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Main | Packaging | 6/25/2015

What’s Hot in Israel’s Packaging Industry

Innovative products from Israel monitor the level of freshness of perishable goods, offer insect-repellent packaging, and prolong the shelf life of freshly picked produce.

Putting a Label on Freshness

Temperature has a critical effect on food, medicines, and vaccines.  Pre-packaged products transported cross-country, or even across shorter distances, can be exposed to abusive temperatures at any stage along their supply chain. The safety and quality of many perishable goods such as food, drugs, vaccines, and blood depend mainly upon appropriate handling conditions during distribution and storage. Storage factors such as gas composition, relative humidity and temperature affect the goods actual shelf life. Temperature abuse is the most frequent cause of product deterioration. 
  
But exposure to detrimental conditions may not be readily discernable on the product itself, nor by the “use by” labels, which do not necessarily guarantee freshness or safety. The damage resulting from temperature abuse over time can have serious consequences: food products become unsafe for consumption, while medicine and vaccines can lose their efficacy, putting people at risk. 
  
What’s needed to remedy this dangerous situation is an external measuring system for accurately tracking and recording temperature levels over time, providing a status report that is understandable and clearly visible — in essence, freshness monitoring at a quick glance.  FreshPoint Quality Assurance Ltd. has developed an innovative TTI that is attracting interest in the chilled and perishable food industries. 
  
“Existing TTI products didn’t catch on due to the high cost and special handling required,” explains Freshpoint CEO Yoav Levy.  “We have developed a low-cost, easy-to-use, versatile and extremely accurate product that addresses these issues. It does not have any special storage requirements and is adaptable for many product types. It enables effective time-temperature monitoring and reporting all along the product lifespan, from the production plant, to the grocery isle, to the time the product is consumed. The FreshPoint TTIs are designed for fast and smooth integration with standard packaging processes on production lines, much like any other label that is put on a package,” he notes. 
  
The company has developed a wide range of labels suitable for most chilled and fresh foods — the company’s first market. However, as Levy observes, the flexible TTIs can be adapted for a wide variety of virtually any product and or package type. 
  
“The FreshPoint TTI can be used on any product that is sensitive to temperature,” says Levy. “The food, medical and pharmaceutical industries have an immediate need and can derive substantial benefit for effective, low-cost time-temperature monitoring. TTIs can be used in the food industry for fresh meat, poultry, and fish; dairy products; fresh salads; and chilled prepared foods, and juices. The medical and pharmaceutical industry can utilize TTIs for blood, vaccines, and medication.” 
 
Levy anticipates a bright future for its embedded TTIs. “As health-conscious and savvy consumers shopping for fresh products demand clear verification of freshness in foods and medications, producers will seek quality indicators that can be smoothly integrated into product packaging without driving up prices,” says Levy. Anticipating the growing demand for fresh products — especially meat, poultry, fish, and dairy — the company currently has the technology to integrate its TTIs into existing labels and is developing the TTI for embedding directly into packaging. 
  
Packaging that Keeps Insects Out 

Plants and insects have battled for millions of years. From a need to survive, some species of plants and trees developed natural insect-repelling qualities. It's these very same qualities that fascinated Bio[pack]'s founders. Combining their knowledge of plants — and insects — they researched and developed unique packaging and materials that repel insects naturally from all types of foodstuffs packed in flexible packaging. The insect-repellent materials are integrated into flexible packaging using special techniques that grew out of the company's intensive R&D efforts. 
  
"Bio[pack]'s packaging effectively repels insects from all types of packaged foodstuffs including rice, flour, cereals, grains, pasta, beans, nuts, dried fruit, spices, chocolate and cocoa products,” says Shmuel Shatzky, Bio[pack] CEO.  “With Bio[pack]'s material integrated into the flexible packaging, insects are repelled naturally.“

Bio[pack]'s materials — 

  • are based on natural food additives which are generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the U.S. 
  • Food & Drug Administration (FDA) 
  • do not contain harmful or toxic chemicals or substances 
  • are all natural 
  • are derived from edible plants 
  • are suitable for the kosher food market 
  • are patent protected 

”Our unique material prolongs storage time and shelf life and reduces the amount of packaged foodstuffs that must be removed from the shelf because of insect infestation and contamination — increasing both manufacturer and customer satisfaction. The Bio[pack] seal on the packaging assures consumers that the food inside is safe from insect penetration from the outside," notes Shatsky. 
  
"Bio[pack] has an effficient, natural, and environmentally friendly solution for preventing inset infestation and contamination of packaged food," he says. 
  
The company's experienced staff works with food manufacturers and experts in the packaging industry to develop and provide appropriate solutions to keep insects out. 
  
Preserving Freshness After the Harvest

Harvested fruits and vegetables lose freshness quickly. When produce is cut up for use in fresh salads, it deteriorates in appearance and loses vitamins. Synthetic chemicals such as antimicrobials, sanitizers, and anti-browning agents, are used extensively to extend the shelf life of produce. They are becoming less acceptable to consumers in light of mounting concerns regarding the health and environmental risks associated with their use. 
  
Frutavit has developed natural-based antioxidant formulations and compounds to preserve and extend the shelf life of freshly harvested fruits and vegetables. “These unique compounds postpone the onset of spoilage and rotting caused by fungi and bacteria and prevent physiological disorders such as chilling injury, browning, and weight loss. Vegetables and fruits that have been treated with Frutavit compounds show remarkably less browning and less decay, while retaining their firmness and color, “says Dr. Abed Shalata, CEO. 
  
Frutavit provides the ideal solution for extending the shelf life of fresh-cut fruit. Growers of hard-skinned fruits such as melons and citrus will also benefit greatly from Frutavit’s solutions, as the company’s unique compounds prevent chilling injury, thereby averting sunken areas, failure to ripen, offflavors, and surface decay. 
  
“By applying natural-based preservatives, everyone in the supply chain benefits — growers and processors earn additional revenue from increased yield, distributors profit from reduced shipping and handling costs, retailers benefit from extended shelf life, and consumers enjoy healthy produce at reduced prices,” concludes Shalata.

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