BreatheWay® technology – Keeping it Fresh by Design
BreatheWay® membranes are designed to naturally extend the shelf life of virtually any fresh product that would benefit from reduced oxygen levels and managed carbon dioxide levels. Our unique membrane solution manages all gas transfer requirements for the package, leaving more flexibility for the balance of the package to meet shipping or merchandising requirements.
The adjustable selectivity ratio and temperature switch features of the BreatheWay® membrane allow the flexibility to meet the specific modified atmosphere requirements for a wide range of products throughout the total supply chain.
In use since 1995 on Apio Inc's Eat Smart fresh cut vegetable line, this technology was the first to enable iceless broccoli shipments to both domestic and export markets. BreatheWay® packaging solutions can be easily implemented at virtually any packing facility as no chemicals or sophisticated equipment beyond a sealing machine is needed. While there are several technologies currently on the market that are designed to deliver ‘modified atmosphere packaging’ (or MAP) there are some critical differences between these technologies and the BreatheWay® solution
A patented polymer process originally developed at Landec Corporation has been applied to a unique membrane format for the food sector. This technology has the advantage of being easily adaptable to virtually any packaging line and offers scalability from just a couple ounces of product to thousands of pounds.
The management of Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide by this membrane requires no chemicals or gases to be introduced – it is completely natural. Therefore it can be used on organic products to protect their product quality, taste, texture, and nutritional profile.
BreatheWay® technology differs from other MAP solutions in two ways.
BreatheWay® membrane technology is one of the few commercial solutions for fresh produce that incorporates a designed selectivity ratio. This ratio means that the permeability of carbon dioxide across the membrane occurs at a rate up to 3.8 times faster than the rate of oxygen (CO2TR/OTR perm ratio 3.8). Using this feature our technology group can select the correct membrane size and ratio for virtually any produce item in virtually any package configuration and still maintain ideal oxygen and carbon dioxide ratios.
In addition to the correct ratio at ideal temperatures, BreatheWay® membranes are uniquely able to maintain these ratios through challenging distribution chains by providing a temperature switch feature to compensate for moderate fluctuations in temperature through transportation. The temperature switch allows membrane permeability to increase up to 1.8 times greater at 50ºF than at 32ºF thereby compensating for the increase in respiration rate of produce over that same temperature range. The warmer the temperature, the faster a given product's respiration will be. Without the ability for the membrane to switch, the package atmosphere could easily become too high in carbon dioxide or too low in oxygen – both of which may significantly damage the produce.
Our BreatheWay® technology incorporates patented polymer technology using a crystalizable polymer that has been designed to behave as a temperature switch at an identified temperature. While the change is invisible to the naked eye it dramatically shifts the permeability of the membrane – becoming more permeable at high temperatures and less at lower temperatures. Equally important, BreatheWay® membranes are fully reversible – meaning they will move from a crystalline state to amorphous and back as many times as needed. This temperature switch feature is unique in its consideration of variable temperatures often encountered by packages traveling through complicated distribution chains.
Uses & Applications
BreatheWay® has a full-time team (the Apio Technology Group) specifically dedicated to working with this technology. Each package solution is customized for the product, pack size as well as a seamless fit for client's existing equipment. It is our goal to create highly customized, cost effective packaging solutions that will add value to the products via reduced product shrink and extended shelf life.
BreatheWay® technology is uniquely well suited for integration into existing processing systems. We can provide virtually any size bag, case liners, pallet bags and some rigid containers. Most package solutions ordered by our customers are pre-formed to their ideal size, printed (if desired), and simply need to be filled and top-sealed. We have also partnered with larger processors to set up package manufacturing capabilities on site as needed. Because BreatheWay® provides all the needed permeability for the entire package it allows customers to select package design and materials to fit their individual manufacturing or marketing needs.
Storage for these products are the same as for any other packaging materials and all of our products have been approved for safe use with food products both in traditional temperature ranges as well as microwave cooking.
- 10 oz, 1#–5#
- Case Liners
- Pallet Bags
BreatheWay® adds benefit to a wide range of products—Just a few examples:
- Exotics/Specialty Items
- Botanical Applications