SAVRpak, a California-based food technology innovation company, recently announced the launch of SAVRpak Drop-In, the first-ever moisture control technology that extends the shelf-life and freshness of produce up to three times, it claims.

The SAVRpak Drop-In is a thermodynamic, biodegradable, chemical-free pouch that is placed in produce packaging before being sealed. SAVRpak’s Atmospheric Control and Transmission (ACT) technology quickly begins purifying the atmosphere within the package to slow the aging process. This is achieved by targeting conditions that affect shelf-life, such as excess moisture and condensation, as well as external contaminants like bacteria, according to the company.

The pouch creates a modified atmosphere inside the package for an extended period by eradicating a number of causes of premature moulding, wilting and spoilage of peel-less and packaged produce including berries, leafy greens, grapes, mini cucumbers and others. Successful trials have been completed with a number of US produce suppliers.

“We’re excited to be able to address an area of food preservation that has been unachievable to date, and that’s the ability to extend the life of peel-less produce like berries and leafy greens,” said SAVRpak co-CEO Grant Stafford. “Building on our success in the foodservice delivery realm, we have successfully transformed the basic technology to address a category that lacked a solution to keep food fresh for longer while reducing food waste – a top culprit of greenhouse gas emissions.”

The solution will be rolled out initially in the USA and Latin America with berry suppliers that have undertaken successful trials, proving the technology’s efficacy. Trials took place with Divine Flavor for table grapes, RCG Fruits for blackberries, Agrovision for blackberries, blueberries and raspberries, Agrizar for mini-cucumbers and Ocati for goldenberries.

A Colombian farm-to-restaurant technology company has also successfully tested SAVRpak’s thermodynamic technology with the intent to maintain freshness of the produce it ships to restaurants throughout Latin America.

“We saw the most amazing results through our berry trials,” said RCG Fruits general director, Fernando Garibay. “Blackberries, in particular, are very delicate, and often experience postharvest reddening and other changes in visual appearance and taste which reduces marketability and results in waste. This is a challenge the industry has not been able to solve, but SAVRpak kept the berries’ beautiful colour intact and fresh for longer, maintaining the quality.”

In preliminary trials, Drop-In has proven to extend the shelf-life of golden berries by 10+ days, blackberries 7+ days, raspberries 4-5+ days, and strawberries 4+ days, says the company. Similarly, in a 2021 lab test with the University of California (UC), romaine lettuce had significantly less condensation and moisture in the bags, and had lower water soaking, decay, and wilting scores compared to control samples. UC, based in Davis, also found that SAVRpak decreased the bacteria found in lettuce across all storage protocols and evaluation days compared to control samples.

This article was created in collaboration with AIPIA (the Active and Intelligent Packaging Industry Association). Packaging Europe and AIPIA are joining forces to bring news and commentary about the active and intelligent packaging landscape to a larger audience. To learn more about this partnership, click here.