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PEAKfresh USA provides ecofriendly packaging for berries

By
Keith Loria

PEAKfresh USA manufactures modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) in the form of pallet covers, box liners and home use bags.

“Our largest sector is the produce industry — with berry growers and shippers being a very large percentage of our clients,” said Greg Ganzerla, president and CEO of the Lake Forest, CA-based company. “Our goal is to offer a MAP solution to the berry industry that is effective, affordable and easy to use.”

Not only does PEAKfresh provide longer shelf life, but it helps lower labor and energy costs.

“We take pride in offering the best unsealed pallet covers in the produce industry for shelf life,” Ganzerla said. “They are easy to use and can be applied by a single person. A great advantage of our pallet covers is that when a skid arrives at the warehouse or distribution center, it can be uncovered, inspected or partially unloaded, then easily re-covered to protect the rest of the load until it is needed.”

PEAKfresh is a shelf extension solution. Using proprietary mineral technology embedded in the film, PEAKfresh protects fruit, vegetables and flowers from decay and dehydration during long shipping and storage periods by removing damaging gases.

“Additionally, PEAKfresh technology has an anti-fog treatment that removes condensation stopping the growth of mold and bacteria while keeping humidity levels high,” Ganzerla said. “This is especially important for surviving long hours in refrigeration and if breaks in the cold chain occur during transport.”

He added that when used properly, PEAKfresh can extend the freshness of the produce two to three times normal shelf life.

“The most important factor is to precool the produce to the temperature at which it will be stored or transported,” Ganzerla said. “We work with clients to ensure they are packing, storing and shipping their berries using optimal methods and temperatures so that they don’t experience rejections. This also ensures that the produce being received and sold at the retail level is in the best condition possible. Ultimately, this translates to a happy consumer who will continue to purchase their produce from that retailer.”

PEAKfresh is suitable for all types of berries. To accommodate the various packing standards, the company offers three stock sizes: 73-, 79- and 88-inch high pallets.

“Orders received by 2 p.m., can typically be processed and shipped out that same day,” Ganzerla said. “Additionally, we offer vented pallet covers, which address mixed loads, temperature changes and other factors in storage and transit. And to further enhance our clients’ marketing efforts, we offer custom branding on our products with a minimum order quantity at no additional cost except plates for artwork.”

Eco-conscious packaging has become an important focus in the produce industry. So, PEAKfresh USA has addressed this issue by working to ensure that the products it creates are the best possible version they can be.

“All PEAKfresh USA pallet covers and bags are Reusable, Recyclable (#4), BPA-free and OMRI Listed for Organic Use,” Ganzerla said. “We have taken this one step further with an additive that enhances landfill biodegradation. This additive is available upon request and allows our products to degrade at a significantly quicker rate if they end up in biologically active landfills. Current testing shows an 18.1 percent degradation in 300 days while regular LDPE has not even begun degrading.”

Because of limited space in landfills, the company has also invested in a technology that enhances biodegradation of the film in biologically active landfills per ASTM D5511 standards.

“Now, we are pleased to offer the availability of modified atmosphere packaging that not only recycles but can also degrade at a significant rate while meeting OMRI standards for organic use,” Ganzerla said. “We are very excited about this development and look forward to implementing it with our clients.”

Keith Loria

Keith Loria

About Keith Loria  |  email

A graduate of the University of Miami, Keith Loria is a D.C.-based award-winning journalist who has been writing for major publications for close to 20 years on topics as diverse as real estate, food and sports. He started his career with the Associated Press and has held high editorial positions at magazines aimed at healthcare, sports and technology. When not busy writing, he can be found enjoying time with his wife, Patricia, and two daughters, Jordan and Cassidy.

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