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Micro-perforated foil also suitable for potatoes

Fruits and vegetables need oxygen to stay fresh. The amount of oxygen depends on various factors, such as product type and origin. By providing packaging with the correct number of micro-perforations, the shelf life of fresh fruits and vegetables can be impressively prolonged. The Respiration Control System PerfoTec precisely measures the amount of oxygen required and then adds the right number of micro-perforations.

According to Bas Groeneweg of PerfoTec, the system is particularly useful in soft fruit, but also potatoes benefit from the use of micro-perforated foil. He explains that potato packs usually have big holes, making the percentage of oxygen high, but also causing greening. "The oxygen content is reduced by the appropriate number of micro-perforations,” explains Bas. “In addition, the CO2 content is raised. This is an important point, given that sprouting sometimes represents a reason for consumers not to purchase the product. The supplier of Marks & Spencer is now using the foil to improve both shelf life and product appeal."

Restrain’s Dirk Garos, representing PerfoTec in the potato sector, adds: “By using ethylene during storage you have a good germination inhibitor, but as soon as the potatoes go to the supermarket, the process inevitably continues. Also, this kind of crop protection is increasingly frowned upon. We were looking for ways to improve the packaging of potato and stumbled upon PerfoTec. This proved to be a perfect fit for our system.”

The PerfoTec system has already won an innovation award and is now quietly introduced into the market. The UK is ahead of the curve when it comes to packaging and packaging methods, says Dirk. "Laser-perforated foil isn’t an easy product to manufacture; hours of testing and fine-tuning go into it. The advantage is that you can use the cheapest possible foil. Given the fact that potatoes are pretty cheap, using expensive material probably wouldn’t be a great idea anyway."

More information:
Bas Groeneweg

Dirk Garos

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