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Plastics & Elastomers
The material selection platform
Plastics & Elastomers

Solution Based Barrier Food Packaging Advancing Rapidly!

Donald Rosato – Jan 12, 2018

TAGS:  Transparency     Metal Replacement     3D Printing    

Solution Based Barrier Food Packaging Advancing Rapidly!Astute consumers, who want more functionality and who order online in increasing numbers are requiring a whole range of new, rigid and flexible food barrier technologies, like:

  • Thinner walled containers
  • Longer shelf life products
  • Transparent metal can replacement through sustainable antimicrobial film additives, and
  • 3D printed packaging mold advances

So, to keep up with the consumer needs - many game-changing barrier innovations have been released recently in the food packaging sector opening new opportunities.

Let's take a look at these latest barrier food packaging advances that can make our research work better:

#1. Graham Packaging’s ThermaSet ‘Glass-Like’ Blow Molded PET Bottle

This ThermaSet blow-molded PET container for hot-fill, pasteurized food recently earned DuPont’s Diamond top packaging award. Among Thermaset’s key attributes are:

  • 50% greater side wall rigidity
  • Extended shelf life of two years or more through barrier technology
  • 90% lighter-weight than glass; shatter-resistant drop-in glass replacement on high-temperature fill lines
  • Thinner walls mean a narrower jar that frees shelf space and is easier to handle

ThermSet is a blow molding process in which standard bottle-grade resin is transformed into containers with properties way beyond existing PET. The jar looks a bit narrower, but its enhanced stiffness has the feel of glass. This type bottle package is ideal for grocery store center new product offerings. Its economical bottle size in center store display layouts yields extra store facing presence.

In the longer-term e-commerce boom, this type PET package is safer than glass in transport and at the final consumer delivery point!

Graham Packaging's ThermaSet Blow Molded PET Bottle
Graham Packaging’s ThermaSet ‘Glass-Like’ Blow Molded PET Bottle

#2. Rapak’s Oxygen Barrier Film Packaging for Bag-in-Box Wines

Albis collaborated with DS Smith to incorporate its Shelfplus oxygen scavenger in a bag-in-box film. It can increase the shelf life of wine after opening significantly - from 4-6 weeks to at least 26 weeks.

Developed for the Rapak division of DS Smith, the oxygen scavenger bag is used in a complete bag-in-box packaging system. The film package incorporates the low oxygen transfer rate Mustang wine tap developed by sister company Worldwide Dispensers. EVOH (Ethylene vinyl alcohol) in combination with Shelfplus can replace metallization in barrier packaging. Thus, it provides equal or better shelf life with low package carbon footprint.

It can be applied in film applications as well as for thermoforming.

Oxygen Scavenger in Albis Bag-in-Box Film Packaging
Rapak’s Shelfplus O2 Scavenger from Albis Bag-in-Box Wine Film Packaging

#3. Sonoco’s TruVue See-Through Plastic Can

TruVue, a see-through can being developed by Sonoco using its patented FUSION Freshlock Technology also features a multi-layer plastic wall with an easy-open metal top and a metal bottom.

The can’s five-layer wall includes PP (PolyPropylene) on the inside and outside of the can with two layers of adhesive to bond the PP to a center EVOH layer that acts as an oxygen barrier. Sonoco in a pipe like manufacturing process is extruding the can wall. Then the open can top and bottom has metal ends crimped onto them, followed by an induction heat sealing finishing step.

Standard full retorting than takes place with reduced cycle times and uniform through food product heating performance.
Sonoco's TruVue See-Through Plastic Can
Sonoco’s TruVue See-Through Plastic Can

#4. Fraunhofer's Natural Antimicrobials in Multilayer Film Packaging

Fraunhofer IVV institute has worked extensively on the use of natural, plant-derived antimicrobials for food barrier packaging.

The application of packaging materials that release antimicrobial substances to food surfaces is an attractive option to reduce and inhibit non-desirable microbial growth due to contamination and to prevent food loss. Natural antimicrobial compounds are often preferred over synthetic substances.

Fraunhofer's Oxygen Scavenger in Multilayer Film Packaging
Fraunhofer IVV Plant Derived Oxygen
Scavenger in Multilayer Film Packaging
Fraunhofer has identified suitable antimicrobial substances. They include pelargonium and olive leaf extract. Encapsulated to protect themselves during processing, these plant derived additives have been dispersed in polymers, coated on films, extruded and intensively tested.

The natural antimicrobials are suitable for extrusion and coating and can withstand the processing temperatures involved!!

Elsewhere in additional studies, a natural and plant-derived oxygen scavenger - Gallic acid, has been used in food packaging trials. It is capable of providing additional protection to oxygen-sensitive food products. A gallic acid and sodium carbonate blend has been successfully demonstrated in a bio-based multi-layer barrier packaging film.

#5. HRSflow Hot-Runner Solutions

Commercially viable thin-wall plastic structures must be easy to process and respect required performance properties such as barrier attributes.

High performance can be achieved thanks to HRSflow hot-runner solutions! They utilize a 3D printing steel process that delivers optimized cooling channels with reduced cycle time.

It is a highly wear resistant system and lends itself easily to multicavity molds for high volume molding of single serve coffee capsules with thin walls where maintaining extremely uniform barrier properties is critical.

HRSflow Hot-runner Solutions
HRSflow’s 3D Printing of Conformal Mold Cooling Channels (L); Single-Serve Coffee Capsules (R)

Barrier Food Packaging Professionals: Stay Alert!

Stay updated on latest advances in barrier food packaging technology to identify where the true potential and new opportunities exist for you and make better R&D decisions. Join the course: Food Packaging: Latest Barrier Solutions on Jan 25, 2018.

Latest Barrier Food Packaging Solutions

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