Newly Redesigned Paper Produce Box Delivers Delicate Fruit
McLean, Va. – Mangoes, one of the fastest growing produce commodities with U.S. consumers, just got a new, scientifically-designed delivery and shipping box. Watch the journey of this humble corrugated box, as science has evolved it to meet the new generation of supply chain and sustainability needs in the Paper and Packaging Board’s newly released video, “The Innovation of Mango Packaging.”
“It was important to have a stronger, bigger box to move through the retail channels more conveniently,” said Manuel Michel, executive director of The National Mango Board (NMB).
Cal Poly tested the new box design to determine if it would hold up under a variety of conditions. Koushik Saha, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Packaging Department at the Cal Poly Orfalea College of Business led the design team. “We wanted to ensure this package system would survive the mechanical and natural abuse it might face in the distribution system,” Saha noted. “As they travel through the supply chain, one pallet of mangoes can range from 17 to 21 boxes high,” Michel added.
Along with holding up to shipping rigors, sustainability was another important consideration. “With mango trays being imported from overseas, it is a one-way package system. These mango boxes will go straight into the U.S. recycling stream,” Saha explained, so recyclable paper was the clear choice.
Food safety is another high priority for American consumers and, again, paper rose to the top as the material of choice for the new mango box. “We know that paper packaging goes through a process where it is heat treated, so it reduces or eliminates microbial contamination,” Michel said.
“Manufacturers and makers of paper and packaging are innovating to evolve the business solutions they offer,” says Mary Anne Hansan, Paper and Packaging Board president. “We were pleased to showcase the story of how this new design solution, made of material that comes from a renewable source, plays a hero role in delivering food safely and sustainably.”
As the box is rolled out to the mango industry, Michel is excited about the future. “The corrugated box really solves problems,” he noted. “This new box will benefit growers, consumers and everybody in the mango industry.”