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Turkey: Innovative antimicrobial MA-MH bag now available

Deka Plastic, a company that mainly produces modified atmosphere bags and retail bags for the fresh produce industry, has been in business for the last 25 years. The company is responsible for a ‘new generation of modified atmosphere – modified humidity (MA-MH) bags’ developed using several nanotech compounds. The product was developed in the Technology Development Zone at Uludag University and marketed by Deka Plastic under the name Trendlife Gold.

According to Dr. Ozgur Akgun Karabulut from Uludag University in Turkey, “Trendlife Gold MA-MH bags have significant advantages compared to regular MA-MH bags used by the industry for many years. The new bag is the first active’ MA-MH bag in the world.”



In addition, the animation prepared to describe how the technology developed has been placed on the web page (www.trendlife.com.tr) and is available in 3 languages. This will definitely support the information given here.

“Regular MA bags are passive MA-MH bags that can control water molecules released by fresh produce using a passive mechanism. Their passive mechanism only depends on the water transmission rate of polymers extruded to produce the film of the bag. The insufficient control of free water molecules in the atmosphere of fresh produce may be visually observed by the condensation of water on the surface of MA bags, especially in the first hours and days of storage.”

“Trendlife Gold Point MA-MH bag is able to release some compounds in the size of nano molecules to the modified atmosphere where fresh produce is placed. NanoTech compounds, released to the atmosphere from the film of MA bag, are able to react with excessive water molecules released from the produce. NanoTech compounds which we call nanotubes are able to destroy excessive water molecules and keep the humidity level to a certain level.”



Karabulut pointed out its importance during storage where high humidity means a higher risk for deterioration and decay development. “It is definitely true. All plant pathologists know that the spores of pathogens that cause deterioration and decay need free water molecules for a period of time to germinate and initialize the infections. Produce has natural openings and micro wounds that serve as a penetration point for pathogens. The amount of water molecules released is extremely high in the first hours and days of storage period, especially when pre-cooling is not applied before placing it into an MA bag. Our bags are able to work under these extreme conditions.”
When asked if it was possible to inhibit pathogen spores by controlling excessive amounts of water molecules he said, “Definitely not! Any fruit or vegetable may be infected during harvest either in the greenhouse or in the pack house, during sizing and sorting before being placed in an MA bag. We cannot see these infections since they happen at an early stage. Therefore, we need an antimicrobial solution, which does not leave any residue on fresh produce and food.”

Deka Plastic also invests in R&D. “The competition is very tough. The expectations from clients are rising everyday and they have been asking for more efficient products to reduce their losses in storage and market display. The only way to survive in the market and to satisfy clients is to continue to invest in research and development (R&D).” He also happens to own an R&D company that has been working in collaboration with Deka Plastic for almost 4 years.

The packaging company has been increasing its market share very quickly, especially with the recently developed MA bag by working with local distributors, suppliers and wholesalers in selected countries. The company is looking for local distributors in some countries where they still do not operate. “We have been also working on several projects for a couple of years and I believe that some of them will be ready for the first commercial tests within a year. But it must be kept confidential until it can be introduced to the market. I can just say that all of our products originate from the needs of clients and by creating them we will be able to serve them better.”
 
For more information:

Prof. Dr.Ozgur Akgun Karabulut
Department of Plant Protectio, Uludag University (Turkey)
Mob: +90 533 717 55 12
Email: ozgurk@uludag.edu.tr

Author: Lawin Ileto / Yzza Ibrahim


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