Israeli packaging innovators keeping it fresh from field to table

Liav Bacharach & Prue Leith res

Lychee

Providing tailor-made packaging solutions using a unique technology developed by the company is what sets Israel-based R.O.P. apart, according to its CEO Liav Bacharach. Speaking to PBUK during The London Produce Show and Conference, he says the company is gaining traction in markets all over the world and has its sights set on expanding further into China as lychee exporters demand careful post-harvest preservation.

Lychee is harvested when it is fully mature, according to Bacharach, while traditional methods to preserve the fruit’s colour include immersing it chemical solutions that can spoil the taste and, more importantly, are prohibited in certain countries.

What this means is fruit like lychees need sensitive packaging solutions to help maintain quality and extend shelf life during transit - all without chemical interventions.

Lychee are fairly red in colour when they are picked and this needs to be maintained until they end up on supermarket shelves and into consumers’ homes.

“Lychee is showing the strongest trend at the moment and we have a lot of demand from China and Europe where exporters need bespoke solutions to keep the quality of lychees high; if they are not the right colour consumers will avoid them,” Bacharach tells PBUK.

“The company is entering into a commercial phase with growers in US who have already adopted ROP technology in their packaging products.

“They are excited by the results this bag gives them compared to what they were used to previously for lychees and a range of other fresh fruit and vegetables.”

R.O.P develops product-specific Cast Polypropylene (CPP) film, bags, and converted products with operations in Israel and the Czech Republic.

Sitting alongside lychee as a popular fruit is avocado, explains , as demand increases all over the world. However R.O.P’s latest innovation focuses on an iceless packaging solution for broccoli.

“ExtendCast XC-Broccoli can reduce the cost of freight and cut down on the use of ice which can be viewed as a carrier of microorganisms that can potentially contaminate the vegetable.

“By preserving the freshness and quality of packed broccoli, our technology extends the shelf life for a certain period of time (up to one month) at between 1-3 degrees Celsius and for longer at higher shelf temperatures.”

It also guards against mold growth, prevents crown yellowing, stem-end blackening and stops the vegetable getting too hard and swollen, adds Bacharach.

“The technology comes from the formula of the film and the unique technology developed by R.O.P., it’s those key aspects together that give such good results in terms of shelf life.”

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