Significantly increasing the shelf-life of mushrooms

Sira-Flex Resolve can significantly enhance the shelf-life of mushrooms

Trials using an innovative packaging film with mushrooms showed a shelf-life increase of seven days – with the potential for even longer shelf-life also on the horizon.

Mushrooms packed with Sira-Flex Resolve® – Sirane’s new range of shelf-life extending bags and films – showed no browning and no condensation following the trials.

Jeremy Haydn-Davies, sales director, said: “This is once again further testament to the unique properties of Sira-Flex Resolve®, and results like this keep coming in.

“We know Sira-Flex Resolve® has some remarkable properties, and we’ve had people running trials around the world, many of whom are now starting to share their results.

“The films worked well in the trials with the breathable pulp-tray punnets that mushrooms are often packed in. There was absolutely no browning, no condensation, and the mushrooms touching the film was not a problem which it is using other types of film.

“We also have a new product coming soon which could extend this shelf-life even further. A new pad is about to be launched by Sirane which will inhibit bacteria growth.

“Supermarket shelves are often full of discounted mushrooms, which are turning brown. These two solutions could help retailers keep their mushrooms fresher for longer.

“With so many retailers having just signed up to the Courtauld 3 Commitment – pledging to significantly reduce food waste – this could be exactly the news they’ve been needing.”

Sirane’s Sira-Flex Resolve® is a unique film which has been developed to have the optimum balance between humidity control and O2 and CO2 permeability.

The permeability is temperature dependant so that the perfect atmosphere is maintained inside the pack even if the storage temperature is variable.

Simon Balderson, Sirane’s managing director, said: “The results are remarkable. There is no condensation on the inside of the film and the product does not dry out.

“The package atmosphere is maintained with the optimum balance of atmospheric gases to prevent degradation. In simple terms, the food lasts longer.

“Shelf life extension of several days and more is achieved for many products. The film is suitable for all types of vegetables including salads as well as many types of fresh fruit.”

The film is a natural bio-polymer made from plants. It is sustainable and fully compostable. The permeability is controlled by the property of the film itself.

Due to the unique structure of the film material, the permeability to humidity, O2 and CO2 is different in each case. This has allowed Sirane’s team of scientists to balance the permeability of each component to achieve the optimum result.

Earlier trials have shown very positive results with many other types of fresh produce.

Last year trials with UK distributors revealed double the shelf-life on brassicas.

In the trials cauliflower and broccoli - which following transportation had been deteriorating after just one day on the shelves - was still in good condition after five days.

The same trials showed an additional two days shelf-life for cabbages, leeks and carrots.

Other very positive findings have been reported in strawberries, green beans, salads and potatoes. Mrs Evans added: “We try to avoid making claims that Sira-Flex Resolve® will achieve a particular level of shelf-life, as there are so many factors.

“What we suggest is that customers try the film in their own food chain, in their own set of conditions, and see what results can be achieved by using Sira-Flex Resolve®.”

Shelf-life extension is a hot topic, especially in the light of the Courtauld Commitment – Phase 3 of which was backed by 45 signatories, including all the major grocery retailers and many leading brand manufacturers, when they signed up to it earlier this month.

Targets include reducing household food and drink waste by 5%, and reducing waste in the grocery supply chain by 3%, as well as delivering better product protection to reduce waste.

Simon Balderson, Sirane’s MD, said: “Courtauld 3 wants retailers to ensure packaging develops and evolves. Not only is it possible to reduce packaging waste significantly, but it’s also possible to reduce food waste significantly with more advanced packaging.

“For many years now that’s what Sirane has been striving to do and we’ve had some major successes in the last 12 month. We’ve already worked on technology that will enable people to move towards achieving the aims of Courtauld 3 and beyond.

“Many companies may look at Courtauld 3 and think it will cost them more money,” said Mr Balderson, “but using more advanced technology can actually save companies money in the long-run, as they’ll get money back from reduced discounting, wastage and returns.”

For more information, visit www.sirane.com or email jeremy@sirane.com

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Smart seafood ready meals released in South Africa

Woolworths Easy Cook range using the Smart-Release bag  Woolworths Easy Cook range using the Smart-Release bag

A leading South African supermarket has launched two new seafood ready meals that use an innovative microwave cooking solution developed by Sirane.

Woolworths has released two products under its Easy to Cook brand using Sira-CookSmart-Release, a microwave bag which cooks food to perfection in minutes: salmon portions with a soy, honey & ginger glaze, and calamari rings with a zesty lemon & garlic butter.

Gavin Anhaeusser, product developer with Woolworths, said: “The packaging and product fits like a glove, it is perfect for absolute convenience, no fuss cooking.

“It is quick to cook, a flavoursome end product, with no fishy smell in the kitchen. The fact that the product is sealed in the bag means no yield loss and adds flavour to end product.

“The concept and convenience of Smart-Release™ is great, especially for single customers. It's time saving and energy saving if you are only cooking for one or two people.

“But more importantly, the food quality is excellent, it is quick and it is really simple.”

Sira-Cook™ Smart Release™ is perfect for many foods, particularly seafood – with perfect tasting fish and sauce in just a matter of minutes thanks to the dual-vent technology.

Coldwater Seafood were one of the first companies to take up Smart-Release™ – with the innovative bag allowing fish dishes to be sold by retail giant Marks & Spencer. M&S has launched three Sira-CookSmart-Release products to date under the tag-line Quick To Cook: Lochmuir Salmon with Watercress; Cod with Parsley and Haddock Mornay.

With Sira-CookSmart-Release food and sauces are kept separate in the packaging – sealed into two compartments. The central dividing seal has been designed to rupture in a controlled way, allowing the mixing of the contents of the two compartments.

A second vent in the main compartment then opens, maintaining pressure in the bag.

Ian Beardsall, Sirane director of product and process development, said: “Sira-CookSmart-Release is a truly great and cost-effective concept. The seals will only open at certain temperatures, so the food is cooked to absolute perfection in just a few minutes.

“The venting seals on Sira-Cook Smart-Release can be tuned for retailers to meet the cooking requirements of any contents, be it seafood, poultry, or even desserts.”

Sirane opened offices in South Africa last year, and will be exhibiting for the first time at the IFEA South Africa show being held in Johannesburg from September 18th to 20th.

Sirane is a highly innovative packaging product development-to-manufacture company based in Telford, Shropshire. It has four divisions: food packaging; medical and healthcare; industrial and horticultural. Specialisms include absorbency and cooking bags.

For more information on Sirane, visit www.sirane.com or email Jeremy.haydn-davies@sirane.com. To contact Sirane Southern Africa, email stacey.loader@sirane.com

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