Tests were carried out with a clear protocol of comparing the shelf-life of pomegranates in refrigerated conditions. 4 samples namely Control; Wax pretreatment; Packaging in liner bag; and Wax pre-treatment and packaging in liner bag were put to test.
The quality parameters of stored fruits such as percent physiological loss in weight (PLW), Texture, Colour, Sensory Attributes, and the biochemical parameters were checked at 15 days interval for a storage period of 90 days.
It was observed that the control fruits (pomegranates) which had neither been wax-treated nor packaged in liner bags were acceptable only up to 30 days, on the basis of sensory score. The PLW on 30th day for control fruits was 7.00%. The wax pretreated fruits were acceptable on the basis of sensory score up to 45 days with PLW of 7.10%. The fruits packaged in liner bag either pre-treated or non-treated with wax were found to be acceptable up to 90th day of storage with low PLW of 4.30 and 4.36% respectively. The wax treatment improved storability of fruits by 15 days over control fruits. The fruits treated with wax and packaged in liner bag improved storability significantly by 60 days over control.
FlexfreshTM is a special patented polymeric film manufactured by Uflex for offering packaging solution for fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers. In fact it is the first biodegradable (by composting) film that maintains Holy Grail of oxygen and water barrier for packaging fresh produce. Flexfresh™ while maintaining the humidity inside the bag at 98%, keeps the product absolutely dry without allowing condensation of the humidity. This results in very low weight loss of the produce as it continues to breathe in hydrated oxygen available inside the bag. In several experiments on various products, it has been observed that the ratio of oxygen and carbon dioxide has always been maintained at equilibrium. The film provides good release characteristics of CO2 emitted by the produce. This ensures that the produce is protected naturally from diseases such as Botrytis, Gray Mold etc. because of the high CO2 content. Flexfresh™ complies with all international regulations for overall migration (EC 1935/2004), reach compliance (EC 1907/2006) and qualifies for biodegradation under DIN EN 13432 (2000-12).
Commenting about the performance of the packaging solution Mr. N. Siva Shankaran -Vice President, FlexfreshTM at Uflex said, “FlexfreshTM has performed across the entire gamut of fresh fruits, vegetables, and flowers categories and has provided optimal shelf-life making it possible for the growers to extensively use sea-freight to reduce carbon foot print and maximize their returns.”
Expressing delight over this development, Chairman and Managing Director Uflex Limited, Mr. Ashok Chaturvedi said, “FlexfreshTM is a high performance flexible packaging solution for fresh produce which as a category is highly perishable. This packaging solution is getting increasingly popular among the fresh produce growers and exporters across continents. The recent accreditation by Indian Council of Agricultural Research – National Research Centre on Pomegranate (ICAR-NRCP) further testifies the efficacy of FlexfreshTM brightening its prospects to be adopted more and more for deriving optimized shelf-life for fresh produce.”