Research casts doubt on ethylene absorption claims

09/16/2013 01:33:00 PM
Andy Nelson

Recent studies by shelf life-extending specialist StePac Ltd. show that modified atmosphere packaging that claims to absorb ethylene does not work well.

StePac, which has offices around the world and its North American headquarters in Romeoville, Ill., studied several commercially available films that claim to absorb ethylene, according to a company news release.

The research, conducted at StePac’s postharvest and polymer lab, found that the absorption capabilities of some products were often so low, they had no effect or a minimal effect on controlling ethylene levels.

One study, conducted on bags containing kiwifruit, found that the packaging claiming to protect fruit through ethylene control failed to do so, with very small amounts of ethylene absorbed at the end of the six-day tests.

“The findings of these studies suggest that commercially available films claiming to have ethylene absorbing properties are ineffective,” according to the release.

StePac said their findings support those of scientists at the University of California-Davis.

StePac is known for its Xtend brand bags and pallet shrouds, both designed to lengthen the shelf life of fresh fruits and vegetables,



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