StePac Ltd., a fresh produce packaging developer, manufacturer and supplier, announced Divine Flavor LLC, a grower-owned distributor of fruits and vegetables and part of Grupo Alta, adopted its new Xgo standup pouch—engineered to combine shelf life extension capabilities by actively slowing the aging and ripening process, with a "grab-n-go" retail packaging format.

The resealable Xgo pouches incorporate modified atmosphere/modified humidity (MA/MH) technology and is designed to lengthen the shelf life of fresh produce and reduce waste in the supply chain and consumer's homes, contributing to the global waste reduction effort.

Since 2010, Divine Flavor used StePac's Xtend line of bulk packaging for transporting squash, cucumbers and bell peppers from Mexico to the U.S. The company says it began testing the new Xgo standup pouch to expand its line of high value products and offer supermarkets a means to bring purposeful packaging benefits to consumers.

According to Divine Flavor, it uses Xgo bags to pack fresh produce in the final retail format at source. The Divine Flavor technical team fully adopted the protocol in 2020 for direct field-to-home refrigerator packaging of its Persian cucumbers for the U.S. market.

"The Xgo standing pouch is a remarkably high performing product, with an unrivalled ability to retain freshness and meaningfully extend product shelf life," says Michael DuPuis, quality assurance and public relations coordinator for Divine Flavors. "The Feedback from our customers has been excellent; they're really happy with the quality and attractive appearance and the fact that it has that sustainability edge consumers are seeking."

StePac says the Xgo standing pouch life extension capabilities are due to properties inbuilt into the packaging matrix that functions to lower oxygen (O2) and increase carbon dioxide (CO2). This creates optimal conditions for slowing respiration and senescence (aging) in plant tissues, inhibiting the growth of mold and other microorganisms and preserving freshness and valuable nutrients. The StePac technology limits dehydration and product weight loss during storage, shipment and home use, and has inbuilt condensation control for high visibility of the packed products under challenging supply chain conditions.

StePac's pouches are resealable and available in fully recyclable formats, contributing to a circular economy. They can be printed for product recognition and come with a grab handle.

"Our packaging designs have traditionally focused on the wholesale sector, offering a lean functional solution to bulk packaging of high-value fresh produce that can support long haul shipments as well as storage," says Gary Ward, Ph.D., business development manager for StePac. "It already demonstrated abilities to extend shelf life by 50-100%, bringing promising support to food-waste reduction. In the midst of current Covid19 climate, concerns for food safety are driving demand for more retail packaging. We have purpose designed our packaging to preserve quality and reduce waste in the most sustainable way possible. We are increasingly venturing into the retail sector to bring this sustainable resource saving solution into consumers' homes."

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