StePac's new lidding film technology is designed to keep fragile produce like cherries and berries fresh longer. ( Courtest StePac )

Packaging company StePac L.A. Ltd., Tefen, Israel, is launching a comprehensive supply chain solution for the delivery of fresh cherries, from the orchard to the consumer.

The company is partnering with Tadbik Ltd., also of Israel, to produce what it’s calling the next generation of modified atmosphere resealable lidding film. The film is engineered to extend the shelf life of cherries and reduce waste.

The company is showcasing the new packaging at Asia Fruit Logistica Sept. 5-7 in Hong Kong.

Tadbik created “FreshLid,” a laminated film structure that’s sealed to trays, and its upper layer can be opened and closed repeatedly, according to a news release. StePac and Tedbik developed suitable condensation control properties and control film permeability for optimal modified atmosphere (MAP) compositions, according to the release.

The new product will be marketed under StePac’s Xgo line.

“Successful implementation of MAP requires a holistic approach that includes an understanding of post-harvest pathology, produce physiology, cold-chain logistics, and the interaction of each of these factors with packaging design,” Gary Ward, technical development manager for StePac, said in the release.

The Xgo resealable lidding technology benefits include:

  • It preserves freshness and flavor during long export transit periods;
  • The MAP mechanism regenerates each time the lid is sealed, meaning consumers can enjoy fresh cherries after multiple servings from the container; and
  • It maintains attractive packaging design throughout multiple uses, according to the release.

In a pilot study, Chilean cherry exporter Frutera San Fernando S.A., shipped refrigerated containers of cherries in trays with Xgo lidding film. The success not only spread word to other Chilean cherry exporters; there is now interest in blueberry exporters.