Active packaging is a new Repsol product that extends the shelf life of perishable food such as fruit and vegetables. Made of a mixture of natural waxes and essences, it is designed to protect food against fungi and bacteria and keep it fresh longer. It is estimated that these microorganisms are responsible for approximately 25% of the fruit and vegetable spoilage in Spain.
Paraffin wax is a by-product derived from the processing of crude oil that has many uses including as a cable filling compound or for the manufacture of candles and matches. Due to its insulating properties, it is also used to coat paper used to wrap food. The paraffin wax formulated for active packaging, once applied to paper or cardboard boxes acts to kill bacteria. Since it is based on natural essences, it reduces or avoids the use of chemical fungicides.
Active packaging may be a major advance for the fruit and vegetable sector in Spain, which is the world’s leading exporter of fruit and vegetables and where any extension of the shelf life of food products has a major impact on transport and storage costs. This new type of packaging is the outcome of research conducted by Repsol and the University of Zaragoza.