(Oct. 14, 4:15 p.m.) Fresh produce companies are turning to new ways to pack their peppers to increase the quality and add value to their products. Six L’s Packing Co. Inc., Immokalee, Fla., has been packing peppers for about five years and has modified its process for placing packages.

“Bruising has been a big issue with peppers over the last few years,” said Jaime Weisinger, director of sales and purchasing. “We’ve taken steps to eliminate it in our packs.”

To eliminate bruising, the company places its packages so they’re lined up in a row.

“They look like soldiers in a box, ready to go,” Weisinger said. “Our buyers prefer it.”

Using this method also prevents shrinking. Ideally, he said that there should be little to no shrinkage for a buyer of that kind of box.

Custom orders have also become popular for pepper growers. Wiers Farm Inc., Willard, Ohio, offers custom packaging to meet customers’ needs.

“We can do virtually every kind of top, multiple packs, or anything to meet our customers’ standards,” said Ben Wiers, vice president.

Some companies are also going green by packing their peppers in environmentally friendly cartons. To meet this need, Natures Fresh Eco Packaging LLC, San Antonio, introduced a line of biodegradable food and produce packaging. The line includes trays, bowls and various-sized and shaped dishes. The packaging is made from natural fiber sources such as bamboo, sugar cane and willow. It is compostable and sustainable.