New Shelf-life Extending Packaging Technologies

Both Nova Chemicals and Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America have launched novel packaging technologies.

I recently had discussions with experts from both Nova Chemicals (U.S. office in Moon Township, Penn) and Mitsubishi Gas Chemical America (U.S. office in New York City), regarding their new flexible, shelf-extending packaging technologies. Both companies will showcase these technologies at Pack Expo Las Vegas, Sept. 25-27.  Here’s the scoop:

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Nova Chemicals has developed two easily recyclable flexible packaging film structures: one that is based on a moisture barrier formulation for items such as dry foods and mixes, frozen fruit, and confectionary; and, one with both a moisture and oxygen barrier formulation for nut mixes, granola bars, meats and cheeses and other snack foods that have traditionally required rigid or non-recyclable mixed-material packaging

These resin formulations, including LLDPE and HDPE, are based on Nova’s dual-reactor Advanced Sclairtech Technology which produces a broad range of single-site catalyzed octane copolymers.

Food packaging market manager Mike Cappelli says:

“Our design team set out using this technology to design polyethylene film resin formulations for multilayer packaging—some for stiffness, some for sealant, some for barrier…This is a win for customers, the industry and the environment. It speaks to the consumer desire for lightweight, economical and sustainable packaging.”

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Both base recipes are certified to carry the “In store drop-off” package label from How2Recycle, a rapidly growing program to help consumers understand end-of-life recycling options. Also, the designs are compatible with the #2 HDPE recycling stream.

The new structure designs can be used in a wide variety of package formats, including the popular and fast-growing stand-up pouch, pillow pouch, and flow wrapper. Also, packages can be customized for single-serve or multi-use through addition of zippers or fitments. Processors and converters can work with Nova’s experts at its Centre for Performance Applications to collaborate on film structures for the specific applications. The Centre recently completed installation of its new Effytec horizontal fill seal (HFFS) pouch maker, which will allow creation of prototype packages that can be tested on-site.  In addition to excellent barrier properties, Cappelli adds that field experience has shown that traditional printing and inks are used with no problem with reverse print so it’s not subject to a mess or surface printing.

MGC has developed a technology that potentially doubles shelf life for organic and natural foods. Embedded as a film layer in either LLDPE or PP retort packaging applications, it removes oxygen from within sealed bags and pouches. The technology is based on MGC’s oxygen-scavenging Ageless OMAC technology which is made by compounding an iron powder as the active ingredient and is sandwiched between a barrier layer and a sealant layer. The technology is now available as a resin to North American film producers and converters, and can efficiently run on legacy processing systems.

The embedded film layer has been shown to extend and protect food’s natural characteristics without sachets, added spices or sodium. It is said to be ideally suited for soups, sauces, processed fruit, dips, protein bars, prepared meals and wet pet foods, which are particularly vulnerable to food spoilage.

“We offer food processors a free-assessment to determine the increased shelf life that our technology will bring to their brands. Our technology will help food manufacturers build greater consumer preference and brand loyalty for their natural and organic and gluten-free products.” He also added that Mitsubishi will provide resin samples to film processors and converters to test run the technology. 

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