‘Micro-organisms survive longer on the plastic surface of a packaging crate compared with the surface of a corrugated board tray alternative’ - suggests a recent research study*. Indications from this research are that corrugated board trays could keep fruit fresh for up to three days longer than when transported in a returnable plastic crate. These research findings help re-enforce the benefits of using fresh fibre linerboards as part of the corrugated packaging construction.
The humble corrugated box – too often taken for granted!
Perhaps it is fair to say that we often take for granted the tough and variable conditions corrugated boxes need to cope with during the logistics chain from grower to retailer.
The strength of the box is key to ensuring that the fruit or vegetables arrive in the best possible condition. A strong high-quality linerboard therefore should be seen as an integral part of the corrugated box construction, helping to create the best possible levels of box strength and rigidity.
Not to be underestimated is the threat to both the packaging and its contents from moisture. Moisture can be created by the contents themselves, or simply as a result of moving between different climate zones. A high-performance white-top kraftliner is designed to tolerate changes in moisture levels and help maintain the box strength and shape, whilst at the same time allowing the whole package to ‘breathe’.
The purity of the linerboard is also a key aspect as many fruits and vegetables are packed in direct contact with the packaging. This level of purity can only really be guaranteed through the use of fresh fibres.
Much more than just a way to transfer products from A to B
Increasingly retailers are demanding more from packaging and an example of this is the requirement for a traditional transit box now to work as retail ready display packaging – the aim being to reduce handling times and packaging waste. Through the use of high quality linerboards, improved printing and conversion techniques the shelf appeal of a corrugated box can be greatly enhanced.
And of course another important feature of corrugated boxes is that they are easy to recycle and can be flat packed after use, making collection and transport much easier and cheaper to do.
*Study carried out by University of Bologna’s Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences in 2016