Imballaggio Attivo | Bestack | Lunga vita alla frutta
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COMPANY

Bestack is a non-profit consortium among the main Italian firms that produce packaging for fruit and vegetables (International Paper, Fustelpack, SmurfiKappa, Ghelfi Ondulati, DS Smith, Ondulor, Mauro Benedetti, Scatolificio Sandra e Trevikart). Overall it roughly represents the 95% of the Italian production.

We carry out research constantly in order to innovate the sector of cardboard packaging for fruit and vegetables. We certify the best performance of packaging and we promote our sector through all the parts of the supply chain.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

Active packaging is the outcome of the cooperation between Bestack and the research group led by Professor Rosalba Lanciotti, from the Department of Science and Agroalimentary Technology (Cesena), Bologna University. This work started 5 years ago, with the aim of improving corrugated cardboard packaging for fruit and vegetables. The aim is to promote innovation in the microbiological field of packaging in order to improve the quality of the products.

We have worked on the hygienic aspects of packaging, on the contamination spreading from the packages to the products, and we have focused on the control of the proliferation of microbiological organisms with the purpose of increasing products shelf life. This had the goal to decrease the amount of waste and to increase the likelihood of consumption of the product, leading to economic savings and to an improvement of quality.

Bestack active corrugated cardboard packaging, patented in November 2015, uses the same essential oils present in nature and already in use in the food industry, as approved by the legislative framework. This is in order to control the ripening process and to slow it down in a natural way.

In 2016, following several tests firstly carried out in laboratory and in storage afterwards, Bestack active packaging has been tested directly at selling points producing exciting results.

SAMPLING PLAN

Tested products:

  • Strawberries
  • Apricots
  • Nectarines

Testing period:

  • May – July 2016
  • 6 selling points involved, with a fruit and vegetables department of 200 square metres (on average)

Sampling method:

  • Weekly sampling of fruit in storage N. 2
  • Weekly sampling for every selling point N. 2
  • Analyses per sample N. 4
  • Total weekly samples for the 4 selling points N. 16
  • Number of repetitions per sample N. 4
  • Microbial groups tested out N. 6
  • Total amount of weekly analysis per product N. 384
  • Weeks of analysis per product N. 4
  • Amount of total analyses per product N. 1.536
  • Number of analysed products N. 3
  • Amount of analyses N. 4.608

Method of analysis:

  • Evaluation of the microbiological quality of fruit.
  • Analysis of the presence of the main pathogens and deteriorating micro-organisms carried out at different times.
  • Measurement of the increase of shelf life.
  • Qualitative Evaluation through Panel Test administered to customers.
  • Evaluation of wastage.

WASTE REDUCTION AND INCREASED

OPPORTUNITIES FOR CONSUMPTION

Strawberries 8%-13%

Apricots 13%-18%

Nectarines 20%-25%

ESTIMATE OF ECONOMIC GAINS

 ACTIVE PACKAGING IMPROVEMENTS TO

PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS FOR COSTUMERS

• It increases the product shelf life by 1.6 days in comparison with traditional packaging, with higher increase when compared with other types of packaging.

• It regulates the ripening process, allowing for the fruit to be picked up as near as possible to the time of optimal ripening, offering costumers more palatable products.

• It reduces the likelihood of product waste and provides more time to consume it.

• It allows for preservation processes that are less energy consuming.

• It improves retailers and costumers’ satisfaction.• It reduces complaints.

• It consolidates the rapports within the supply chain.

ABOUT US

``We have tested out Bestack active packaging at different selling points of our network for a whole trimester. We have used the same distribution centres already utilised for our clients, with the same schemes and delivery time of Italian retailers. The outcomes are impressive, to such an extent to be already reshaping the approach to packaging. We will continue to work on that.``

Francesco Bassi

Deputy General Director – Packhouse Senior Manager