Transparent packaging builds trust because consumers love products that are easy to see. Photo: Coopbox Italy
Well packed lasts longer
Fresh meat is one of the segments where innovative packaging solutions can prove their merits particularly well. The example of minced meat shows: whereas in the past the recommendation was to only buy it fresh from your butcher’s and use it the same day, today you’ll find minced meat pre-packed in just about every refrigerated counter with best-before dates that are several days in the future. How is this possible?
“Packaged under modified atmosphere” is what you read on these well-closed meat packs. This refers to a process called MAP for short (= modified atmosphere package), and which requires mandatory labelling in the EU. To retain the durability, taste and good looks of this easily perishable good the package is first vacuumised. Then an inert gas mixture which is not detrimental to health is added. Depending on the foodstuff this shield gas contains varying proportions of oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitrogen.
One polyamide eligible for manufacturing this type of packaging is the new Ultramid® Flex F38 by BASF. Based partially on renewable raw materials, this co-polyamide stands out with particular transparency and softness – even without any additional conditioners. Its melt consistency and bubble stability as well as its water-barrier properties have also been improved in comparison with Polyamide 6.
Another way of safely packaging perishable goods is so-called Vacuum-Skin Packaging. In this process the package is also vacuumised like for MAP. This packaging can be identified by its film clinging to the goods like a second skin. Here the benefits are obvious, too – aroma protection, longer shelf life, no greying, space and material savings as well as consumer-friendly display at the POS.
Ultramid® C37 LC – Improved transparency and softness of films and mono filaments. Photo: BASF
At this year’s interpack 2017 the MULTIVAC Group will focus on the MultifreshTM packaging system. This system serves to produce vacuum skin packs and will be demonstrated at the trade fair using the deep-drawing packaging machine R 105 MF and the tray sealer T 300 H as examples. MULTIVAC offers its customers a wide spectrum of packaging machines for various requirements – geared to the size of the packaging, the machine output and degree of automation.
Shrink-wrap protective skin
Another new co-polyamide by BASF for food packaging applications is the co-polyamide Ultramid C37LC. This is particularly suitable for producing shrink-wrap films and is said to achieve a higher hot-water and hot-air shrinkage than before. Add to this, that the films produced using Ultramid® C37LC have a lower degree of crystallinity and are substantially softer and more transparent than conventional co-polyamides.
For film packaging closed on all sides packaging machinery producer Kallfass offers an extensive portfolio. Even heat transfer to the goods to be packaged during the shrink-wrap process is guaranteed here by a patented tubular die heating system with built-in re-circulating air system for efficient energy recovery. Shrink-wrap films always go hand in hand with the labelling theme. One solution are shrinkable wrap-around labels. Their benefit is that they can also cover the tapered areas of containers. The so-called stretch sleeves are produced as tubes on a reel and then stretched over the container. Thanks to their rebound force they also stick without the need of adhesives.