ISRAEL – StePacPPC, pioneers in fresh produce packaging, have tailored their award-winning modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) films to preserve both whole and sliced white mushrooms.

The packaging films are also designed for a variety of exotic mushrooms including oyster, lion’s mane, shiitake, portabella, and more.

The streamlined MAP system caters to consumer demands for sustainable packaging that not only retards deterioration but also significantly reduces waste of this highly perishable commodity.

The growing popularity of mushrooms, recognized for their health benefits and their role as a vegan source of meaty umami flavor and texture, has led to increased consumption.

However, mushrooms have a short shelf life, presenting challenges for growers and shippers in terms of storage and waste reduction.

StePacPPC’s latest innovation in packaging formats is designed specifically to preserve the freshness of both whole and sliced white mushrooms, as well as a range of exotic mushrooms.

Customized films are effective in slowing decay and reducing weight loss of these culinary delicacies, thereby preserving texture, nutrition, and flavor, and significantly reducing waste and cost.

Over the last decade, consumer demand for mushrooms has surged, with exotic varieties becoming more mainstream.

Appreciated for their savory qualities and nutritional benefits, mushrooms are considered a culinary specialty. According to data by Emergen Research, the global mushroom market size is valued at more than US$50 billion, expected to more than double by 2030.

Despite the growing demand, the perishable nature of mushrooms and the challenges in maintaining their shelf life have limited their market potential.

Gary Ward, Ph.D., CTO for StePacPPC, explains, “Mushrooms have high metabolic activity and respiration rates, giving them a short shelf life, typically just a few days.

“They also generate a lot of moisture during the respiration process, encouraging bacterial decay. On the other hand, they are prone to dehydration, causing them to shrivel and discolor due to oxidation. Sliced mushrooms are even more susceptible to a rapid decline in quality.”

StePacPPC’s films, with their high water-vapor transmission rate and customized modified atmosphere properties, have proven ideal for preserving the quality of both whole and sliced mushrooms.

These films slow respiration and aging, reduce dehydration, and expel excess moisture from the packaging.

“In post-harvest lab and field trials, our films have demonstrated abilities to maintain the freshness and wholesome appearance of mushrooms,” asserts Ward.

“This effectively extends their shelf life from just a few days to more than two weeks, generating meaningful reductions in food waste.”

Recently, StePacPPC, in collaboration with Windham Packaging, LLC, adapted its Xflow™ brand of roll-stock films for automated packing to meet the specific preservation needs of bulk fresh sliced white mushrooms.

These solutions are gaining traction in North America, preserving the quality of bulk-packed sliced mushrooms for foodservice outlets like restaurants and hotels.

These sustainable packaging formats, produced optionally with 30% recycled material, support a circular economy, aligning with the company’s commitment to using mechanically recycled content.

“Our highly functional packaging solution has been tailored to dramatically improve inventory management and storability of mushrooms, enabling stakeholders to prolong storage in times of glut and preserve their quality along the supply chain. This, in turn, will boost marketability and consumer experience,” concludes Ward.

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