Feb 17 2012 --- Shoppers will soon be able to keep their fruit and vegetables fresher for days longer thanks to revolutionary packaging that is being trialled by Tesco.
Next week the supermarket will become the first retailer to see how the packaging performs in prolonging the freshness of tomatoes and avocados.
The packaging contains a strip coated with a natural product that is able to absorb ethylene, the hormone that causes fruit to ripen and then turn mouldy. Initial trials have been a success and suggest that the device could be used across a wide range of fruit and vegetables. There will be no added cost to shoppers.
Tesco ambient salad and avocado technologist Steve Deeble said: “The packaging is a major breakthrough in the fight to combat food waste and could save the fresh produce industry tens of millions of pounds each year.
“But it will also mean that shoppers will be able to keep fruit and vegetables for longer without feeling pressured to eat them within days of buying them.
“We have already trialled the packaging in a storage environment and all the signs are there that this could be one of the most significant developments in packaging for many years so now we want to know what our customers think of it.”
The packaging is being trialled with tomatoes and avocados as it is the produce with some of the highest wastage within the industry.
Tesco estimates the new packaging could lead to a potential wastage saving of 1.6 million packs of tomatoes and 350,000 packs of avocados.
The ethylene-absorbing strip, which sits inside the packaging, measures just 8cm by 4.5cm and will not affect its recyclability. It is completely safe and has been developed in the UK by It’s Fresh Ltd and is said to be 100 times more effective than any similar existing materials.
Steve Deeble added: “If the trials prove to be a success then we could start rolling out the packaging by Easter.”