Bestack: five years of research and carton becomes smart

Bestack FLEstimated annual savings in Italy for over 190 million Euros and no less than 115 thousand tonnes of strawberries, apricots, and nectarines saved from the waste. In addition, healthier fruit and vegetable thanks to a system of ‘Active’ packaging that allows products to last longer both in the counter of supermarkets and at consumers’ home. These are some of the goals that it will be possible to reach thanks to the new patented anti-waste packaging realised by Bestack Consortium. This reality concerns Companies that produce packaging in corrugated cardboard, with particular specialization in the domain of fruit and vegetables. This project, realised in cooperation with the University of Bologna, was presented in Parliament in December in the presence of Deputy Maria Chiara Gadda, rapporteur of 166/2016 law against food waste. The event was aimed at promoting the culture of preservation of food and presenting to the entire supply chain this innovative package that, thanks to natural substances added to counteract the proliferation of degrading microorganisms, is able to increase the shelf life of fruit and vegetables.

Bestack01A comparative analysis between traditional packaging in corrugated cardboard realised by Bestack and the active one was carried out in the points of sale of Agrintesa group. In three months 4,500 analyses and 200 samplings were realized on strawberries, apricots, and nectarines. They shown that the use of active packaging allowed, in all temperature conditions, but especially in the warmer periods, containing the proliferation of degradative organisms, improving the conservation of the organoleptic substances. This is the first ever study of such magnitude, whose solid and significant data were detected by measuring the freshness of strawberries, apricots, and nectarines through the evolution of the bacterial load of these fruits packed in crates in Corrugated Active Cardboard. The analysis was conducted in all stages of the supply chain, from the packaging warehouse to the table of the consumer, passing through the fruit and vegetable section in such a way as to increase the solidity of the search.

The use of active packaging in corrugated cardboard realised by Bestack in Italy would probably avoid wasting 8,300 tonnes of strawberries, for a value of 29.1 million Euros, 12 thousand tonnes of apricots, for a value of 27.9 million Euros, 84,000 tonnes of peaches and nectarines for a value of 134 million Euros. For the whole sector of Italian fruit and vegetables, it is expected that the new Corrugated Active Cardboard will be able to reduce and optimize discards, saving one billion Euros for about 850 thousand tonnes of product, that is to say 10% of fruits and vegetables consumed in a year.

The packaging
It consists, specifically, in crates in corrugated cardboard for fruit and vegetables that, thanks to the addition in the cardboard of a concentrated mixture of natural essential oils, object of the patent itself, are able to counteract the perishability of the product they contain. Research has shown that fruit and vegetables packaged in this way have a shelf life 2 to 3 days longer.

Bestack is Consortium opened among manufacturers of packaging in corrugated cardboard with particular specialisation in fruit and vegetables. Bestack neither produce packaging nor sell them, but works to promote its use. Bestack was created to orient the sector towards research in collaboration with the most important universities of our Country.

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