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To implement the new packaging technologies in India

The demand for high quality fruits is increasing owing to their numerous health benefits. However, the fruit quality is a key concern for the consumers; packaging is one of the viable options to extend the shelf life of fresh fruits. Several factors like temperature, oxygen, cultivar, handling, ethylene, and respiration rate influence the shelf life of fruits. A proper packaging and its gas exchange design extends the shelf life to a considerable amount of time. Innovate packaging techniques like modified active packaging and use of antimicrobial extends the shelf life of fruits to a significant amount.

However, the challenge of implementing or increasing the use of new packaging technologies in India depend on the cost–benefit ratio and improvement of the cold chain. Marked resistance from the industry to add to the cost of packaging materials is another hurdle.

Hence, to implement the new packaging technologies in India, our start-up identifies below specific requirements of Indian Postharvest handling system and providing solutions for it.

  • The fruits producers and exporters in India are not more Familiar with the changes of the gas composition inside the package due to the use of the new technology, especially during the long distance refrigerated sea transport, and cold storage power fluctuations where temperature variation is common. Lack of familiarity about new technology results in wrong implementation and increases the losses.
  • Lack of knowledge about the microbiological flora of the packaged fruits, and how this flora can be affected using the new technology.
  • Lack of established quality control & testing laboratories for the package development.
  • There are known limitations of temperature control during the postharvest handling chain in India. The temperature control limitations result in the requirement for the development of packages and film materials that constantly interact with the fruits as well as with the outside environmental conditions (especially temperature and relative humidity).

Some Of The Desirable Characteristics Include:

1) Ability to control moisture vapor transmission rate to prevent vapor accumulation and condensation problems.

2) Ability to reduce or eliminate barrier properties in case of a temperature increase.

3) O2/CO2 permeability ratios that are drastically different than 1:4.

4) Variation in O2/CO2 permeability ratio (adjustable preferential gas permeability) as a function of temperature.

Lack of collaboration between companies providing the different services (packaging materials, packaging equipment, gases, analysers, and other instruments, etc.), which are mostly from developed countries, and the Indian producers & exporters (MAP and CAP users). Information regarding the characteristics of the material or system, mechanisms of action, limitations, possible disadvantages, and possible problems need to be clearly delivered to the Indian producers & exporters.