Smart packaging solutions

Type. Direct funding

Funding. This project is funded by the Coop Sustainability Fund.

Duration. 3 years (2019-2022). 

Collaborations. Empa & Coop

Contact. Thijs Defraeye (principal investigator).

Staff. Seraina Schudel (project collaborator)

Project background (background info can be found in Taten Statt Worte)

Optimising cold chains of fruits and vegetables across all unit operations is of key importance to maintain fresh food quality and to reduce food losses. Temperature and the gas composition in the air are affecting decay and food quality, so need to be controlled during precooling, refrigerated transport and cold storage. By optimizing these environmental parameters, shelf life can be maximised, and the need for protective packaging is reduced. Currently extensive monitoring is performed of the environmental conditions in food supply chains (air temperature and humidity). The key objective is to use these monitored data to improve commercial cold chains and, in the end, to reduce the plastic packaging wherever possible. This project is performed in collaboration with the Swiss retailer Coop.



Shrivastava, C., Crenna, E., Schudel, S., Shoji, K., Onwude, D., Hischier, R., & Defraeye, T. (2021, July 30). To wrap or to not wrap cucumbers?. DOI

Shoji, K., Schudel, S., Onwude, D., Shrivastava, C., & Defraeye, T. (2022). Mapping the postharvest life of imported fruits from packhouse to retail stores using physics-based digital twins. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 176, 105914.DOI.

Shoji, K., Schudel, S., Shrivastava, C., Onwude, D., and Defraeye, T., (2022). Optimizing the postharvest supply chain of imported fresh produce with physics-based digital twins. Journal of Food Engineering, p.111077. DOI

Schudel, S., Shrivastava, C., Rebeaud, S. G., Karafka, L., Shoji, K., Onwude, D., Defraeye, T. Combining experiments and mechanistic modeling to compare ventilated packaging types for strawberries from farm to retailer. engrXiv. DOI

Schudel S., Shrivastava C., Onwude D., Defraeye T. (2022), Solution roadmap to reduce food loss along your postharvest supply chain from farm to retail, preprint - submitted.

Funding agency:



Scientific project collaborator

Seraina Schudel


Research assistant:

Kanaha Shoji


Daniel Onwude

PhD student

Chandrima Shrivastava