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Chilean project seeks to revolutionize fruit packaging market

Juan Carlos Carrasco, owner of the Chilean Zeaplast company that operates in the Coronel industrial park, explained that it is about to offer a new product for sustainable export packaging with better benefits: “We saw the possibility of accessing Corfo financing lines, since our objective is to provide solutions to the food export industry, and that is precisely what we are looking for, to offer packaging for cherries shipments that is friendly to the environment. environment and be able to better conserve the precious cargo abroad.”

Cherry shipments can take between 15 and 45 days to reach their destinations, causing deterioration of the fruit on the way. One way to avoid this is to maintain strict temperature control and use packaging materials that help maintain quality during storage and distribution.

The executive director of Corfo Biobío, Macarena Vera, explained that "this project seeks for the industry to use materials that help in the process, and this is an innovative proposal that will undoubtedly contribute to a better management of the fruit.”

Among the packaging used in the export of cherries are the modified atmosphere bags, which reduce the levels of O2 and increase the atmospheric CO2 inside the container, which reduces the respiration of the fruits, slowing down the ripening processes. of the same, with the purpose of increasing its useful life. However, like other packaging, these bags are made with petroleum-derived plastics that become polluting waste that negatively impacts the environment, Juan Carlos Carrasco explained.

For this reason, in certain markets, plastic food packaging waste is regulated by taxes for its disposal. This situation has led the fruit sector, due to the demand of external customers, to raise the need to use sustainable packaging such as compostable biodegradable products with the property of a modified atmosphere.

To date, the project, in its first year of execution, has developed a thermoplastic formulation based on the biopolymer polylactic acid (PLA) at the laboratory level.


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