ISRAEL – StePac PPC has unveiled a series of customized modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) films tailored to extend the shelf life of delicate mushrooms, hence combating food waste.

Mushrooms, renowned for their ephemeral freshness and delicate texture, pose a challenge in preservation due to their high metabolic activity and susceptibility to rapid decay. 

With a shelf life typically spanning only a few days, these culinary delicacies are prone to dehydration, discoloration, and bacterial decay, making efficient preservation methods paramount.

Addressing this pressing need, StePac PPC has engineered a lean MAP system that meets consumer demands for sustainable packaging and significantly extends the freshness of mushrooms. 

By harnessing the high water-vapor transmission rate of its films and customizing modified atmosphere properties, the company has devised a solution that retards decay, reduces weight loss, and preserves texture, nutrition, and flavor.

“Our films effectively slow respiration and aging, mitigate dehydration, and expel excess moisture from the packaging, thereby elongating the shelf life of mushrooms from mere days to over two weeks,” Dr. Gary Ward, Chief Technology Officer at StePac PPC, elucidates.

The real-world efficacy of StePac PPC’s packaging solutions was vividly demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic when mushroom farmers faced logistical challenges. 

StePac PPC’s Xtend bulk packaging solutions proved instrumental in prolonging storage, thereby mitigating food waste. 

Testimonials from industry leaders such as Roni Sofer of Marina Galilee Mushrooms, Ltd., and Fred Recchiuti of Basciani Foods underscore the transformative impact of these innovations, with waste reduction exceeding 35% and freshness preservation extending up to 18 days.

Expanding reach and sustainability

StePac PPC’s commitment to innovation extends beyond preservation efficacy to sustainability. The company collaborates with Windham Packaging, LLC, to develop Xflow roll-stock films for automated packing, catering to the specific preservation needs of bulk fresh sliced white mushrooms. 

Furthermore, these packaging formats can be produced with up to 30% recycled material, reinforcing StePac PPC’s dedication to a circular economy.

With the global mushroom market poised to double by 2030, StePac PPC’s pioneering packaging solutions emerge as a game-changer, offering a sustainable pathway to meet burgeoning consumer demands while curbing food waste. 

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