Q. What is the Thinking-Cooking Shelf-Life Bag made of?
A. The bag is a natural biopolymer, so is 100% natural, 100% sustainable and 100% compostable.
Q. Can I re-use the bags?
A. Yes, there's nothing to stop you using the bags more than once.
Q. Can I put prepared vegetables in the bag, will they still work?
A. Yes, you can put cut vegetables in the bag and you will still get shelf-life extension.
Q. What kind of shelf-life extension can I expect to get from using the bags?
A. It depends very much on what you put in the bag, and how you store it. We've had some incredible results... including 8 days extra for tomatoes, more than two weeks for green beans, 14 days for strawberries, one week extra for potatoes and an extra week for cucumbers. We've also had very positive results with broccoli, mushrooms, onions and many other vegetables. We can't - and won't - make any promises, as there's too many factors at play. But the bags will make a significant difference...
Q. Will I get condensation in the bag?
A. No, the bag is breathable and so you won't get condensation.
Q. Okay, this all sounds too good to be true? How does it work?
A. Right, time for a little science. Fruit and vegetables ‘respire’. This means that they absorb oxygen (O2) and release carbon dioxide (CO2). As a result, the O2 concentration in the pack tends to reduce and the CO2 level to increase. Low oxygen can cause the growth of some nasty bacteria which degrade the food very quickly (and can be dangerous in some cases). Excess CO2 can increase the acidity of the food which affects the taste and texture of the food. As such, it is important to allow O2 and CO2 to permeate in and out of the pack to maintain a balance. The ideal atmosphere is about 15% CO2 and 15% O2 although this is difficult to achieve in most cases. Our Shelf-Life Bags are made from a new, unique film which has been developed to have the optimum balance between humidity control and O2 and CO2 permeability. It does not rely on holes, the permeability is controlled by the property of the film itself. Due to the unique structure of the film material, the permeability to humidity, O2 and CO2 is different in each case. This has allowed us to balance the permeability of each component to achieve the optimum result. Additionally and critically, the permeability is temperature dependant so that the optimum atmosphere is maintained inside the pack even if the storage temperature is variable.
Q. That was a little too scientific for me. Can you explain?
A. Right. Fruit and vegetables take in oxygen and give out carbon dioxide. They do this when they are growing, and they continue to do this after they have been picked. But they need the right amount - and the right amount will vary, depending on the type of produce or the conditions stored in. In effect this material self-regulates the flow... it breathes for the contents acting like a second skin, taking in and releasing exactly the right amount to maintain the perfect conditions. It will automatically adjust to external conditions, and will give the produce the maximum possible shelf-life.
Q. So I just pop the produce in the bag and close it?
A. Yes, just fold over the bag, use a tie or tie a loose knot. That's it, the bag will work.