BulkBox: Extending the shelf life of produce.

The SISTERS project, in which PROEXPORT participates, continues to develop trials to reduce food waste along the supply chain. The aim is to propose solutions based on innovation to improve efficiency in the different links of the chain to ensure that fruit and vegetables reach the consumer fresher and healthier, thus reducing product losses.

Transport and conservation

The Association of Fruit and Vegetable Producers and Exporters of the Region of Murcia – PROEXPORT – has been responsible for organising the trials carried out with spinach and strawberries. Specifically, these products have been subjected to real conditions of transport and conservation, comparing the usual system with the new containers specially designed for the project, which have been called ‘BulkBox’, and in which various freshness parameters have been measured, such as carbon dioxide, relative humidity, and temperature. An exhaustive study of the conditions of the product at the end of the process has also been carried out.

New packaging materials

With the results obtained to date, it has been determined that the new ‘BulkBox’ packaging could extend the shelf life of fruit and vegetables, reducing damage from knocks and product ageing. Thus, packaging with new materials for flow-pack, stretch film and various types of trays are being produced and will soon be tested in real conditions to evaluate their behaviour and contribution to extending their shelf life.

These are biodegradable materials, whose formula will include bio-molecules from crop residues and, above all, will be able to keep products fresh for longer, extending their shelf life.