New Packaging Keeps Pre-Cut Vegetables Fresh for Weeks

Wouldn't it be convenient to be able to buy pre-cut apple slices for the kids' lunches? Probably only as long as you can buy them to be eaten a few days out.

That's part of the goal of a group of companies from Europe that are collaborating on a Eureka project called Euroagri + Greentec, coordinated by a company called Campotec from Portugal.

As consumers are buying fresher, less processed foods with fewer chemicals, the challenge faced by food distributors is prolonging the shelf-life of these healthy foods. Foods not sold by their "best by" dates equal money down the drain.

The European team hopes to reduce browning and microbiological growth while opening the doors for convenient products that stay fresh thanks to the new packaging.

Lettuce, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, onions and turnips are some of the first foods the group is focusing on. The new packaging technologies include edible food wraps and processing under modified atmospheres.

The project members foresee significant growth in the area of minimally processed pre-cut vegetables-they've witnessed growth as high as 20% with some of their products. And while the food sector is a highly competitive environment, the companies hope that collaboration will benefit everyone.

Plus, in addition to food quality and safety, one of their long-term goals is encouraging consumers to eat healthy. When you know your salad mix will stay fresh for nearly as long as your bag of chips, you might be more inspired to choose the healthy option.
via: Eureka Alert

EDITOR'S NOTE: The Produce Preserve Disk keeps fruits and vegetables fresher longer. It get great reviews. You can see the reviews and buy the Produce Preserve Disks here.

Lisa Zyga
Science Blogger