Low Cost, High Quality, Long Shelf Life

Innovative new packaging from R.O.P, ExtendCast™, extends the shelf-life of fruits and vegetables substantially.
December 29, 2015
Low Cost, High Quality, Long Shelf Life (Enlarge)

In a research study commissioned by one of the large food retailers, it was found that 34,000 tons of fruits and vegetables are discarded in Israel every year, at a value of about $30M.   

We all know what happens when the cauliflower in the fridge starts to get brown around the edges, and meets its end in the trash. This phenomenon is happening throughout the world.

   

R.O.P. has invested heavily over the past few years in R&D, together with its key customers and leading retailers, in order to create packaging for fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs which will lengthen their shelf-life, maintain a clean appearance and reduce the waste of the growers, retailers and consumers. The name of the series of products developed is ExtendCast™.

Each ExtendCast™ product is tailor-engineered for a specific fruit, vegetable and herb, based on its unique respiration characteristics, water loss rate, mass and post-harvest processes. The products provide a solution for the changing needs of the customer and market.

The challenge is double fold, because the company also made sure that its packaging products meet the stringent standards of recycling and biodegradability. All the products in the ExtendCast™ series are based on different formulas of coextruded cast polypropylene and are 100% recyclable, as opposed to products based on lamination.

Last year R.O.P developed an innovative package for bananas, together with local growers. The main advantages of the packaging are:

1. The package extends the shelf-life of bananas by up to 10 days, which is double the shelf-life without the packaging.

2. The package maintains the weight of the product.

3. The special bag prevents blackening and bruising of the fruit.

4. The bag is more attractive, and prevents people from touching the fruit directly.   

Research by Costco in the U.S. shows that on average 17 people touch a fruit by the time it is purchased!

 

This product is in use by retailers around the world but in Israel it is still in quite a limited fashion. Soon the bananas sold in the Super Cofix chain will be packaged in ExtendCast™ Banana. The question remains, why aren’t more retailers using this product? This is where the political issue comes in – the people responsible for purchasing at the retailers are most interested in low prices and don’t see the long-term picture in regards to waste. In order for a grower to provide the product packaged, he needs to be reimbursed and know that he will be paid a higher price for it. Today, R.O.P ‘s leading ExtendCast™ products are the ones which extend the shelf-life of asparagus, avocado, cucumbers, cauliflower, broccoli, green leaves and bread.

 

 

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