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Current Position:Home » News » Marketing & Retail » Topic

New transport container increases shelf life by 30%

Zoom in font  Zoom out font Published: 2017-05-12  Views: 11
Core Tip: The time span of storage and transportation of fresh produce from wholesaler to end consumer is exceedingly long and given that standard containers do not reproduce the ideal conditions for fresh produce, this can impact the shelf-life and quality.
The time span of storage and transportation of fresh produce from wholesaler to end consumer is exceedingly long and given that standard containers do not reproduce the ideal conditions for fresh produce, this can impact the shelf-life and quality. To solve this however, Freshbox has created their own container which creates the ideal conditions for transport.

Freshbox is a transport container that increases the average shelf-life of fresh produce by 30% compared to conventional containers. This increase in shelf-life will extend the quality of the fresh produce and eventually result in a 20% decrease of food waste, the company claims. The producer can extend the quality of their product and the consumer gets a better product. They also believe that the box could help reduce energy and material consumption by 20%.

Design
The Freshbox was designed to be functional: the relevant players throughout the value chain won’t have to alter their operational process to use Freshbox. It is designed to adapt and improve conventional transport methods while being versatile enough to carry many different packaging formats.

“Freshbox is made with a completely bio-based blend of polyethylene and polylactic acid that reduces the dependence on fossil fuel-based resources” explains David Ponce from AITIIP, the designers and manufacturers of this unique container. Furthermore, the use of these materials combined with a special production method reduces the container’s weight by 30% while still maintaining its rigidity.

Features
The Freshbox container was developed with a series of innovative features to improve and monitor the shelf-life of fresh produce. A system controls the inner atmosphere of the container to adapt to each commodity’s particular respiration rate. The inside of the container’s lid also has a specially-designed compartment for easy placement of active elements such as absorbers and antimicrobial transmitters. These substances help to improve the quality of the transported produce.

Finally, a sensor kit to measure temperature, relative humidity, CO2 and O2 is integrated into Freshbox. Data is transmitted through Bluetooth to a mobile app where the information is stored and analyzed. “We have been working on the challenges regarding power consumption. By working with Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and low-energy sensors we manage to collect data over longer periods of time”, states Dr. Pat Doody who is responsible for the sensor kit development at IMaR.

Future commercialization

A series of simulation transport tests took place between associated distributors in Spain and Germany. The transport tests were successful, showing positive results and promising commercial effectiveness, especially for fragile fruit and vegetables such as grapes, spinach, stone-fruit and strawberries.

The commercialization date for the first Freshbox units is expected for the 2018 fruit & vegetable harvest season. The estimated market price of each unit is a competitive €400.
 
keywords: shelf-life
 
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