14 May, 2012
Packaging breakthrough doubles amount of time fruit and veg stay fresh
Revolutionary new packaging that doubles the amount of time fruit and vegetables stay fresh is to be trialled across the UK this week.
The packaging film, which is a British invention, slows down the rate at which fresh produce decays, meaning that ‘best before’ dates can be doubled.
This could save shoppers millions of pounds a year by significantly reducing the amount of food they throw away.
It could also save the fruit and vegetable industry tens of millions of pounds a year in wastage costs by extending the amount of time products stay fresh on shelves.
Tesco is trialling the packaging on its Jersey Royal Pearl potatoes and says that if the trials prove successful it will look at extending the packaging across more of its produce.
Tesco potato buyer Andy Blackett said: “This incredible new packaging, which is made in Britain, is a massive breakthrough in the fight against food waste.
“Our customers want to buy fresh food but often worry they won’t have a chance to eat it while its still fresh. And no one likes the guilt that comes with throwing food out.
“This packaging will mean Tesco customers can keep their Jersey Royals in the cupboard for longer, safe in the knowledge that they’ll be fresh for twice as long.”
The unique packaging film is called EVAP and is named after the Yorkshire packaging company that developed it. EVAP spent five years researching how fruit and vegetables respire in packaging in order to develop the product which is bio-degradable and fully compostable.
Different fruit and vegetables have varying rates of respiration and EVAP film can be tailored to suit individual produce.
WRAP, the Government funded organisation helping businesses and individuals reduce waste welcomed Tesco’s commitment.
Richard Swannell, WRAP’s Director of Design and Waste Prevention said: “Potatoes are the most widely wasted vegetable in UK homes, with an average of five million potatoes going to waste every single day – costing consumers over £200 million a year.
“Packaging innovation plays an important role in helping reduce food waste and WRAP welcomes this packaging initiative. By increasing their shelf life consumers will have more time to eat the potatoes they buy, which in turn will help reduce the amount we throw away, and save us money.”
- ENDS -
Notes to Editors:
Earlier this year Tesco became the first retailer to trial another packaging breakthrough which prolongs the freshness of tomatoes and avocados.
The packaging contains a strip coated with a natural product that is able to absorb ethylene, the hormone that causes fruit to ripen and then turn mouldy.
The trials were such a success that the packaging is now being used with all Tesco Finest tomatoes.
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