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Extending pomegranate shelf life

The last few years have seen a tremendous increase in trading of pomegranate fruits considered to be a ‘super-fruit’ rich in anti-oxidants. In the USA alone, consumption of juices and other derivatives of the fruit have increased dramatically, reaching 120,000 tons per year. Perhaps the aspect that has contributed most to the increased demand for pomegranates is its reputed health promoting effects.

Pomegranates grow optimally in regions with cold winters and hot summers typical to Mediterranean countries such as Turkey, Egypt, Spain, Greece and Israel, but are also grown in countries such as Chile, Peru, India, Australia and South Africa and the international consumption and shipping necessitates means to maintain freshness and nutritional value during the supply chain. Continuous efforts are made to develop new varieties with enhanced properties. Biotechnological research has led to important innovation in pomegranate breeding aimed at creating better ripening periods, softer and sweeter seeds, increased survival ability in cold climate, improved health benefits and disease resistance. Increased consumption combined with the narrow harvesting season of the fruit, leads to an increased demand for storage capabilities. Pomegranates tend to suffer from problems associated with prolonged storage, such as:

Such problems limit storability to ~2 months.

Pioneering in the field of pomegranate shelf life extension, StePac first introduced the Xtend modified atmosphere / modified humidity liners for pomegranates in 2004 setting the tone for the rest of the market.

It has been determined that by using modified atmosphere and modified humidity packaging for pomegranates it is possible to preserve eating quality as well as external appearance for up to periods of 4-5 months after packing, reducing fruit rot, reducing weight loss, minimizing skin blemishes and maintaining fresh appearance.

It is undisputed that using Xtend MAP packaging for pomegranates offers remarkable added value. The fact that fruit quality is preserved during prolonged storage for up to 4 months and even more enables market expansion and bridging of seasonal gaps. This simple and cost-effective, flexible solution enables fruit to be removed upon demand without compromising the whole storage room unlike when using CA. Furthermore, when using Xtend MA the effect is maintained throughout the entire supply chain.

For more information:

Ms. Andy Swersky

StePac L.A. Ltd

Tel: +972 (0)4-987-2131 

Publication date: 7/31/2012

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