A new resealable film cover for cherry containers from packaging manufacturer StePac will help the company meet the demand it sees for the fruit in China, requiring lengthy shipping times.

StePac, which operates product development laboratories in Israel and Brazil, worked with Israel-based Tadbik, a packaging solutions provider, to develop the modified atmosphere lid engineered to extend the shelf life of cherries for overseas transport. The lid lengthens total storage and transportation life to 35 days or more.

StePac has expressed interest in expanding in Asia and says that pilot tests shipping cherries successfully to China have generated interest from the blueberry industry.

“Chinese importers are willing to pay premium prices for high-quality cherries and blueberries,” says Gary Ward, StePac technical development manager. “This drives the growing export of these fruits from Peru and Chile to China, and with it, the need for attractive, functional packaging to preserve quality during the lengthy sea freight.”

The lid’s upper layer can be peeled back and resealed repeatedly, and the companies developed condensation control and permeability for optimal modified atmosphere compositions, which slow respiration and aging, reducing waste.

The modified atmosphere properties regenerate each time the film is resealed, extending the time the fruit stays good in the refrigerator, StePac notes.

A subsidiary of Johnson Matthey sustainable technologies, StePac works with its distributors in Peru and Chile to provide customers comprehensive supply chain solutions on issues such as produce handling, routine inspections and market needs.

The cherry lid, shown at the Asia Fruit Logistica trade show in September in Hong Kong, will be marketed under StePac’s lead retail line called Xgo.  

For more information, visit  www.stepac.com