Hortapronta – Protect vegetables with EPS
Everyone knows that vegetables are good for you. They are full of vitamins, minerals and lower the risk of cardio-vascular disease. They’re also tasty and keeps the blood sugar in balance. No wonder people love them.
Hortapronta in Atouguia da Baleia, close to Peniche in Portugal, knows this well. For more than 30 years they have grown vegetables in Oeste and Ribatejo.
– Each year we produce more than 35,000 tonnes of cabbage, leeks, potatoes, squash, carrots, broccoli, etc. We sell to distributors both in Portugal and abroad and transport the greens in EPS-boxes from BEWi Plastimar, says Carlos Miguel Marques, administrator at Hortapronta.
Our vegetable boxes provide optimal protection against shocks in transport and insulate against temperature changes. Since EPS absorbs moisture the boxes do not affect the moisture balance in the product.
– With EPS boxes from BEWi Plastimar our vegetables will be just as juicy and fresh when they arrive in at their destination, as when they left Portugal, says Carlos Miguel Marques.
The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, have tested which material is better for transporting broccoli, tomatoes and spinach, EPS or cardboard?
The results show that vegetables stay fresh for days longer when they are transported in EPS.
Broccoli stored in EPS boxes retained its nutritional value, colour and texture for at least 21 days, with almost no reduction in weight. For tomatoes, the test showed that EPS packaging contributed to improved freshness, shelf life and quality. EPS also made it possible to keep fresh spinach at a good quality level for up to 15 days.
When broccoli was stored in cardboard boxes, its quality of deteriorated rapidly. The broccoli florets turned yellow within seven days, the nutritional value decreased, and the weight reduced considerably. The broccoli was no longer suitable for consumption.
In cardboard boxes, vegetables can only be kept cold with ice, which becomes a health risk when it melts, as water that comes into contact with vegetables may cause microbial infections.
So, what is it that makes EPS so good? The answer is easy: EPS is 98 percent air, which is an optimal insulator. No wonder that vegetables from Hortapronta taste so good, even when they have travelled far from Portugal. EPS is also 100 percent recyclable, which makes the veggies taste even better.