• August 16, 2018


    Corrugated Packaging for Produce

    Scientific research indicates that corrugated packaging for produce is safer than reusable plastic crates (RPCs). Corrugated containers can significantly reduce contamination from transferred microorganisms.

    The research, conducted in 2016 by the University of Bologna and initiated by the European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers (FEFCO), found that corrugated trays ensured higher-quality packed fruits with reduced microbial cross-contamination and longer shelf life. Lower bacterial contamination decreases the risk of foodborne illnesses and increases the fruit’s freshness, scent, appearance and taste.

    “We are encouraged by the most recent research conducted by the University of Bologna”, said Dennis Colley, President and CEO of the U.S.-based Fibre Box Association (FBA). “We know corrugated is clean when it reaches the grower/shipper.  Now, this research shows corrugated, in addition to cushioning and protecting produce, also mitigates the spread of contamination if the container becomes contaminated while packing or if fresh produce begins to decay during transportation.  The ability of corrugated packaging to increase shelf-life could translate into significantly reduced shrink and potentially millions of dollars in savings for retailers.”

    The research was led by Professor Rosalba Lanciotti at the University of Bologna’s Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences. It examined the exchange of microbes between produce and packaging and vice-versa. It focused especially on determining how differences in packaging materials can influence cross-contamination.

    The results showed that fruit packed in corrugated fared better (with fewer transferred pathogenic and spoilage bacteria) than the fruit packed in RPCs. The differences in microbiological quality were statistically significant.


    The new study proved that using corrugated, instead of plastic packaging for fruit can significantly reduce potential contamination via microbial transfer. The team concluded that peaches packed in corrugated therefore reach consumers in a safer and fresher state than those in plastic crates.  This research is courtesy of Fibre Box Association.

    We, at Mid-Atlantic Packaging, take great efforts to innovate towards new market research. Over the past year, we’ve worked with our ink partners to create a safer ink distribution for direct food contact. We’ve refined our ability to print high-end graphics on kraft paper and we’re investigating new ways to allow the produce to breathe from the point of harvest, through the supply chain, to the point of sale.