Capstone Projects

Lidding Film with Laser Microperforation Effects on Produce Shelf-Life Over 21-Days

Program: Applied Biotechnology Master's — Business Management
Host Company: Belmark, Inc.
Location: De Pere, Wisconsin (onsite)
Student: Gina Chamberlain

Produce shelf-life has impacted the amount of food and plastic waste accumulated each year. Implementing a modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) can allow for produce to last longer and provide a wider window of opportunity to be used by the consumer. Microperforated film is a MAP that can be applied to rigid containers and be designed for specific produce items. Finding the respiration rates of four produce items and determining if the microperforated film can satisfy the oxygen and carbon dioxide needs through a series of calculations, a microperforated film can be manufactured. Through a 21-day testing period, specified film was created to meet each items respiration requirements and were compared to a nonperforated lidding film.
Sugar content, produce firmness, and through observations the two were compared every 7 days to each other. It was found that the produce using a AF-5 tray with the specific perforated film would not see a significant shelf-life increase but other factors could be reviewed to combine with the film to increase the produce longevity.