How to package fresh food produce

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Why package fresh produce?

When it comes to fresh produce such as fruit and veg, preserving as much as their nutritional value as possible is essential. This is for many reasons, such as:

  • To slow down the process of decay by preserving freshness
  • To maintain a safe and hygienic environment during the storage and sale process
  • To provide easy transportation and prevent damage along the way

How does packaging extend the life of fresh produce?

Depending on the type of packaging used, the shelf-life of fresh produce may be extended. In particular, during the transportation process, there may be a higher risk of contamination and harmful microorganisms getting into contact with various types of fresh produce. It can help to create a controlled environment that prevents the moisture levels from rising, which leads to rotting.

Correct packaging can also help to preserve the quality, flavour and colour of fresh produce by slowing down the decaying process – extending the life of produce overall.

What is the best packaging for fresh produce?

The correct packaging for fresh fruit and veg depends on various characteristics, such as the period of storage. However, the most widely used packaging includes cardboard, paper, some plastics and plastic film wrap. The most sustainable of these options being corrugated cardboard.

Corrugated cardboard offers durability and allows for air circulation during transportation and storage. This type of packaging can also be reused and recycled, whilst also being cost effective.

Plastic packaging, still often used for fresh produce, is not disposable. Plastic also creates an environment for microorganisms to form, making it not as hygiene as corrugated carboard.

How to package fresh produce

As a general rule, high humidity and low temperatures are the preferred temperatures to store fresh produce. The colder the environment, the better.

Sensitive produce (the more prone it is to rotting and decaying), should be kept away from other fresh produce to preserve the flavour and nutritional value. We recommend using dividers where possible to prevent bruising and lessening the shelf-life. 

Fresh produce in dry form, such as dried fruits, may be stored at room temperature. However, the packaging used should prevent as much moisture coming into contact as possible, to maintain freshness.

How Lesters Packaging can help

If you are looking for sustainable, innovative and cost-effective packagingget in touch with our expert team today to find out more or, discover our wide range of products to find your ideal packaging solution.