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Open AccessArticle

A Holistic Packaging Efficiency Evaluation Method for Loss Prevention in Fresh Vegetable Cold Chain

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College of Engineering, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100083, China
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National Engineering and Technology Research Centre for Preservation of Agricultural Products, Key Laboratory of Storage of Agricultural Products, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Tianjin 300384, China
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The Doctoral School, “Dunărea de Jos” University of Galati, Domnească Street, 47, RO-800008 Galati, Romania
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Beijing Laboratory of Food Quality and Safety, Beijing 100083, China
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(14), 3874; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11143874
Received: 23 May 2019 / Revised: 26 June 2019 / Accepted: 2 July 2019 / Published: 16 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
With the continuous push for improving packaging efficiency of current packaging practices to prevent losses in a real cold chain, a holistic evaluation method with improved indicators and a conceptual assessment framework to improve packaging efficiency continuously in a fresh vegetable cold chain was proposed. Based on two fresh leafy vegetables with typical packaging practices in a real cold chain in China, the evaluation method was performed and tested from a macro perspective, and then the packaging efficiency constitution with loss prevention perspective was better visualized. The results show that the method can be used for improving the performance of specific packaging efficiency in the fresh vegetable cold chain and improving the suggestions’ sustainability orientation, and systematically summarize their impacts on packaging efficiency; specifically as follows: (1) Since the correlation between the state of fresh vegetables and the environmental stress in the package, the performance of the micro-environment parameters should be given priority for packaging efficiency improvement in loss prevention. (2) Although the use of the packaging materials in current practices was relatively better, it still can improve in food safety and packaging sustainability of the packaging practices through the selection of packaging materials with better sustainability characteristics. (3) Via the visualization of targeted packaging efficiency in cold chain, the fluctuation of loss rates in the cold chain process are well perceived, and there are still room can be performed continuously to realize more efficient packaging for better loss prevention. (4) The method has drawbacks that the optimization of the weights to the given indicators and the indicators based on nutrition and quality of fresh produce was not considered in current research, and it should be strengthened in future research. (5) It is necessary that the perception of differences in targeted packaging efficiency and the consciousness to improve specific packaging efficiency in vegetable cold chain for sustainability. View Full-Text
Keywords: fresh vegetables; cold chain; efficient packaging practice; loss prevention; sustainability; packaging efficiency evaluation fresh vegetables; cold chain; efficient packaging practice; loss prevention; sustainability; packaging efficiency evaluation
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Wang, J.; Zhu, Z.; Moga, L.M.; Hu, J.; Zhang, X. A Holistic Packaging Efficiency Evaluation Method for Loss Prevention in Fresh Vegetable Cold Chain. Sustainability 2019, 11, 3874.

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