© nd3000 / fotolia.com

US President Ronald Reagan called the “Frozen Food Day” into existence in 1984. Since then it has been celebrated on each 6 March in the USA. © nd3000 / fotolia.com

Ready-to-eat trend benefits frozen food packaging producers

It will not come as a surprise for anyone to learn that the idea of flash freezing food to achieve a longer shelf life originates from the far north, from Newfoundland to be precise. This is where marine biologist and inventor of frozen food, Clarence Birdseye, made several exploration trips between 1915 and 1922. He observed how the local Inuits hung up freshly caught meat or fish in the icy wind with temperatures as low as minus 45°Celsius thereby making the food durable for the entire winter. Fascinated by this technology Birdseye returned to America and purchased his first deep-freezing equipment for seven dollars – comprising ice, salt and an electric-powered fan. In 1930 his invention had matured and a small grocery store in the USA was the first company to sell flash-frozen foods.
 © Langnese / Unilever Deutschland GmbH

If the packaging unit states "frozen” or “frozen food” or "deep-frozen” or "flash frozen” then these foodstuffs are frozen food as defined by the finished frozen products regulation. The latter specifies storage and transport at a minimum of minus 18° Celsius. © Langnese / Unilever Deutschland GmbH

© Zandonella GmbH

The Bio-Box of Sandro’s organic ice cream is Cradle-to-Cradle® certified, bears the seedling symbol of DIN CERTCO and the European Bioplastics in accordance with EN 13432 and the German state symbol "Ohne Gentechnik" (GMO-free). © Zandonella GmbH

Handy from the freezer

© Conditorei Coppenrath & Wiese KG

Today, German retailers offer consumers over 17,000 frozen items in their freezer cabinets all over Germany. The annual per-capita consumption stands at over 41 kilograms. In 1960 this figure averaged just 400 grams. © Conditorei Coppenrath & Wiese KG

Packaging for frozen products is governed by strict regulations and plays a decisive role in food quality assurance. Special composite materials and films/foils ensure the required barrier properties in order to protect the frozen food against soiling, micro-organism attacks, dehydration, moisture ingress, pressure and impact but also against aroma loss.

Food labelling laws stipulate that the data must be stated on industrially produced frozen products. Mandatory information for Germany includes:

  • Product name (e.g. black forest gateau, fish fingers),
  • Name and address of the producer, packaging entity or seller,
  • List of ingredients,
  • Best-before date,
  • Filling quantity,
  • Label for “deep frozen”, “frozen”, “flash frozen” or “frozen food”,
  • Period of storage and necessary storage temperature,
  • Notes such as “Do not re-freeze after thawing" or the like,
  • Data for batch identification.
So far individually packaged frozen pastries have been exempt from the strict regulations governing food labelling. In accordance with the latest provisions of the finished packaging regulation, however, pastry with filling volumes exceeding 100 grams and labelled as oven-fresh produce – despite transparent packaging – must bear precise indications on the net weight, without any exceptions.

Frustration-free packaging is the buzzword

For working people frozen convenience food is a handy alternative to ensure the intake of vitamins and minerals in a time-saving manner.© FRoSTA AG

For working people frozen convenience food is a handy alternative to ensure the intake of vitamins and minerals in a time-saving manner. © FRoSTA AG

How can a folding box especially for frozen food be opened and closed again without a problem? A solution comes care of carton expert “A&R Carton“. A plastic pull strip incorporated into the carton makes for precise and effortless opening even for older consumers. The plastic strip is located right on the PE coating so that grease-proofing and barrier properties are not impaired. A negative embossing at the open loose end of the pull strip as well as laterally applied grooves ease opening and re-closing of the box, which is simply folded back again.
Convenience is the buzzword here: ready-to-bake, "ready-to-eat" "pre-baked" products are “in”. © EDEKA Aktiengesellschaft

Convenience is the buzzword here: ready-to-bake, "ready-to-eat" "pre-baked" products are “in”. © EDEKA Aktiengesellschaft

Re-closable fish finger packaging © A&R Carton

Re-closable fish finger packaging © A&R Carton


interpack Newsletter

  • Non-Food - packaging related topics from subject areas such as pharmaceutics, cosmetics, non-food and industrial goods.
  • Food - packaging related topics from subject areas such as food industry, beverages, bakery and confectionary.
Subscribe now!