There’s nothing worse than biting into a rotten apple or an overripe peach. Ever wondered what causes fruit to go bad so quickly (or stay fresh for longer)? It turns out, the way that fruit is packaged can have a huge impact on its shipment and shelf life. But what kinds of packaging make the biggest difference?
Room to Breath
All good fruit packaging will contain holes or slats to promote adequate air flow. Like people, fruit also need to breathe to survive (okay, not exactly like people). Allowing fruit to have access to fresh air allows them to continue the process of respiration, which releases energy in the fruit and keeps them alive longer. This is why you typically see apples and grapes housed in bags that have small holes in them, or raspberries and blueberries placed in containers that have slits down the sides. If fruits are packaged in air-tight containers or containers without any openings, they will not be able to respire and will rot much faster.
If you’re curious about the kind of packaging most commonly used in your area, simply Google ‘fruit packaging california’ (or your state of residence) to learn about your local standard of practice.
Safe From Damage and Debris
Additionally, strong, sturdy packaging can help protect fruit from damage. Being jostled and tumbled around truck beds or air plane storage areas can damage even the toughest pineapple. Bruises and cuts on the soft skin of a peach or banana can invite all sorts of bacteria inside, causing the fruit to deteriorate faster. Folks are also less likely to purchase damaged looking fruit, which means that these pieces often go to waste. Whether made of plastic or firm cardboard, fruit packaging should stack each piece of fruit in close proximity and seal securely over top of them.
Fruit packaging varies from place to place. To ensure freshness and longevity, fruit packaging should be firm, breathable and protect produce from being damaged in transit.