Fresh cut fruits and vegetables packaging machine
FFV fresh cut fruits and vegetables is a large and still fast-growing trending market in the agricultural produces industry. According to International Fresh-cut Produce Association (IFPA), the market is selling pre-cut, pre-washed and packaged fruits and vegetables over $12 billion annually. If you happen to be in such a prosperous industry and eager to be stand out from the crowd, you’d probably try to use state-of-the-art packaging technologies for fresh cut fruits and vegetables. Our FFV fresh cut fruits and vegetables packaging machines meet the market requirement for same-day fast-selling and for prolonging shelf-life.
What is FFV fresh-cut fruits and vegetables
Fresh-cut fruits and vegetables are agricultural produces with minimal processes (cleaning, peeling, slicing, cubing) for convenient use (for further cooking) and/or eating directly. International Fresh-Cut Produce Association (IFPA) defines FFV as below:
International Fresh-Cut Produce AssociationFruits or vegetables that have been trimmed, peeled or cut into a 100% usable product which has been packaged to offer consumers high nutrition and flavour while still maintaining its freshness.
FFV products include many species of vegetables and fruits:
- Vegetables: Lettuce, spinach, broccoli and culiflower, cabbage, carrots, celery, onions, potatoes, mushrooms, jicama, cucumber, garlic, tomato, lotus root, etc
- Fruits: Peach, apple, pear, banana, kiwi fruit, water melon, strawberry, pineapple, jackfruit, papaya, mango, dragon fruit, etc.
Why fresh cut fruits and vegetables packaging machine is important
Frsh cut fruits and vegetables are slightly processed for ready-to-use or ready-to-eat, so although they still remain a living and respiring physiological condition, the “slight process” inevitably damages the integrity of product cells, lose the original outer protective tissue and the tissue that has the effect of preventing water transpiration will induce a series of physiological and biochemical reactions, coupled with the invasion of microorganisms, which is not conducive to the maintenance of the quality of fresh cut fruits and vegetables. Proper packaging can slow down the quality changes of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables by improving the gas environment around fresh-cut fruits and vegetables, reducing the number of microorganisms, slowing down enzymatic browning and transpiration, reducing tissue metabolism and respiratory intensity, and prolonging their shelf life.
Fresh cut fruits and vegetables packaging machines together with appropriate packaging materials will help to prolong the shelf life of the products, help you expand the business to a larger scale.
Major packaging technologies for fresh-cut fruits and vegetables
Different types of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables usually require different packaging techniques due to their different respiratory intensity, nutrient content, degree of browning, etc. At the same time, according to the different sales period, the packaging method adopted is also different.
Fresh-cut leafy vegetables (celery, lettuce, spinach, etc.) are soft in texture and the leaves are easily damaged. Therefore, packaging methods with high pressure such as vacuum packaging cannot be used, but modified atmosphere packaging is usually used. Cut potatoes, apples, and pears are prone to browning, and packaging technologies such as heat treatment, modified atmosphere packaging, and edible film can significantly inhibit browning. maintains its good organoleptic qualities. The fruits and vegetables of stone fruits (peaches, plums, apricots, etc.) are not easy to store due to their high respiration intensity, and can be preserved by vacuum packaging technology.
Generally speaking, for FFV products that requires same-day selling, simple cling film wrapping is good enough; To achieve prolong shelf-life of 3 days and more, MAP modified atmosphere packaging and vacuum packaging will be needed.
Fresh-cut fruits and vegetables cling film wrapping machine
Cling film wrapping simply wraps fresh cut fruits and vegetables in pre-made containers. This packaging type doesn’t change the packaging atmosphere or isolate air from the products, so it’s suitable for same-day selling without prolonging shelf-life.
We offer 3 types of cling film wrapping machine: Tabletop type, Vertical type, Automatic inline type with optional weighing and labelling device. You can choose any one according to packaging requirement. For machine details, including specifications and price range, please visit the machine page.
Fresh cut fruits and vegetables modified atmosphere packaging machine
Fresh cut fruits and vegetables have a short shelf life because of respiratory metabolism. Modified atmosphere packaging prolong the shelf life of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables by changing the atmosphere inside the packages. MAP packaging is one perfect packaging solution for fresh cut produces, but keep in mind that it is also the most compolicated packaging solution. Each produce requires unique gas ratio, which means you need to do strict experiment to find the best gas ratio for your FFV products, and plus, if mixed types of vegetables or fruits are packaged together, the atmosphere needs to be altered accordingly.
MAP packaging quality also relies on the interface between the rate of respiration of the produce and the transfer rate of gases through the packaging material.
Following are several cases of FFV products in modified atmosphere packaging:
- Modified atmosphere packaging of fresh cut lotus root: Scientists used LDPE, HDPE and PP as packaging materials to study their storage and preservation effects on fresh-cut lotus roots, and found that modified atmosphere packaging composed of different materials can prevent the loss of fresh-cut lotus roots moisture and nutrients to a certain extent, and inhibit their respiration. After 10 days of storage for fresh-cut lotus root in 0.04mm LDPE packaging, the O2 and CO2 content in the bag reached dynamic levels.
The state is balanced, and the modified atmosphere effect is achieved in a relatively short time, which is suitable for the modified atmosphere packaging material of fresh-cut lotus root. If the oxygen permeability is too low, it will lead to hypoxia and CO2 accumulation, which will easily lead to odor, aging and quality deterioration of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables.
- Modified atmosphere packaging of fresh cut cabbages salads: Scientists used 4 kinds of PE bags with different oxygen permeability to package fresh-cut savoy cabbage, and the PE bags with oxygen permeability of 16.6 and 21.4 pmol·s-1·m-2·Pa-1 were used for O2 in the bag after 10 days. When the content of cabbage and CO2 reaches the optimum condition, the freshness and quality of the cabbage chips in the bag are kept well, and the shelf life can be extended to 25 days.
- Modified atmosphere packaging of fresh cut lettuce: The study found that 60% O2+20% CO2+20% N2 and 100% O2 high-oxygen modified packaging could inhibit the deterioration of fresh-cut lettuce quality, and the quality of fresh-cut lettuce packaged with 100% O2 remained better.
The packaging material for fresh cut fruits and vegetables can be premade flexible pouches, flexible thermoforming film, rigid premade trays + sealing lid, thermoforming rigid film + top sealing film. Each combination of packaging materials require different modified atmosphere packaging machines.
FFV products MAP packaging machine – Premade pouches
The packaging machine for MAP modified atmosphere packaging of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables is double chamber vacuum packaging machine. By installing an extra set of gas flushing system, and connect gas sources, the machine can vacuum the bag and then flush it with nitrogen gases. Please check the below video for reference
FFV products MAP packaging machine – Flexible thermoforming film
This type of packaging is carried out by thermoforming packaging machine that uses 2 rolls of flexible film rolls to form the packages automatically.
FFV products MAP packaging machine – Rigid premade trays + Sealing film
We offer a series of MAP packaging machines, from tabletop type to automatic type with large capacity. With the help of gas mixer, the machine can package fresh cut fruits and vegetables at any required modified atmosphere. Regardless the capacity of the machines, they all requires premade rigid plastic trays and top sealing film. Please check the below video for reference.
FFV products MAP packaging machines – Rigid thermoforming film
Thermoforming modified atmosphere packaging machine uses a roll of rigid bottom form to automatically form the bottom tray, and seal it with a roll of flexible top film. Before the trays are sealed, the machine operates vacuum-gas filling to fill the packages with required gases to prolong the shelf life of fresh cut fruits and vegetables.
Fresh cut fruits and vegetables vacuum packaging machines
Vacuum packaging means that the air in the package is evacuated, and after reaching a predetermined vacuum degree, the sealing process is completed, so that the articles can be stored for a long time in a vacuum environment. Vacuum packaging generally uses non-breathable packaging materials. After vacuuming and sealing, the fresh-cut fruits and vegetables are isolated from the outside air, which not only avoids the oxidation reaction of food, but also inhibits the growth and reproduction of microorganisms. Respiration intensity, and inhibit the synthesis of ethylene, thereby slowing down the ripening and aging of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables, and ultimately achieve the purpose of preservation. The vacuum packaging operation method is simple, and the preservation effect is good, especially the color, aroma and texture of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables can be better maintained.
However, vacuum packaging cannot inhibit the growth and reproduction of anaerobic bacteria, so it needs to be used in combination with refrigeration, irradiation, ozone water treatment and other technologies to achieve better preservation effect.
Because the vacuum packaging process will generate greater pressure, it will damage the tissue structure of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables such as bananas, spinach, and lettuce with a soft texture, which is not conducive to storage. And applying it to fresh-cut fruits and vegetables with a hard texture, such as fresh-cut potatoes, lotus roots, carrots, etc., can achieve a better preservation effect.
Study shows vacuum packaged lotus roots slices’ shelf life can reach 60-90 days in 0~5℃ storage environment; The appearance quality of the vacuum-packed potatoes was better than that of the modified atmosphere packaging, and the fresh-cut potato fries with ozone water treatment combined with vacuum-packing were stored at 4 °C for 14 days, and still maintained the original color, quality and aroma, and the number of microorganisms was reduced.
All our vacuum packaging machines can be used for vacuum packaging of fresh cut vegetables and fruits, either with premade vacuum pouches or thermoforming films.
Packaging is an important part of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables preservation processing, and different types of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables need different packaging technologies and packaging machines for preservation due to their different characteristics. Therefore, in actual production, appropriate preservation packaging technology should be selected according to the characteristics of different fresh-cut fruit and vegetable raw materials to achieve the best preservation effect and economic benefit.
If you have any ideas and questions regarding fresh cut fruits and vegetables packaging machines and technologies, please feel free to contact us.