Packaging of the future: innovations in packaging design and cold chain logistical management

A. Ambaw, M. Mukama, T. Fadiji, U.L. Opara
Production of fruits and vegetables is spread out in all regions of the world and seasons. There is a demand and a need to diversify and develop postharvest packaging, storage, transport, marketing, and processing logistics to extend the shelf life of produce beyond their growing seasons and regions. The design and optimisation of packaging in the fresh fruit supply chain entail many requirements: shelf life extension; maintenance of natural colour, texture, flavour, and nutrients; control of moisture loss; restriction of disease, infections, and infestation; cushioning against injury during handling and shipping. Packaging design influences the entire supply chain, playing a crucial role in controlling distribution, damage, and return costs. Efficient packaging solutions should keep produce quality while lowering packaging costs. In a conventional fresh fruit packaging development process, a physical prototype is an essential part of the package designing process, and they are created for various reasons. Packaging prototypes can check the structural integrity or ensure that the design meets the cold chain needs. Such prototypes also help to choose the best one from multiple alternatives. However, making a physical prototype can be difficult. They add to lead times significantly and can also be quite expensive. Hence, exploring new packaging ideas with physical prototypes is challenging. The virtual prototyping (VP) technique can decrease the number of physical prototypes. One of the limitations of today’s VP technique is the lack of a seamless method for data exchange between various computer modelling platforms.
Ambaw, A., Mukama, M., Fadiji, T. and Opara, U.L. (2022). Packaging of the future: innovations in packaging design and cold chain logistical management. Acta Hortic. 1349, 389-398
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2022.1349.53
postharvest, container logistics, space usage, volume usage, computational method, packaging technology

Acta Horticulturae