In fact one of the major focal points for the services of UFLEX in 2016 has been the use of Flexfresh films. This is a type of packaging material that is biodegradable, which has a positive effect on the environmental footprint of the supply chain. The use of Flexfresh films also significantly reduces the amount of moisture loss, which also reduces the amount of overall weight loss during transportation.
Notable amongst these categories are Blueberries and Flowers, for a major UK Retailer, and Flowers for a major retailer in the USA. Ulfex and Perfotec have established a shelf life of 7 weeks for Blueberries from Chile and one of the major milestones in this trial has been the removal of the sulphur pads, which are known to cause allergic reactions in some consumers. Flowers have been shipped out of Kenya and Ecuador to the UK and USA respectively with a shelf life of 30 days established for various varieties.
“The use of sulphur pads for the protection of fresh produce was aimed at suppressing the formation of the Botrytis fungus,” says Siva Shankaran, vice-president of Flexfresh UFLEX. “However, the pads often caused irritation for end consumers that are allergic to sulphur. Therefore, we eliminated the use of these sulphur pads by applying higher amounts of carbon dioxide in products like grapes and blueberries. We’ve been working with major retail chains to field-test this new packaging solution.”
UFLEX has expanded its sales and technical teams for Flexfresh in Europe, North America and South America. New distributors are being appointed in major markets in Europe, both Americas and Asia to offer local sales and associated support. The company has also invested in additional capacity to expand its product range for a wide range of flowers. With this investment, UFLEX intends to offer liner bags of all sizes for export cartons that are currently being used in both America and Africa.
“More and more countries are shifting their logistics from air transport to sea transport. This year, companies in Ecuador will start shipping flowers by sea to markets as distant as Russia or Australia. These companies are going to be using our solutions in their export,” explains Siva Shankaran.
“We work on a 360 degree packaging development process,” explains Shankaran. “The critical parts of this process include understanding the crucial requirements of the product to be packed. Under what conditions does the product perform best? What are the types of ambience or environments through which the packaged cargo shall pass? What is the expected shelf life, what actually impedes that the shelf life and how can we solve that problem? Our engineers are constantly looking for ways to counter weight reduction and how to retain freshness.”
UFLEX was founded in 1985 and has evolved into a world-spanning market leader in the field of packaging. The company has facilities in Poland, the US, India, Mexico, Egypt and the UAE.
In 2017, as far as the fresh produce packaging is concerned, UFLEX is going to continue working on high clarity film for retail, which according to Shankaran could go commercial this year. “Our engineers have been working for over a year on the right formulation blend for this solution. It will change the way retail packs are sold today. This will also bring in substantial savings to the entire value chain as the film would be compostable. This in turn will give the entire supply chain major benefits towards enhanced sustainability and carbon footprint reduction.” says Siva Shankaran in conclusion.
For more information:
Uflex Limited (India)
Phone: +91-120-4012345 (Extension: 339)
Fax: +91-120-2556040 | +91-120-4012363