9 November 2012
Convex’s ability to custom develop breathable packaging solutions for fresh and prepared produce is helping Fresh Link deliver a high level of quality, freshness and innovation to New Zealand’s food service sector.
Having access to Convex’s fresh cut technical expertise, in-house laboratory, and broad range of film options has enabled Fresh Link to consistently meet their clients’ specific food safety, functionality and shelf life requirements.
Fresh Link General Manager Stephen Dench says, “Convex is the only company with the in-house IP to develop and optimise the customised packaging we need to deliver to our customers. Convex know how to get the best results from a shelf life and food safety point of view. They also have a thorough understanding of form fill seal processes and how to design films that are perfectly suited to our production lines.”
Fresh Link specialises in helping food service establishments minimise food preparation time and wastage by supplying them with pre-prepared fresh salad mixes and vegetables. Their customers are located throughout New Zealand and range from high end restaurants and fast food chains right through to hospitals, rest homes and schools.
Convex supplies Fresh Link with a range of modified atmosphere ready-made bags and form, fill and seal films that have been purpose-designed to match the breathability and food safety requirements needed for specific products, weight variations and end user applications. The resulting film structure manipulates the amount of O2 and CO2 contained within the packaging, which enables the produce to live longer by delaying the ripening process and reducing ethylene production.
Stephen says using Convex packaging has enabled Fresh Link to provide a high level of food safety to some leading fast food brands.
He says, “The high end food service establishments we supply require a high level of quality and freshness. Some of those customers have very valuable brands and none of them want a food safety incident. Using the correct packaging will significantly reduce the chances of that happening. By utilising Convex’s technical expertise in produce respiration, we can tick all the boxes and know exactly what impact the packaging is going to have on our product and what it will deliver at a site level.”
Fresh Link recently drew on Convex’s technical assistance to extend the freshness of a specific lettuce leaf cut used by one of their quick service restaurant customers. The existing lettuce bags were too breathable for the larger leaf surface area and were not able to deliver the required shelf life.
Stephen says, “By testing samples in their in-house lab, Convex was able to custom design a bag that met the shelf life requirements for that specific leaf cut, while still delivering the sealability we needed for our packaging line. We’ve had a huge improvement in shelf life and quality. The bag is easy to seal, pulls a good vacuum, delivers the right breathability and is robust enough to handle our distribution network.”
Fresh Link is now working with Convex and an international machinery supplier to develop their next generation of packaging initiatives, which will deliver some new world class packaging options to the New Zealand food service sector.
Stephen says, “Convex are able to bring a lot of options to the table when it comes to developing new packaging. They are definitely leaders in fresh cut packaging and working with them is helping us bring new innovations to our industry.”