IFCO, a global provider of reusable packaging solutions for fresh foods, announced today the results of a study on the impact of IFCO reusable plastic containers (RPCs) on the shelf life of fresh produce. IFCO RPCs extend the freshness and visual appeal of fresh fruits and vegetables for up to four days compared to single-use packaging.
The study was commissioned by IFCO and conducted by Dr. Lippert Quality Management. The firm conducted realistic tests on four common products - melons, tomatoes, mushrooms and grapes - across the entire supply chain. The results show that IFCO RPCs help retailers increase profits by significantly reducing spoilage and waste, while boosting consumer satisfaction and loyalty.
The RPCs already make a significant contribution to helping retailers achieve their sustainability and environmental goals and enabling them to prolong the shelf life of fresh produce extends these benefits even further.
The scientists set up simulated supply chain conditions - including
chilled and ambient temperatures to replicate typical transport, shop
and domestic conditions. They ran the trials for up to 19 days and
tested against a comprehensive list of criteria: weight loss, stem
health, sugar and acidity, temperature/humidity, firmness, infection,
rot/mold, color, spoilage, appearance.
The testers concluded that packaging plays a major role in shelf life
for fruit and vegetables. Unlike single-use packaging, IFCO RPCs
enable faster and more effective air circulation and heat dissipation
around the produce. In addition, they can be stacked with no adverse
effects on the produce. Handling is also minimized as retailers can
display the produce directly in the RPCs.