Volm Companies' Matt Alexander Talks Light-Blocker Half-N-Half® Bags
ANTIGO, WI - One of the many goals I have seen across the board in fresh produce, is the mission to find better ways to extend shelf-life through innovation. When it comes to the potato category, Volm Companies has retailers covered with its Light-Blocker Half-N-Half® Bags.
Matt Alexander, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, joined me to discuss the highlights of Volm’s technology and what recent studies can share about the packaging product.
In an effort to gather even more data and benefits of the product, Volm recently engaged the Michigan State University School of Packaging with the objective of researching the best bag to prolong potato shelf-life during retail storage.
“We have made a real impact at retail and with the end-consumer with our Light-Blocker Half-N-Half bags which MSU researchers found can extend shelf-life by 12 to 17 days over traditional poly and paper bags for Russet potatoes on the measurement of weight loss,” Matt shared with me, adding that potatoes lose weight when exposed to light because their temperature rises. “When measured by greening, the shelf-life extension was unlimited with the Light Blocker Half-N-Half bags versus traditional poly and paper bags for Yellow, Red, and Russet potato varieties.”
The Half-N-Half bags were analyzed and evaluated by the team, measuring thickness and light transmission, while shelf-life was measured by monitoring physio-chemical changes in the potatoes, Matt noted. Yellow, Red, and Russet potato varieties were stored over a period of several weeks (four or six depending on the bag type) under controlled conditions of 22.5° C and 40% relative humidity with exposure to fluorescent light.”
Light Blocker Half-N-Half bags were also found to block greater than 99.5% of all visible and ultraviolet light–an achievement that has gathered positive feedback from consumers and customers alike. While potatoes thrive more in the dark–which slows greening, decreases potato weight loss, slows sprouting, and keeps tubers firm–consumers buying behaviors have evolved and shoppers want to see the products they are purchasing. Volm’s light-blocking Half-N-Half bag addresses that as a lightweight, mesh back packaging design that showcases potatoes for the consumer and allows retailers to merchandise front-and-center in potato displays.
“Though light-blocking film packaging is available from multiple manufacturers, we found that no formal research had been done on how well it actually works. And this was a project we felt needed to be researched,” Matt said.
Let there be light? Not for this packaging.