FreshSAFE packaging concept for equilibrium atmosphere packs

Extended shelf life for delicate natural products

Fruit and vegetables continue to live after harvesting. If the product is to remain fresh and appetising in the pack up to the point of consumption, the metabolic processes must be controlled by an innovative method.

Thanks to the FreshSAFE packaging system from MULTIVAC, there is a method of producing equilibrium atmosphere (EMAP) packs, which optimises the oxygen content in the packs in a continuous, natural and sustainable way. Les Maraîchers d'Ar-mor, a cooperative in the French region of Brittany, uses the technology to pack its white beans, the so-called "Cocos de Paimpol", in trays under modified atmosphere, enabling the shelf life and quality of the product to be preserved for as long as possible.

Les Maraîchers d'Armor is a cooperative situated in the heart of the vegetable growing area of Les Côtes d'Armor. More than 420 gardeners, operating in the north west corner of Brittany, cultivate over 80 types of vegetables as well as strawberries and other fruits, and the annual production quantity is around 175,000 tons. In conjunction with two other cooperatives in Brittany, the products are marketed under the well-known label of "Prince de Bretagne".

Cocos de Paimpol – well-loved and very delicate
Around 200 producers concentrate on the cultivation and propagation of white beans, which are marketed under the name of "Cocos de Paimpol". These yellow and violet-flecked pulses with their egg-shaped seeds and delicately melting "bite" find their ideal growing conditions in the area between Paimpol and Tréguier. In 1998 the "Cocos de Paimpol" was the first fresh vegetable and the first Breton product to receive a special designation of origin, and several years later this became a protected product name.

“In order to be able to satisfy the demand from consumers for a ready to cook, "all-in-one" product, the idea was conceived in 2020 of packaging the Paimpol beans under modified atmosphere,” explains Florian Josselin, who is responsible for new product innovations at the cooperative. “The challenge was to find a reliable packaging concept for a semi-dry product, which alters extremely rapidly after harvesting.”

The solution: FreshSAFE. This process involves pre-perforated films, or films perforated mechanically on the MULTIVAC packaging machine itself, which ensure that a controlled oxygen permeability is achieved, and this can be matched exactly to the specific respiration characteristics of the particular fresh product. The objective is always to maintain the most beneficial concentration of oxygen and carbon dioxide for the particular product.

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