California-based fruit and vegetables distributor Divine Flavor has adopted StePac’s high-performance resealable Xgo stand-up pouches, which are engineered with advanced modified atmosphere/modified humidity (MA/MH) technology.

What does all that mean? It means they can significantly lengthen the shelf life of fresh produce and reduce waste in the supply-chain, as well as in the consumer’s homes.

“The Xgo standing pouch is a remarkably high-performing product, with an unrivalled ability to retain freshness and meaningfully extend product shelf life,” said Michael DuPuis, quality assurance and public relations coordinator for Divine Flavors.

“The feedback from our customers has been excellent; they’re really happy with the quality, attractive appearance and the fact that it has that sustainability edge consumers are seeking.”

Since 2011, Divine Flavor took advantage of StePac’s Xtend line of bulk packaging for transporting its squash, cucumbers, and bell peppers from growing regions in Mexico to the US.

The company began testing the new Xgo stand-up pouches just over two years ago and since then has allowed the company to shift to packing fresh produce in the final retail format at source.

Impressed by the consistent performance, Divine Flavor’s technical team fully adopted the protocol in 2020 for direct field-to-home refrigerator packaging for its Persian cucumbers for the US market.

“Our packaging designs have traditionally focused on the wholesale sector, offering a lean functional solution to bulk packaging of high-value fresh produce that can support long haul shipments, as well as storage,” explained Gary Ward, business development manager for StePac.

“It already demonstrated abilities to extend shelf life by 50-100 per cent, bringing promising support to food-waste reduction.

“In the current Covid-19 climate, concerns for food safety are driving demand for more retail packaging.”

The Xgo standing pouch life extension capabilities are due to unique properties in-built into the packaging matrix that functions to lower oxygen and increase carbon dioxide.

This creates optimal conditions for slowing respiration and aging in plant tissues, inhibiting the growth of mould and other microorganisms, thereby preserving freshness and valuable nutrients.

The StePac technology limits dehydration and product weight loss during storage, shipment, and home use, and has in-built condensation control, which ensures high visibility of the packed products even under challenging supply-chain conditions.

“We have purpose designed our packaging to preserve quality and reduce waste in the most suitable way possible,” Ward adds.

“We are increasingly venturing into the retail sector to bring this sustainable resource saving solution into consumers’ homes.”

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