StePac is introducing degradable modified atmosphere packaging that helps extend shelf life of bananas, broccoli and other produce items.

Tefen, Israel-based StePac L.A. Ltd.’s Eco-Xtend packaging contains a substance that allows it to degrade over time.

The line complements StePac’s Xtend-branded modified atmosphere/modified humidity packaging which remains viable for produce that benefits from the creation of both modified atmosphere and modified humidity environments, said Don Stidham, president of the San Diego-based StePac USA subsidiary.


StePac introduces degradable packaging
Courtesy StePac

StePac is introducing degradable modified atmosphere packaging that helps extend shelf life of bananas, broccoli and other produce items.


The  Eco-Xtend bags create favorable inside-the-bag atmospheric conditions for fruits and vegetables while proprietary engineering of Xtend polymers ensure correct balance between oxygen and carbon dioxide, Stidham said.

Xtend lowers respiration rates and stops biosynthesis and ethylene activity, which in turn retards aging and preserves nutritional value and flavor, he said.

The Eco-Xtend packaging is designed for use on bananas, broccoli, kiwi, pears, cherries, green onions, pomegranates, some herbs and some stone fruit, Stidham said.

He said StePac plans to expand the line as it continues field trials with growers throughout the world.

With bananas, the packaging can slow the ripening process for distribution and shelf life. Bananas packed at stage 3-4 ripening levels can be kept at the level for up to 10 days before reaching stage 6, compared two or three days packed in conventional polyethylene macro perforated bags, Stidham said.

For broccoli, the Eco-Xtend packaging can preserve quality during prolonged storage for up to 28 days, Stidham said.

In today’s environment, Stidham said StePac believes it is important to develop green products that help cut costs as well.

“Due to StePac’s understanding of the requirements for maintaining the quality of fresh produce and extending its shelf life, we developed the know-how and the technology that is most appropriate for produce items,” Stidham said. “In some cases, this Eco-Xtend product line is a breakthrough in terms of the appropriate nature for this technology to be employed to extend the shelf life and quality of certain commodities.”

From manufacturing to distribution, Eco-Xtend bags have a one-year shelf life.