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Innovative ZEO® Corrugated Box – The Best Bodyguard for Fruits


CJCHT News Release – March 8th, 2016

by Janet Lin, Taiwan News & Market Media Channel

(English Copy by Courtesy of Ali Ke and Raymond Wang)

Sustainability Recognition by Mainstream Media in Taiwan

Innovative ZEO® Corrugated Box – The Best Bodyguard for Fruits*

(*and also applicable to shoes, fabrics and many more…)

螢幕擷取畫面 (915)

People who usually buy fresh produce or farmers’ products via on-line shopping might encounter this problem: fragile cartons causing damages in transportation. Shoppers found the cartons come with the farmers’ products get damp easily, and it’s too wasteful to throw them away per one time usage, but too vulnerable to reuse. CJCHT’s Green/Sustainability dept., TMIT/ NANOZEO, has developed the world’s first ready-to-use and compatible with existing-process technology “ZEO®” to provide anti-humidity and freshness preservation two-in-one at the same time with no toxic agents involved. This novel technology replaces glue’s starch with natural stone powder (ZEO® powder), and mixes it with glue to strengthen the structure and to enhance water resistance while providing freshness preservation through its porous structure.

The similarities of ZEO® reinforced carton structures can be found within traditional clay cottages that were later improved and replaced by use of bricks to build stronger houses, and further being included steel or rebar framework to create light weighted structure mansions. This new technology not only allows damp cartons turn into stronger cartons without extra cost, but also absorb Ethylene, odor or moisture to prevent fruit from ripening. For instance, it has been tested and proven that peach preservation time usually is three days, and ZEO® technology can extend the preservation time to five days. This is a big advantage for fresh produce or farmers’ products to be transported in Taiwan or elsewhere in the world.


▲ZEO® gives packaging the ability to absorb ethylene, odor or moisture in order to minimize food spoilage. (Photo by Janet Lin)

The devil is in the details. What makes cartons durable by ZEO® is not limited to the paper quality/weitht per se as commonly regarded as the ultimate spec for paper boxes. There is other reason hidden in small improvements where people usually don’t see. It is the glue between papers that matters. If the glue does not have enough adhesive force, especially under damp, the carton will fall apart easily in wet conditions. As a result, the cartons could hardly be reused after fresh produce or shipping moisture involved. And the farmers’ products might be easily smashed under wet conditions during transportation.

The technology of ZEO® was based on the theory that described below. NANOZEO.COM’s marketing applications manager Ali Ke explained that this technology is focused on refined content of glue to strengthen the paper involved. It uses unique technology to modify small stone particles (i.e. ZEO material) and then mixes it with glue by replacing starch that to be applied on the fluted cardboard. The glue line reinforced by ZEO® will become tougher and stiffer like steels in supporting buildings. It can be understood just like turning clay cottage into brick houses, and further reinforced by steels: the ZEO® glue is acting like the cement and further becomes steel when dried and bonded.


Paper cartons using ZEO technology can be tested via water bathing tests: to put paper cartons samples of 5cm * 5cm under 25 Celsius of water for 24 hours without falling apart. Once passed, it shows water resistant of glue lines and makes paper cartons water resistant in bonding. The core material in glue is called “ZEO” because of its tiny natural stone material with nano-sized holes inside. ZEO has many nano holes that absorb odor, moisture and ethylene gases to achieve the effect of damp-proof and deodorant for the structure of paper cartons.

Many people confused this bonding reinforced technology to “stone paper”, but Ali Ke said it’s different. Stone paper uses stone powder and plastics to replace traditional paper. However, ZEO refers to the glue technology that would focus on bonding and structural enhancement. These two technologies are totally different. By using ZEO stone powder enhancing technology, cartons keep 90 percent of the original materials unchanged and can become even stronger. Therefore, cartons by ZEO® technology would require less paper but keep the same or better capacity, reducing the number of trees used in paper pulp of the cartons.

Absorbing ethylene and moisture can extend the preservation period of fruit. This feature of ZEO technology was originally used in shoes boxes. NANOZEO is a branch office dedicated to sustainability for CJCHT Group. CJCHT is serving many branded customers as one of the major shoes suppliers. It has also been rewarded as best suppliers for several years for well-known supply chains like WalMart. In 2007, Wal-Mart required its suppliers to initiate environmentally sustainable plans for benchmarking. And this was how NANOZEO established per that special urge. NANOZEO initially developed the material ZEO to make shoe soles in order to reduce the shoe weight and to remove unnecessary odor. Later, NANOZEO used the technology in its shoe box as well to absorb the smell of shoes and to reduce paper. It is an unexpected side-result to extend the fruit preservation time.

Many fruits such as banana, papaya, and mango when it is going to ripen and become rotted, it releases ethylene. If there is too much ethylene released in transportation, fruits could be likely to be rotten when delivered to customer. In order to prevent this in transportation, it is necessary to absorb ethylene and moisture in cartons to prevent fruits ripening. If this technology can be applied in farmers’ products during transportation, it can greatly increase the competiveness of Taiwanese fruits.

Although the ethylene and moisture would be physically absorbed by the cartons, it can be easily released by putting them under the sun for half day. The absorbed gas or moisture will be released from the cartons by itself after exposure to sun or heat. Ali Ke said. “Some of the peach farmers are already using this new ZEO® cartons to extend the preservation period from 3 to 5 days”.


▲NANOZEO’s marketing applications manager Ali Ke (Photo by Janet Lin)

HOWSFOOD Co., a social enterprise that encourages people to purchase more farmers’ products directly and works hard to establish vegetable communities, is also one of the customers of NANOZEO in Taiwan. Before Chinese New Year in 2016, the first fruit gift sets that used ZEO cartons were shipped. The owner of HOWSFOOD Co., Sheng-yu Hsieh said. “In the beginning, I doubted the carton for its light and thin structure to be used, but it turns out to be much stronger than some conventional thick cartons. Also, the cost is similar to normal cartons. In the future, I am planning to use it in other shipping cartons and encourage more farmers to use it as well.”

As a matter of facts, this technology has been developed for some time and secured several patents and trademarks protection Taiwan, China and USA in 2009, 2010 and 2011. It is also shipped and used in other countries such as China and India. However, the fruit preservation market in Taiwan for ZEO® just started in these two years, because of limited worldwide production exposure of Taiwan. In addition, many carton companies in Taiwan have their own matured production and recycle systems; therefore, it is difficult to convince them to adopt new technology (without being pushed from their customers).

Currently, there are limited carton companies using the ZEO technology in Taiwan; however, in China, there are more than 10 large corrugation companies using it. The reason that NANOZEO starts to focus more on Taiwanese market is because the CEO Raymond Wang saw many failure cases by Taiwanese famers who tried to ship their fresh produces to China. It was mainly resulted by the over-weight and loose structure under damp by the fruit cartons, and significantly increased cost and damage rate of fresh produce during transportation. He contemplated that if Taiwanese farmers could use lighter and stronger ZEO® cartons, they would be able to ship more products than before and can make more profit. And Taiwan can be a good show case to the world for CSA (community support agriculture) related supply chain with “organic” useable packaging in place by ZEO.

Unlike other young start-up companies, NANOZEO hesitates to sell its technology unless good applications to be verified and confirmed. Sometimes they even rejected some potential businesses due to vague targets and boasted promotions. NANOZEO is known by the industry for its picky of doing businesses in righteous way.

It won’t just quote price and ship, but will ask new customers to identify some problems to be solved or some key sustainability features to be achieved by ZEO® cartons. NANOZEO would like to provide better and suitable cartons to fit needs by customers. NANOZEO said “We want carton and packages can be properly and best applied via green technology to reduce unnecessary waste. This is crucial in real green living by all means.”

NANOZEO also got good news to share this year. It has successfully developed non-borax and non-toxic glue cartons, got many recognitions for its green solutions. Last year 2015 CJCHT participated in the global Carbon Disclosure Project based on ZEO® solutions, and awarded with 96 out of 100 points. It is the highest score the group ever achieved for the past 5 years. Year 2015’s average score for 4000 participated companies from all over the world is 60.

Although ZEO® cartons starts in Taiwan for CSA as a new comer of carton suppliers, Ali Ke emphasized that NANOZEO won’t compete with other carton companies. Instead, we will serve as an enabler to promote the green & sustainability solutions for better choices.

NANOZEO would work its best to look for partners that share the same passions for saving the earth, and offers its corporate resources and supports to social enterprises like, CSA (Community Support Agriculture) and organic farmers to establish a win-win relationship by using better and greener cartons that saves the earth and save the future. We offer free consultancy and samples to help benchmarking traditional solutions in terms of cost and functions added.


▲(Photo by Janet Lin)

Chinese news source: News&Market


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