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Leading Retailer’s Innovative Move to Reduce the Loss of Apples and Vegetables under High Price Rises

The Chosun Daily
March 15 2024

As the price of fresh food has soared, with the price of apples hitting an all-time high, distributors are coming up with various ways to keep fruits and vegetables fresh for as long as possible. This is to prevent as much as possible the discarding of expensive fresh food after its expiration date.

Since October 2022, Lotte Mart has been installing ‘PURESPACE’, a machine that removes ethylene gas from the air, in vegetable and fruit storage warehouses such as Seoul Junggye Branch, Seocho Branch, and Zetaplex Seoul Station Branch. Ethylene gas is released when fruits and vegetables respire, causing the fruits to ripen and the leaves of the vegetables to wilt. Purespace absorbs air, filters out ethylene gas, and returns only fresh air to the storage warehouse. Lotte Mart said, “As a result of introducing this machine, the storage period for fruits and vegetables was increased from 3 days to 7 days.”

New packaging technologies are also being developed. Starting this year, Homeplus has applied ‘micro perforation’ packaging to chives and chives, which increases breathability by creating tiny holes in the packaging. By doing this, you can delay as much as possible the loss of product freshness caused by moisture building up inside the packaging. Starting this year, vegetables with delicate leaves, such as Chwinamul, Chamnamul, and Sedum, will be packaged with OPP anti-fog film treated with UV absorbers and anti-fog coating. This is to prevent leaves from turning yellow due to ultraviolet rays or from becoming soft due to moisture.

Since last year, E-Mart has been selling herbs with roots such as basil and dill under the name ‘Herbs with Living Roots.’ Having roots can prevent the product from wilting while it is on display at the store, and watering the roots after customers take them home will help keep them fresh again.

Sales of containers that allow consumers to store vegetables and fruits for a long time are also increasing. According to e-commerce company Gmarket, sales of containers specifically for storing vegetables, which can store fresh food by removing the air inside the container, have increased by about 35% so far this year compared to the same period last year.