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Breakthrough MAP Technology Extends Shelf-life of Mushrooms from Days to Weeks

Fresh produce packaging pioneers StePacPPC have customized their award-winning modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) films to preserve fresh whole and sliced white mushrooms and whole exotic mushrooms, such as oyster, lion’s mane, shiitake, portabella, and more. The lean MAP system fulfills consumer demands for sustainable packaging that slows deterioration and dramatically reduces waste of this highly perishable item.

The appetite for mushrooms has grown rapidly based on their health halo and being a vegan source of meaty umami flavor and texture. Yet mushrooms also have a very short shelf life. Growers and shippers constantly grapple with these challenges, striving to improve mushroom storage capabilities and curb waste.

StePacPPC’s latest advancement in its packaging formats is designed specifically to maintain the freshness of whole and sliced white mushrooms, and whole exotic mushrooms. Despite the increasing demand, the highly perishable nature of mushrooms, combined with the challenges of maintaining their shelf life, has kept them from realizing their full market potential.

“Mushrooms have high metabolic activity and respiration rates which gives them a short shelf life, typically just a few days,” explains Gary Ward, Ph.D., CTO for StePacPPC. “They also generate a lot of moisture during the respiration process, which encourages bacterial decay. On the other hand, they are also prone to dehydration, which causes them to shrivel, and they become discolored due to oxidation. Sliced mushrooms are even more susceptible to a rapid decline in quality.”

The high water-vapor transmission rate of StePacPPC films, coupled with the customized modified atmosphere properties, has proven ideal for preserving the quality of whole and sliced mushrooms, slowing respiration and aging, reducing dehydration, and expelling excess moisture from the packaging.

“In post-harvest lab and field trials, our films have demonstrated abilities to maintain the freshness and wholesome appearance of mushrooms,” asserts Ward. “This effectively stretches their shelf life from just a few days to more than two weeks, generating meaningful reductions in food waste.”

StePacPPC will be showcasing at the upcoming Fruit Logistica in Berlin, February 7- 9, hall 5.2, booth #C22.