins.

Long-distance exports become possible, and you can ensure higher-quality fruits and vegetables.

 Conclusion

Reduced fresh produce food loss and waste lowers costs, enhances brand reputation, and aids in achieving sustainability objectives.

 There are numerous techniques to lengthen shelf life, and the optimum approach depends on the application.

 Another practical approach for decreasing food loss and waste is shelf life prediction, which does not involve physical product modifications.

FoodResearch Lab provides Sensory Evaluation Service

It is a scientific method to analyze and interpret the smell, sight, taste, touch response to a food product, and our trained experts will provide you with the analytical techniques to perfect your product.

Comments

  1. Polypropylene film is lighter density allows it to be used in applications where weight saving has to be a key consideration. Polypropylene is waterproof and extremely resistant to moisture absorption, which adds to its packaging benefits and flexibility as a food packaging material.

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