Embrapa Food Technology, the National Institute of Technology, and the Macromolecular Institute (IMA) of Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) have developed packaging for fruits that makes the most of refrigeration to keep food fresh.
The new packaging was developed as a two-piece system. The first, an injection molded piece that serves as a case replacing the traditional wooden crate or corrugated shipper, is made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE). This piece is rigid, and molded specifically with slots and tabs that interlock with identical HDPE cases above and below it.
The second piece, where the fruits are packaged, is made of thermoformed PET and rests on and within the formed HDPE case around it. The upper edges of this piece bonds with the top of the HDPE crate, and fruits are cradled in the PET layer within the surround crate. Specialized sizes and varieties are molded and designed specifically for one of papaya, persimmon, and mango.
The packages are returnable in a reverse-logistics system, and these package designs can also be manufactured by adding a percentage of fiber to the plastic composite, reducing the amount of plastic.