‘SMART’ USE OF PACKAGING TO MAXIMISE LIFE OF FRESH PRODUCE

March 2010

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(NOTE: This is an archived press release.)

Morrisons, one of the top four food retailers in the UK, has recently begun scientific research in conjunction with Writtle College, a partner of the University of Essex, to understand how packaging affects the life of fresh fruit and vegetables and whether it can benefit storage in the home.

For example, the life of broccoli can be lengthened by two days if kept packaged and in the fridge. However, 72% of shoppers are currently unaware of this. Further tests will be carried out over the next 12 months across produce that is regularly thrown away.

Dr. Chris Bishop of Writtle College said: “Broccoli is very much part of the average weekly shop and our initial findings clearly demonstrate that packaging and correct storage advice can contribute to prolonging food life, and reducing food waste. Our tests are independent yet specialist. I believe that we all have a vested interest in the identification of packaging that helps people store food more effectively and ultimately waste less.”

Pictured - Dr Chris Bishop (far left) and colleagues conducting research in the postharvest unit at Writtle College.