GNA has been manufacturing packaging machines and systems for the protection of loose produce for years.
We focused on using only one material, limiting the use of films+trays as much as we could. The process is not easy, considering some products are difficult to manage. Thankfully, VVFS vertical packaging machines such as the historic AV650 or the new Robinia or AV550and Vaquita help us in this," explains Massimiliano Nucci, R&D manager at GNA.
Flow pack AV550 packaging machine by GNA srl. (Photo by GNA)
AV550 is a translation-jaw machine with a lower film reel, meaning the produce can be fed into the machine while already on the film. "This makes it possible to package irregular products such as broccoli, cabbage, iceberg lettuce, lettuce heads, celery, fennel and leek. In addition, a photocell can recognize leaf or bunch products." AV550 employs various types of materials for flow-pack or heat-shrink packaging.
Crate of zero-residue broccoli packaged with the AV550 (Photo by Bernardi)
Vaquita is a reliable and customizable horizontal packaging machine, deal for excellent performances in the packaging of loose fruits/vegetables and small trays. "It is a specific solution for round fruits, very flexible and modular. One of the advantages is that transport on the conveyor has no attrition, so it does not damage the produce. In addition, it is possible to package single fruits in flow packs."
The experience of GPFS 2023
Gabriella Bolzoni, export sales at GNA, attended the Global Produce and Floral Show-GPFS 2023 in Anaheim as a visitor. "I noticed there was a lot of interest for sustainable packaging. The various positions are already well-known to us Europeans: on the one hand, the packaging industry hopes to continue using recyclable plastic and is in favor of more technologies and systems dedicated to recycling. On the other hand, some producers and consumers would like more 'natural' materials, which though should be actually sustainable, without depleting resources that are already put to the test by impoverishing processes/habits."
Bolzoni also noticed the considerable presence of bags, heat-sealed, top-close, clamshell and resealable solutions. "This confirms the need to reduce the material used for packaging."