Project – Packaging of Fresh Fruit and Vegetables

Søren Rahbek Østergaard

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Project – Packaging of Fresh Fruit and Vegetables

Product suitability for packaging of fresh fruit and vegetables

Project start September 2008. Completion March 2013.

The project is completed.

Danish fruit and vegetables today are supplied by a skilful and experienced trade that naturally focuses upon cultivation and stability of fresh supplies to the Danish market. In the last few years both supermarkets and consumers have come to expect a more varied and processed product, which is typically delicate and of shorter life span. Packaging has therefore, become a focal point within this field.   

Supermarkets also demand a higher grade, more professional package to improve convenience, product identity and longevity of product. At present the greengrocer trade either packs their wares after “pack and pray” or “trial and error” principles. This in turn costs the distribution chains approx. 2.5 billion DKK per year, however it is more likely that this sum is closer to 3.5 – 4 billion DKK  On top of this is the cost of unnecessary transportation of products, resulting in product discards which in turn overburdens refuse and environmental systems. 

The overall objective of the innovations consortium is to develop new methods and systems for packaging of fresh fruit and vegetables, which make it possible to develop processed foods of better quality, higher growth value and less wastage cost in the distribution chain. The actual challenge is therefore, to develop new packing methods and systems from a scientific point of view and to put these new methods and techniques into practice within the given trade.

The consortium is made up of various firms that produce, process and pack fruit and vegetables, as well as a number of firms, all involved in produce packaging, packing machines, accessories and measuring equipment. Aarhus University, together with The Danish Technological Institute, are researching new methods of measuring and packing produce for the needs of branch related firms.The Technological Institute will implement these methods within these firms whilst developing new areas of service within the advanced technology group (GTS).


  • Danish Agency for Science Technology and Innovation
  • The Danish Technological Institute
  • Aarhus University - Institute of food quality
  • Årstiderne
  • GASA Odense Fruit and vegetables
  • Ørskov Fruit
  • ScanStore
  • Multivac
  • CFS
  • NNZ
  • Linde Group
  • PBI-Dansensor
  • Videometer
  • Also a number of smaller fruit and vegetable producers


  • Research into fruit and vegetables quality and shelf life
  • Development of new packing method (eMAP)
  • Business Projects in co-operation with greengrocers and packaging suppliers 
  • Theme days and conferences