StePacPPC extends the life of mushrooms

Fresh produce packaging pioneer StePacPPC has customised its modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) films to preserve whole and sliced white mushrooms and exotic mushrooms such as oysters, lion's mane, shiitake and portabella. The MAP system is able to slow down spoilage and reduce waste of these highly perishable products.

Mushroom consumption has grown rapidly in recent years, thanks in part to the increasingly popular vegan diet. However, mushrooms have a very short shelf life, a major obstacle for growers and shippers who are constantly trying to improve their preservation capabilities.

StePacPPC's Xtend and Xflow films, made from 30% recycled material, are able to slow down the decay of the mushroom while preserving its texture, nutrition and flavour, thus reducing a considerable amount of waste and cost.

Due in part to their nutritional benefits, consumer demand for mushrooms has increased over the past decade, and according to data from Emergen Research, the global mushroom market, now worth over $50 billion, is expected to double by 2030.

Gary Ward, CTO (Chief Technology Officer) of StePacPPC explained:

Mushrooms have a high metabolic activity and respiration rates that make them not very storable, typically only a few days. In addition, they generate a lot of moisture during the respiration process, which promotes bacterial decay. Furthermore, sliced mushrooms are even more prone to a rapid decline in quality.

The high water vapour transmission rate of StePacPPC films, combined with the customised properties of the modified atmosphere, has proven ideal for preserving the quality of both whole and sliced mushrooms by slowing respiration and ageing, reducing dehydration and expelling excess moisture from the package.

Ward added:

In laboratory and field trials, our films have proven to be able to maintain the freshness and healthy appearance of mushrooms by extending the shelf life from a few days to more than two weeks, generating a significant reduction in food waste.

Roni Sofer, Vice President Marketing of Marina Galilee Mushrooms, the market leader in Israel said:

We use the Xtend solution to package our oyster and portobella mushrooms and preserve their quality during shipment to customers. The results have been amazing: we have been able to preserve freshness for more than 10 days and waste in our supply chain has been reduced by more than 35%.