Atlanta-based Aptar Food + Beverage is launching InvisiShield packaging technology, which kills pathogens and extends shelf life.
The anti-pathogenic properties come from the plastic packaging itself, and is designed to protect fresh-cut produce.
“We are extremely proud of our technology and the tremendous amount of work that has led to this launch,” John Belfance, president of Aptar CSP Technologies, said in the release. “We have material science expertise that we are applying to food safety solutions at a critical time when consumers are demanding better and healthier food packaging outcomes.”
According to the release, InvisiShield uses a three-phase Activ-Polymer technology, patented by Aptar CSP Technologies, that helps extend shelf life and maintain freshness. The technology is activated within sealed packages to release an anti-pathogenic agent into the fresh-cut produce container. The agent is undetectable to consumers and dissipates within 24 to 48 hours of activation, according to the release.
The technology significantly reduces pathogens that may have been introduced during the supply chain without coming into contact with the product itself, and also reduces cross-contamination within the sealed package, according to the release.
Atlanta-based Royal Fresh Cuts is testing the packaging, with plans to release it commercially in the second quarter this year.
“We are excited to partner with Aptar as the first to implement InvisiShield technology, which promises to provide increased food safety to our fresh-cut produce offerings,” Kevin Whitehurst, owner of Royal Fresh Cuts, said in the release.
Aptar’s Food Protection division is also working with Immokalee, Fla.-based Lipman Family Farms and Columbia, S.C.-based McEntire Produce for fresh-cut foodservice products.
InvisiShield packaging for fresh-cut tomatoes, onions and peppers, and pico de gallo and sliced apples is in the works, according to the release.
The company also is developing the technology for leafy green and berry packaging.
"I am very excited about the potential this technology has to change the way the food industry thinks about food safety,” Angela Morgan, director of business development and food safety solutions for Aptar Food + Beverage — Food Protection.
“We are taking a small, but game-changing step in reshaping the food safety paradigm.”
Third-party validated studies demonstrated InvisiShield to be up to 99.9% effective against the most common foodborne pathogens, including salmonella, pathogenic E. coli, Listeria Monocytogenes and human norovirus.
InvisiShield is recognized by the Food and Drug Administration as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS), and doesn’t affect taste, according to the release.
A sensory test at Emory Hospital System found that chefs who evaluated the product were statistically unable to identify a difference in the color, aroma, flavor or texture of tomatoes packaged in a standard method versus those packaged with InvisiShield.
InvisiShield technology can be integrated into an existing production line with on-site technical support, according to the release, and is available in different packaging configurations.