Fresh Fruit & Vegetables
The rise of supermarket convenience often means fruit and vegetables are pre-wrapped or bagged using flexible materials. This can be, as with cucumbers, individual shrink wrapping, in trays with an over-wrap (fruits are often in this format) or bagged, such as potatoes.
Many soft fruits, such as strawberries, still need the protection of trays. But the flexible over-wrap of these trays allows a modified atmosphere to be introduced to extend shelf life and inhibit fungal growth. Of course it makes it easier to handle and transport too as many of these products have juices which can leak during their journey along the supply chain.
Increasingly popular with some vegetables are micro-perforated bags which enable the respiration inside the bag to be carefully controlled, which greatly extends shelf life and preserves the quality and freshness of the product.
Additionally individual shrink wrapping may seem an excessive use of packaging for individual items. But tests have proven that this can greatly enhance shelf life and so helps when these vegetables are shipped over long distances and when stored in the home.