Food waste is often considered environmentally benign because it is ‘biodegradable’ but consider this: globally, about a third of the food produced for human consumption goes to waste — which means that a third of the water, land use, energy and financial resources that went into producing it a real so squandered. For perspective, over100 billion pounds of food, or more than a quarter of the 400 billion pounds of edible food, is spoiled each year during transport. When it comes to protecting food, the right package can dramatically reduce waste and have a major positive impact on the environment.
The U.S. fresh grape industry is approximately 851 million tons with most grapes distributed to supermarkets or exported. For food products such a stable grapes time has a direct impact on their shelf life and potential revenue.Cold chain packaging keeps agricultural produce fresh for extended periods and eliminates doubts over the quality and safety of fresh food products. Any break in the cold chain can increase risk of decay and disease development.Unlike other fruits such as bananas and pears, grapes do not ripen after harvest,they only deteriorate. To retain peak condition, harvested grapes must be transported as quickly as possible to a facility where they can be cooled rapidly to reduce field heat and deterioration.This fast cooling is followed by storage at a constant temperature (0-1°C) with high humidity (90-98%) to prevent water loss from the stems and berries.Temperature affects all causes of deterioration - every hour of delay in the pre-cooling of table grapes equates to a one day loss of shelf life. A 3-5% weight loss in table grapes results permanent deterioration and rejection by markets.
A study by the Korean Food Research Institute shows that EPS packaging isthe most efficient material for storing fruits and vegetables. Results show produce packaged in EPS retains its vitamin C content longer than food packaged in other materials.EPS provides improved cold chain maintenance, lower microbiological growth and improved physical appearance of perishable foods.For the mail-order and online food industry that distribute items such as cheesecake, meat and dietary meals,prolonged thermal insulation and temperature control of these perishable goods saves money, increases customer satisfaction and improves the bottomline. Specialty foods have a very limited shipping and delivery timeframe, generally 24-48 hours. Because of the delicate nature of mail order foodproducts EPS cold chain containers areoften custom designed to prevent cargodamage. Cost-efficient and lightweight,EPS is the established cold chaincontainer for specialty food mail-order business around the globe.
Drew Foam is now offering its EPS Foldable Box Container that makes way for the future in the industry for cold chain storage, packaging, and shipping.
*Information obtained from epsindustry.org
*Photo courtesy of Italy Travel Association - screen grab from internet