A new fruit packaging system could extend the shelf life of fruit by as much as six days.

Sheets, pads and labels impregnated with the new 'e+' technology stop fruit from spoiling by absorbing ethylene given off by ripening fruit but unlike current packaging systems still allow the fruit to ripen naturally once it has been removed from the packaging. The technology's creators also believe the product could eventually be used in consumers' fruit bowls and fridges.

The system was developed by American company Johnson Matthey in partnership with Food Freshness Technology, who, together with other partners, invested £10m in the new system. It was significantly more effective than anything used in the industry before, claimed FFT director Simon Lee.

Commercial trials with the mults are ongoing, and FFT has reported favourable results.