In the produce sector, assuring freshness and safety has long been a leading concern of processors, distributors, and brands. Conventional mitigation strategies focus on wash interventions and food safety plans to mitigate the risk of foodborne illness outbreaks. Outbreaks related to virus contamination of berries are one of the high-profile problems. It has become so pervasive that, in 2019, the FDA announced it would focus on testing frozen berries for several commonly communicated viruses. Two problematic viruses were at the forefront: human norovirus (HNV) and hepatitis A (HAV).

The challenge with produce has been developing a safe, simple means of delivering ClO2 in a way that prevents virus growth while protecting organoleptic properties. Aptar CSP Technologies has made advancements in active material science that make it possible to address those challenges.

A novel antimicrobial delivery system has been developed to deliver a controlled release of ClO2 inside the headspace of sealed produce packages. This solution leverages a proprietary 3-Phase Activ-Polymer platform technology to protect against virus contamination in a manner that is safe, effective, and without an organoleptic effect.