• Self-Healing Nanofiber Time-Temperature Indicator for Securing Cold Chains

    Their research was published in the prestigious journal Advanced Materials IF:25.809 earlier this year: "A Self-Healing Nanofiber-Based Self-Responsive Time-Temperature Indicator for Securing a Cold-Supply Chain." This cold-chain safety sticker creates an image on it when exposed to room temperature (10 0C or higher). Room temperature exposure history and time throughout the cold chain delivery process are indicated but cannot be manually edited. When refrigerated or frozen foods are exposed to room temperature, usually bacteria begin to grow and reproduce. However, it is difficult to see visually as certain bacteria do not affect the taste and smell of foods and frozen foods have almost the same appearance even after melting and refreezing. The core technology of the cold-chain safety sticker is nanofibre film. The researchers attempted to attach a typical film on the back of this newly developed film. At low temperatures, the nanofibre film has a stable structure where thin threads intersect each other, making it opaque because the light is scattered. When exposed to room temperature for a period of time, this structure collapses. Specifically, the thin threads start to melt and become entangled with each other. This allows light to transmit through the film, making it appear transparent. Then the image produced on the typical film on the back becomes visible from the front, showing that the food may have spoiled. The researchers found a way to control the time that is required for the film to become transparent when exposed to room temperature, accounting for variations in spoilage times of different foods. So each sticker was designed to become transparent after a minimum of 30m and a maximum of 24 hours of exposure. This was achieved by controlling the composition and thickness of the nanofibres. Dr Dongyeop Oh from the KRICT said, "This sticker, once exposed to room temperature, cannot be restored to its original state, even if one attempts to refrigerate or freeze it again. Also, room-temperature exposure time cannot be manually adjusted. This means that there is virtually no room for any manipulation." “It does not require modularization, accurately measures localized or gradient heat and functions even after crushing, cutting, and when weight?loaded in a manner that existing TTIs cannot. It also contains no drainable chemicals and is attachable to various shapes because it operates through an intrinsic physical response,” he added. The cold-chain safety sticker can be widely used not only for food product applications but also for the cold-chain distribution of expensive medicine and medical supplies, they say. This is because the sticker is thin and flexible. It is estimated manufacturing cost is low at one cent per unit.

  • CULTURE AND PACKAGING: CASE STUDIES

    Culture is the culmination of patterned behavior of people who identify with one another and share common beliefs. These patterns are driven by geographical location, socio-economic factors and much more.

     

  • Rebel Foods’ food delivery app to use UV sanitised packaging for orders

    With the same technical outline, but different UX and UI, the platform was launched earlier last week to help the users order food from multiple restaurants in the same order, much like Dunzo’s ‘Food Court’.

    The differentiator here being the four Ps the brand builds on: People, Process, Produce and Packaging, Sagar Kochhar, co-founder, Rebel Foods, says.

    ‘People’ are the chefs who prepare the food, ‘Process’ refers to the steps involved in food preparation, ‘Produce’ refers to the food ingredients and ‘Packaging’ is the carry/takeaway bag the food is packed in, he elaborates.

    Kochhar mentions that according to the brand’s research, both in pre and post-COVID world, it was found that these four Ps concern the consumers most when it comes to ordering food online.

    “While the rating of the restaurant on the delivery app may give an idea of the quality of food it delivers, there is very little or no information about the people who prepare the food. Similarly, there is no or very little information about the food preparation process – is the vegetarian and non-vegetarian food being prepared separately, or are basic sanitisation steps being followed. There are hundreds of questions in the minds of the consumers,” Kochhar shares.

    He adds, “Also, in the current (COVID) times, the consumers are conscious of the food items they eat. They have started looking out for immunity-boosting meals. And, of course, the packet of the food that passes through many hands is a pain point. Loose packaging, food received in polybags, broken bags, soggy paper bags… are some of the feedback we received.”

    The EatSure app, says Kochhar, gives exact information of who is preparing the food. It also gives access to the chef’s doctor-validated medical certificate, along with his body temperature.

    The EatSure-certified partner kitchens adhere to 200-plus quality checks, including maintaining the right food temperature, taking care of step by step sanitisation process, and separate preparation of veg and non-veg food. EatSure also mandates that no brand uses artificial flavours or colours in any of the produce.

    “We believe in giving complete transparency to the consumers on what ingredients are being used in the preparation of food. It goes to the level of telling the consumers the calorific value of each item – fat, protein, carb components. Other apps in the space don’t even have control on how the food is being prepared,” Kochhar points out.

    The food ordered on EatSure will be delivered in double sealed packaging – ‘UV sure bags’. Food packets are put in an outer cover/bag, which is run through a UV chamber, deployed at all partner kitchens, before being handed over to the delivery person. The UV chamber disinfects both the outer and inner surfaces of the bags.

    The outer bag comes with two sanitiser pods, one on each handle of the pack.

    UV sure bag

    The concept of UV Sure Bag was developed completely in-house by the Consumer Solutions Group (CSG) of Rebel Foods. The brand has associated with some of its old partners to produce them.

    Kochhar says that the company was working on many broken keys of this initiative since its inception in 2011, but only started putting it together about four months back.

    “No artificial flavours or colouring, proper sanitisation of food, taking care of hygiene in the food preparation process… the core was always there. It was an unsaid rule with which we always worked. The current times gave us the opportunity to bring out our vision to the world, and that is how EatSure was born,” he says.

    So, who does the brand see as its rivals? “EatSure is like a smart food court with most trusted brands. Hence, the comparison becomes difficult because it is not just a digital-first initiative. We are also activating multiple physical presence at multiple touchpoints,” Kochhar says.

    The brand has gone live with EatSure food trucks that are stationed at high-end streets, apartments, colleges, corporate areas of Mumbai and Bengaluru. Kochhar explains that the trucks are a digital-first interaction initiative, where users can scan the QR code to order. They are informed when their order is ready and can either choose to pick it up, or opt for it to be delivered to their desk/doorsteps.

  • Aptar Declares Quarterly Dividend and Announces 2021 Annual Meeting Details

    Crystal Lake, Illinois, January 14, 2021 - AptarGroup, Inc. (NYSE: ATR), a global leader in drug delivery, consumer product dispensing and active packaging solutions, today declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.36 per share. The payment date is February 17, 2021, to stockholders of record as of January 27, 2021.

  • REFUCOAT develops hygienic recyclable food packaging

    Specifically, innovative, efficient bioplastic production processes were developed to package food using renewable materials that are also recyclable and could replace conventional fossil fuel-based materials. These bioplastics include polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) and polyglycolide (PGA), which were used to develop three different bio-based active packaging systems, specifically designed to package fresh chicken meat, cereals and snacks.

    One of project’s innovations was the formulation of bacteriophage-based coatings that considerably reduce the proliferation of Salmonella bacteria in chicken breast samples packaged in a modified atmosphere. The project successfully addressed one of the problems faced by packaging with barrier properties: in order to protect food, packaging must be made up of complex multilayer structures that are either difficult or costly to recycle. However, all the packaging systems developed by the REFUCOAT Project can be recycled and/or converted into compost, making them a promising sustainable alternative.

    Lorena Rodríguez Garrido, Packaging Researcher at AIMPLAS and scientific co-ordinator of REFUCOAT, said: “Packaging must be recyclable and must also maintain the barrier properties that help protect packaged food. Current packaging has a complex multilayer structure and is made from non-renewable sources. It provides all the protective functions but is difficult and expensive to recycle. REFUCOAT aims to replace current packaging with more sustainable, better-performing alternatives.”

    The REFUCOAT Project focused on three main areas: developing active coatings for food packaging films that use bacteriophage organisms; using low-quality flour as a base to produce PHA,; and developing an efficient production process for PGA, a completely biodegradable material with excellent water barrier properties. Until recently, this solution had been too expensive to use to replace fossil fuel-based materials.

    The REFUCOAT Project ended in October 2020 after successfully validating all the new packaging structures and comparing their performance with metallised packaging. Tests were also carried out to compare the products’ shelf life and biodegradability with those of current conventional packaging on the market.

  • Functional and customizable labeling machines for the food sector

    Identify the product and ensure its integrity.
    Labeling in the food industry is a crucial point of the entire production process, in fact it allows you to decorate the product intended for consumption, while indicating the essential information such as content, expiry date, origin, nutritional values ​​and any other data that may require a food product. To meet the typical labeling needs of this sector, ALTECH has developed a line of labeling systems particularly suitable for products such as tubs and trays.

    The line in question is called ALbelt, and contains a range of extremely functional and customizable labeling machines that lend themselves to labeling a wide range of products. A particularly requested configuration is the one designed for semi-wrap (C-wrap) labeling of thermo-formed food trays, or clam-shell. In this application, the label is adapted on 3 sides of the product, the front one, and the upper and lower ones , and for this it assumes a dual role: to identify the product, and guarantee, just like a tamper evident seal, its integrity.. To carry out this operation, the ALbelt system consists of a two-section conveyor, an upper labeling head (ALritma model) equipped with a marker (for printing variable data, such as expiration date, promotional labels and barcode) and an adapter specially designed for this type of labeling placed in the space between the two sections of the conveyor.

    The system is completed by a double tape spacer and a lateral ribbon stabilizer to hold the products during labeling. All labeling parameters can be managed from the 7-inch color touchscreen panel that guarantees excellent readability and extreme ease of use. The ALbelt system thus equipped is able to reach a labeling rate of 60 pieces per minute.

    In addition to applying one or more labels on several parts of the product, the ALbelt system can assume particular configurations for different applications, such as the laying of labels above and below, even in non-stop configuration, i.e. without line stops for label changes.

  • Milliken PP additive for thermoforming uses cleaner chemistry to deliver brighter look

    -- New Hyperform® HPN® 909ei offers one less SML for food-contact applications

  • SuckerPunch Gourmet Unveils Punchy New Logo and Packaging

    "Our entire portfolio, but especially our signature spiced pickles, is really different than anything else that's on shelves, and while it served us well for years, our former packaging just wasn't quite right for us anymore given who we are now and where we want to go in the future," said Alok Advani, CEO of SuckerPunch Gourmet. "We're very excited to debut a new look this year that better portrays our brand and product line, but still maintains the familiar elements of our identity that our consumers know and love."

    SuckerPunch Gourmet's new packaging was designed to be fresh, modern and fun, while still maintaining ties to its original identity and roots. The brand's iconic boxer emblem has been softened, with a nod to vintage prizefighters, while simultaneously re-illustrating him in a modern Shepard Fairey-style. SuckerPunch Gourmet also created a brand block on the front of each product label using bold, saturated colors that clearly distinguish the flavor varieties and make it easy for shoppers to quickly and easily find their favorite pickle flavor. As a means to drive home unique points of differentiation, the refreshed packaging includes pops of critical elements such as a Non-GMO Project Verified logo, an "11-spice" icon that is shaped like a pickle chip, and back panel romance copy that's modeled after a vintage boxing poster. With a new look from top to bottom, SuckerPunch even gave the lids a revamp calling out the "knockout flavor" as a reminder for every consumer reaching for or opening a jar.

  • KM Packaging launches compostable packaging range

    The bio-plastic products have been developed in partnership with Treetop Biopak who specialise in providing innovative compostable packaging solutions


    The new range consists of:

    •          C-SHRINK

    Industrially compostable shrink film that’s ideal for packaging of vegetables, bakery, and other foodstuffs as well as bundling multi-packs and as a secondary wrap for packed goods.

    •          C-STRETCH

    Home compostable stretch or cling film made from bio-based renewable sources.

    •          C-TAPE

    Industrially compostable adhesive tape that is made from bio-based sources and natural gum.

    •          C-BAG

    Home compostable bags suitable for fresh produce, bakery, and meat.

    •          C-NET

    Industrially compostable net suitable for a wide range of applications, with superior tear and heat resistance.

    Innovative compostable packaging

    The bio-plastic products have been developed in partnership with Treetop Biopak who specialise in providing innovative compostable packaging solutions.

    Treetop owner Amir Gross, who has more than 15 years’ experience in the packaging industry, says: “Innovations in bio-plastics allow us to offer an ever-growing range of compostable packaging materials.

    “Compostable packaging is an excellent circular solution – from plant to pack and then back to compost, to be used for growing new plants. Also, their environmental benefits include a reduced dependency on fossil fuels.”

    Compostable bio-plastics will biodegrade if disposed of through home composting or industrial composting, depending on the material. The global bio-plastics market size has an estimated current value of around £7.5 billion and is expected to grow by some 20 per cent over the next five years.

    The C-Range brings together Treetop’s knowledge within this market and KM’s wider flexible packaging expertise, international reach, and ability to bring products to market with the highest standards of quality and service. 
     

    Similar look and feel to plastic


    Manufacturers using the compostable packaging products benefit from a similar look and feel as plastic. They also continue to gain reliable properties that provide protection, presentation, and preservation for both primary and secondary packaging applications.

    And, according to a survey by YouGov, more than half of people in the UK say they’d pay more for products with eco-friendly packaging.

    KM Packaging’s commercial director Graham Holding said: “The new C-Range of compostable products enhances our overall product portfolio. 

    “It builds on our core strengths, offering material choice and ensuring the right material is selected for the application. The range helps us to ensure customers always gain the solution that’s tailored to their needs.”

  • REFUCOAT develops hygienic recyclable food packaging

    Specifically, innovative, efficient bioplastic production processes were developed to package food using renewable materials that are also recyclable and could replace conventional fossil fuel-based materials. These bioplastics include polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) and polyglycolide (PGA), which were used to develop three different bio-based active packaging systems, specifically designed to package fresh chicken meat, cereals and snacks.

    One of project’s innovations was the formulation of bacteriophage-based coatings that considerably reduce the proliferation of Salmonella bacteria in chicken breast samples packaged in a modified atmosphere. The project successfully addressed one of the problems faced by packaging with barrier properties: in order to protect food, packaging must be made up of complex multilayer structures that are either difficult or costly to recycle. However, all the packaging systems developed by the REFUCOAT Project can be recycled and/or converted into compost, making them a promising sustainable alternative.

    Lorena Rodríguez Garrido, Packaging Researcher at AIMPLAS and scientific co-ordinator of REFUCOAT, said: “Packaging must be recyclable and must also maintain the barrier properties that help protect packaged food. Current packaging has a complex multilayer structure and is made from non-renewable sources. It provides all the protective functions but is difficult and expensive to recycle. REFUCOAT aims to replace current packaging with more sustainable, better-performing alternatives.”

    High-performance packaging design

    The REFUCOAT Project focused on three main areas: developing active coatings for food packaging films that use bacteriophage organisms; using low-quality flour as a base to produce PHA,; and developing an efficient production process for PGA, a completely biodegradable material with excellent water barrier properties. Until recently, this solution had been too expensive to use to replace fossil fuel-based materials.

    The REFUCOAT Project ended in October 2020 after successfully validating all the new packaging structures and comparing their performance with metallised packaging. Tests were also carried out to compare the products’ shelf life and biodegradability with those of current conventional packaging on the market

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