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Consumer demand for healthy and convenient fresh produce is driving the adoption of new packaging solutions such as Modified Atmosphere Technology (MAP).

Shelf-ready products are the focus of much innovation in the produce section of the supermarkets, along with solutions that can provide enhanced marketing, protection and traceability capabilities, according to James White, the director of packaging company Select Equip.

The company is the local agent for G. Mondini’s new Platform Technology, Trave tray sealing system, which heat seals a film on preformed trays providing a hermetic seal, and enhanced product safety from pack house to store.

The Platform Technology’s tray sealing capabilities provide food processors increased security of products through tamper proofing, as well as increased production capacity compared to traditional packaging technology, according to White.

In addition, he says, it offers a greater flexibility in pack appearance with the option of multi-compartment packs and Modified Atmosphere Technology (MAP).

Currently, MAP is predominately used for red meat, seafood and poultry, because of its ability to maintain the freshness of the produce and prolong its shelf life.

It does this by preserving the quality and minimising the risk of spoilage through the use of an optimal gas atmosphere within the packaging.

This is changing, according to White, with Australian food processors increasingly using MAP to meet the vendor packaging guidelines of supermarkets such as Woolworths, Coles and Aldi for shelf-ready fresh fruit and vegetables.

This retailer push is in response to rising demand from busy consumers seeking “ready to eat” pre-packaged fresh produce.

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