EcoPack Bests Other Red Grape Packaging Systems: Department of Postharvest Science, Agricultural Research Organization, Israel
The common practice to export grapes is in liners contained in cardboard with SO2 sheets within the liners to prevent decay. In Israel there are two unique packaging systems. For short duration storage, grape clusters are placed in cardboard boxes with SO2 sheets and after cooling the pallets are wrapped with linear polyethylene film (LLDPE, ‘shrink’) excluding the bottom of the pallet. For long storage, the grapes are placed in plastic boxes with SO2 sheets and the pallets are wrapped in LLDPE including the bottom of the pallet to maintain higher level of SO2 (Lichter et al. 2008, Zutahy et al. 2008).
A new semi-commercial practice in Israel is to dip the grapes in ethanol (Lee et al. 2015) before cold storage, which is essential for storage of late season cultivars such as Scarlotta Seedless because of high dust and inoculum level.
While shipment in wrapped cardboard is usually sufficient for short-term storage, it is insufficient for medium-term storage because the material reduces the level of SO2 below acceptable level. Thus, alternative packaging may be required.
Ecopack packaging system is composed of a rigid plastic skeleton with polyethylene serving as the support to hold the produce. Its main advantage in the context of grape packaging may be due to the fact that it does not absorb SO2 and it may allow to avoid the use of individual liners within the cardboard.
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Red Grapes Report for distribution_EcoPackUSA (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)