Cost-Saving Packaging

Stepac, owned by Johnson Matthey, has released a new packaging solution for blueberries as a more affordable and efficient alternative to regular bulk packaging. The packaging, Xflow, aims to save on labour costs and reduce waste. The design features a modification of the atmosphere/humidity properties of the company’s Xtend packaging and combines this with a film that contains a sealing layer, making it compatible with traditional flow-pack machines.

The company has since made a partnership deal with Italian machine manufacturing company, Delfin, which was responsible for the design and development of machines for the Xflow packaging.

The new packaging is said to improve horizontal airflow in the packs, which Stepac said is “critical for efficient cooling and cold-chain management.” Overall, the Xflow design claims to significantly extend the freshness of produce through the provision of the packaging’s modified atmosphere/humidity feature. The packaging allows for slower respiration and ageing of fruits and vegetables while also slowing microbial growth.

“Xflow is a next-gen automatic package that saves time and money while reducing the amount of plastic used by up to 40 percent. We specifically developed this packaging solution to help Peruvian exporters attain more efficient automatic packaging for blueberries. Other customers are currently conducting commercial trials with Xflow for spring onions and green beans, and we expect many additional produce items will benefit from this advanced solution,” said Gary Ward, Stepac technical development manager.