27 Aug The new laboratory for measuring fresh produce’s respiration rates in use
Amerplast Tampere plant has a new laboratory for analyzing fresh produce’s respiration rates. With the data measured the optimal packaging permeability for each product can be produced by microperforation. The optimal permeability advances products shelf-life and brings advantages for retailers, consumers and the environment.
In January Amerplast and PerfoTec BV announced their co-operation for a world leading technology that advances the shelf life of packed fresh produce. PerfoTec BV has developed and patented a special method for Advanced Modified Atmosphere Packaging (AMAP). With a heritage in high performance fresh produce packaging, Amerplast offers a high level of expertise in the packaging sector.
The permeability of the packaging and thus the extension of the shelf life of fresh produce can be controlled through micro perforation.
PerfoTec’s specialized equipment measures the respiration rates of fresh produce like fresh cut salads, fruits and vegetables. After measuring the unique software calculates the required packaging permeability for allowing optimal respiration of the produce for achieving longer life cycle once it is packaged. With the Perfotec system it is possible to advance the shelf life of fresh produce and thereby reduce waste and cost, bringing advantages for retailers, consumers and for the environment.
The special measurement laboratory was built into the Amerplast plant in Tampere, Finland. In the laboratory Amerplast’s trained personnel are making the measurements for customers’ products, for example fresh cut salads, vegetables and fruits. Each product will be measured for 4 hours at storage and delivery chain temperature. The special device measures the fresh produce’s oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production. The long analyzing time enables the measured product to be stabilized.
R&D Manger Ann-Mari Ukkonen examining fresh capsicum with PerfoTec Fast Respiration Meter in Temperature Control Unit.
The measured respiration rates are converted to a special computer program that calculates the optimal packaging film breathability. Together with packaging film specifications, the measurement data is converted into number and size of laser perforations required to extend the shelf life. To find out the maximum preservability, re-measurements are possible. Product respiration rates also vary depending on the season. E.g. new spring potatoes have different breathability from previously harvested potatoes. With Fast Respiration Meter the optimal packaging for each product and each season can be identified.
Amerplast has also invested in a PerfoTec micro perforation laser unit in Tampere. The laser perforates tiny micro holes to packaging film that are invisible to the human eye. Each perforated micro hole is inspected with an integrated camera, which makes the machine and perforation very accurate.