Apple Fresh produce packaging app
Pre-sizing and Packing – Apple
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There are two main types of packing systems, Commit to Pack (AKA direct pack) and Presizing. For the Commit to Pack system, the warehouse contracts with the grower that they will pack their fruit at the time that the bins are first emptied. A disadvantage of this system is that if the packed fruit is not sold at that time, it will be returned to storage and it may have to be unpacked and sold for processing if there is no order placed for that fruit. For the Presizing system, once fruit are sorted for various sizes, they are returned to bins and placed back into storage until there is a need for that fruit. Presized fruit bins are often made up of pooled grower lots. This may require extra record keeping to maintain the food safety traceability of each grower lot within the pool. Note that apples are generally less sensitive to packing injury than pears (noted below) and can withstand the extra pre-sizing process.
Apples from field bins are dumped into the water tank: the first step in the packing and sorting process.
Granny Smith apples floating from the dump tack to the conveyors. (W.E. Jones-WSU)
Regardless of the packing system, the basic steps are the same. First, apples are brought out of regular or Controlled Atmosphere (CA) storage when it is time to pack or presize. If the facility uses hydro handling, bins of apples are immersed into a water dunk tank where fruit float out to a conveyor belt. If the facility uses dry loading, full bins are tipped directly onto the conveyor belt. The apples are then moved to the sorting lines, where trained personnel remove and discard the decayed (if they haven’t already been removed), defective, damaged, and undersized fruit. These are referred to as culls. Insect stings, decay, and severe sunburn are all considered culls (learn more). Very small fruit are separated out for disposal or possibly for processing. Apples then proceed to cleaning (soaking in water containing food-grade detergents and disinfectants), rinsing with water and air-drying.
Packing lines vary in the types and amounts of chemicals used in the packing process (learn more). Certain varieties are sprayed with food grade wax to help prevent moisture loss, slow down respiration in storage, and to increase shine. Organic apples are not waxed and undergo a slightly different process (learn more here and here). Fruit is then graded and sized by hand or by using automated optical technology. There are national and state standards for apple grades. Grades consist of appearance, color, size, weight, and internal quality. Some varieties may have various shades of color, all with several grades and sizes. Computer controlled automated sorters are used by many facilities to analyze apple size, color and even internal quality (learn more). After sorting and grading fruit for the Presizing system they are returned to bins labeled specifically for their grade and size then placed back into cold storage until needed to fill an order. Commit to pack fruit proceed directly to the packing area.
Fruit to be packed are sent via conveyor belts to the packing area. Along the way, individual fruit are labeled by machine. The fruit are then placed in trays or bags either by hand or by a packing robot then loaded into boxes. Apples are commonly boxed by size. For example, seventy-two size 72 apples fit in a 42-pound carton. Full containers are labeled with information about variety, size, grade, grower lot number and facility for food safety and traceability. Containers are weighed and placed on pallets and then moved to the shipping area for loading or returned to cold storage if not being shipped right away.
Apple Fresh produce packaging app
APPLE, MALUS DOMESTICA / ROSACEAE
Apples are packaged in all types of packages to reach the consumer. Meshes with handles that make the product very easy to carry, with a plastic string where all the characteristics of the produce are explained. Plastic bags are one of the most economic and common ways to take apples home. These packages usually contain more than a kilogram; for smaller amounts, they use cardboard, plastic or expanded polystyrene trays - the common white trays, but that may also be presented in other colours -, wrapped in stretchable plastic film or packaged horizontally (flow-pack).
In these small packages it is quite usual to mix different varieties or even various types of fruit (apples with bananas and citruses, for example), to take care of the needs of a small family, giving an option to diversity.
When apples are not pre-packaged, the point of sale receives apples in packages of 7 to 20 kg; in the section on " Availability’ there is a table with several examples.
Fresh apples are also part of fruit salads that are sold already prepared; in the United States apple pieces are marketed in small bags for children to take to school or, in general, consumed as a snack. These pieces can even be sold with chocolate sauce, raspberry, etc.
Apple Fresh produce packaging app
Apples help to keep the doctor away (when packaged the right way)
Apples are one of the most available and popular fruits out there. They are a delicious fall-harvest treat that can last basically all year when stored correctly. Some apples are great for pie, some are great for eating, and some are both! Most grocery stores carry a few varieties, but there are so many options out there you are sure to find one you like.
Farms have a few sales avenues for apples: There are pick-your-own apple farms, ready-picked apples, and farms can also wholesale their apples. Pick-your-owns apple farms will know they need that "instagram shot", so you want the packaging to look on point. Ready picked often go in baskets or bags. Wholesaling apples can be bags, baskets, or loose fruit on the shelf - for each we have the packaging to set you up right.
Below are a few of the packaging options we suggest for fresh apples.
Paper Apple Bag
These strong bags stand up to the weight and moisture of apples. Available in many sizes
Poly Apple Bag
Inexpensive and easy to fill bags, the drawstring is a popular choice to easily tie up a full bag of apples
3L Cardboard Basket
This basket portrays "farm fresh apples", a great packaging alternative to bags. Often the 3 or 4 Litre size
Apple trays to prevent bruising when shipping to grocery stores. Sizes specific to apple size
Bulk Apple Box
Bulk size apple boxes are easy to fill and ship large quantities to your hungry customers
wooden bushel for produce
Wooden bushels are a gorgeous display for fresh apples, also available in other sizes!
Apple Fresh produce packaging app
Five Key Produce Packaging Features for National Apple Month
HomeShipping Boxes & Packaging Design Blog from Custom Boxes Now Five Key Produce Packaging Features for National Apple Month
Fresh fruits and vegetables require special handling during the shipping process. These delicate items can easily be bruised or damaged. Additionally, vegetables and fruits need the right packaging to protect them against environmental factors that could increase the risk of spoilage en route to their destinations. Because October is National Apple Month, the packaging experts at Custom Boxes Now have put together a list of the five most important elements to consider when packing these fruits for delivery to retail outlets or consumers.
Green-Friendly Packaging Options
Cardboard boxes are among the most popular choices for shipping apples thanks in part to the ease of recycling these materials. Cardboard is also biodegradable, making it a preferred choice among environmentally conscious firms. For many farmers and distributors, it only makes sense to pack all-natural apples in an all-natural packaging material like cardboard. By taking steps to appeal to the green-friendly demographic with biodegradable packaging, your company can improve its position in the competitive marketplace.
Corrugated cardboard is often chosen when constructing custom boxes for products; its durability and resistance to crushing makes it an ideal choice for protecting apples on the way to market. Depending on the thickness chosen, the corrugated cardboard walls of the box can also provide added protection against bruising during the shipping process.
A Variety of Sizes and Shapes
At Custom Boxes Now, we specialize in creating custom boxes for products of all types to include fresh produce. Our boxes can be configured to hold just a few apples for consumer deliveries or sized to hold apples in bulk for retail distribution shipments. By varying the size and shape of packaging, apple farmers can distinguish their products from other in the marketplace while ensuring that fruit stays fresh and pristine all the way to the consumer.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires that all food packaging include UPC codes to allow shipments to be traced. The variety, grade and size of the apples must be marked on the primary container. The grower or shipper’s name must also be included. When all these regulatory requirements have been satisfied, the remainder of the box is an ideal canvas for your company’s marketing message. Full color graphics and corporate logos can set your apple products apart from the everyday and can make the most positive impression on consumers and distributors alike. Taking advantage of this opportunity to enhance your visibility can increase your sales and visibility among your target demographics.
Extended Shelf Life
Combining plastic containers with exterior boxes can sometimes extend shelf life for apples and other fruits. This can also provide added options for marketing apples directly to consumers in prepackaged amounts, ensuring the most effective presentation and marketing for these fruits in the supermarket environment.
The right packaging solutions can enhance the appeal of apples and other fruits and can ensure that they arrive safely at their retail destinations. By working with the experts at Custom Boxes Now, you can ensure that your products are well protected during National Apple Month and all through the year.