New innovative will significantly increase the shelf-life of fruit and vegetables!

No more rotten produce in the fridge? An innovative research conducted by Dr. Anna Dotan and Prof. Amos Ophir - senior professors of the Department of Plastics Engineering - resulted in a significant breakthrough which may change the way we consume and store fresh foods.

The research, conducted over 3 years (in cooperation with several leading companies in the Israeli industry), has developed “active” sheets of plastic for flexible, yet rigid packages.

These unique packages suppress the development of bacteria in fresh produce using advanced technology, incorporating aromatic oils from natural sources (such as Thyme) combined with nano-particles in the new plastic sheets. These bacteria and fungi suppressers release as vapor inside the package and help protect the product.

Following the progress in the study, several experiments were carried out, in order to examine the efficiency of the new packaging on fresh produce.

The results were extremely impressive: the shelf life of cherry tomatoes and broccoli leaves was extended to over 3 weeks and of strawberries by as much as 10 days! Also evident was the almost complete suppression of bacteria and fungi development inside the packaging.

The new research, in which the students Roni Efrati, Gilad Reichenberg and Dan Anavi took part, is expected to revolutionize the packaging and marketing of fresh produce: it will allow for longer transport, storage, use and general shelf life of products.

The leading researchers have already initiated registration of 2 patents regarding this innovative development, and lately, papers in the subject have been submitted to leading science manuscripts in this field for publishing.

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