Cornell University Tests Compare Types of Tray-Packaged
Tomatoes For Shelf-Life Performance
A recent Study reports Continental's Plastic Tomato Trays with
open end poly styrene film wraps scoring up to 50% higher than pulp trays and
30% higher than stretch film wrapped vacuum packs.
Tomatoes Tested & Scored for "performance"...firmness,
ph(Acid) and color.
Cornell's Food Science Department conducted extensive testing
and evaluation of the variations of methods for packaging tomatoes for retail
marketing. A comparison of packs for determination of shelf life included
Continental's Plastic's open-type recyclable polystyrene trays, formed paper
pulp trays and clear plastic trays. Mature green Florida tomatoes were
commercially repacked and wrapped with several film types, including polystyrene
film, meat wrap stretch film with vacuum pack and also breathable stretch film.
Tests setup to simulate retail produce
Packaged tomatoes were held in an environment chamber at 65
degrees farenheight and 65% relative humidity under 24 hour fluorescent light.
Duration of tests was set for nine days. Both the time and the test conditions
were acceptable to agree satisfactorily with a typical retail produce department
Wrapping Methods Evaluated
The unique open lattice configuration of Continental's Tomato
Trays when combined with a polystyrene film wrapping that is open at the ends*
produced the best shelf life scores when compared to solid-based pulp
trays or plastic trays that were fully encased in stretch film wrappings
including vacuum packs. It would seem that the increased ventilation of
circulating air contributes vitally to shelf life performance by use of open-end
film wrapping and open lattice plastic trays.
(* efficient production line wrapping of this type is being
widely achieved on the factory rebuilt Model FA Wrappers as supplied by Ed
Schafer, Watson Associates, 800 Grove Rd., NJ 215-336-6433 Fax 215-467-9308)