Rijk Zwaan has partnered with Liquidseal to develop an edible coating for snack cucumbers that can reduce the need for plastic packaging, thereby improving the sustainability of the fresh produce category.
“At Rijk Zwaan, we are always keen to support partners in their search for solutions. The views on packaging are changing and some European countries – such as Spain and France – are already tightening the rules to curb the use of plastic in the fresh produce category,” says Heleen van Rijn-Wassenaar, Marketing Specialist Cucumber at Rijk Zwaan. “We are the market leader in cucumber seeds, and one solution to the packaging issue is to breed cucumber varieties with a longer shelf life. However, we realised that additional measures would be necessary for snack cucumbers in order to preserve their shelf life in the value chain.
“We knew that Liquidseal had already developed a coating for long cucumbers, so we reached out to them to discuss a similar solution for snack cucumbers. This resulted in the development of an edible coating for snack cucumbers, which represents a major step towards a more sustainable future. It enables us to offer our partners a solution to the rising consumer demand for less plastic packaging. They can now stop using plastic packaging for snack cucumbers without compromising on shelf life.”
“Switching from plastic packaging to the edible coating is also an interesting option for growers, since all they require is a simple spray machine on their premises and the costs are comparable to packaging,” adds Ernst van den Berg, International Sales Manager at Liquidseal. “Edible coatings are not yet permitted for use on vegetables under European legislation, but the coating is allowed in the US and some other markets.”
Photo source: Rijk Zwaan