British retailer Marks and Spencer (M&S) has launched ‘It’s Fresh’, an eight by four and a half centimeter ‘plaster style strip’ used inside its strawberry punnets. Manufactured and supplied by It’s Fresh!, a British innovations company, it does not affect the recyclability of the packaging.
It’s Fresh! has supplied the technology to other UK retailers for transit packaging, but this is the first time it is being used in the packaging of consumer products.
The hormone Ethylene causes fruit to ripen and then turn moldy. The strip – containing a patented mixture of minerals and clay which is claimed to be 100 times more effective for ethylene absorption than other known materials – acts as an ‘ethylene remover’. It is said to help reduce food waste by keeping the strawberries fresh for longer.
Simon Lee, It’sFresh! director, said: ‘Our technology is focused on food freshness designed to increase consumer satisfaction, taste and quality, through simple, safe, sustainable solutions. We are delighted to be pioneering this British technology with M&S on strawberries and are currently working on other products that will be in-store in the near future.’
Trials of the new technology showed a minimum wastage saving of four percent. According to M&S, during the peak strawberry season this would equate to around 40,000 packs, approximately 800,000 strawberries. It also means that the strawberries taste fresher for longer.
Hugh Mowat, M&S agronomist, commented: ‘This new technology is a win-win for our customers – not only will their strawberries taste better for longer, but we really hope it will help them to reduce their food waste as they no longer need to worry about eating their strawberries as soon as they buy them.’
Mowat added: ‘This new technology is a very exciting step forwards for the fresh fruit industry and we hope that we can extend the use of it into more of our products during 2012.’
Pictured: The 'It's Fresh' plaster style strip will be used inside M&S's strawberry punnets