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.
The first-to-market, food safe PCR film is now available nationwide across all major multiple Berry Gardens lines including strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and other stone fruit.
Marking a major step forward for the fresh produce packaging sector, the new recycled film reduces carbon impact by significantly offsetting the requirement for virgin polymer, removing around 53,000 kilos from the supply-chain annually. The film also supports the 30% recycled content requirement for the 2022 plastics packaging tax with the option of up to 50% recyclate available.
Offering like-for-like performance in-line and on-shelf, the new rPET film is sealed to the existing rPET tray to offer a fully recycled plastic solution with peelable functionality for reuse and improved storage.
Seamlessly working in combination with Coveris’ award-winning Freshlife® perforation technology, the sustainable packs work to maintain +4 days shelf-life via improved moisture management in-pack. Integral anti-mist properties also offer added clarity and optimal performance.
As the first major retail launch of a PCR lidding film for direct food contact, Berry Gardens have been responsible for driving a step change in the market through the application of recycled content in every-day products.
In tandem, the company is accelerating the expansion of its paper straws offering to ensure further renewable and low carbon materials across the range of packaging solutions. The aim of this is to address a broad range of customer sustainability needs without compromising on food safety, while still delivering on the end-user drinking experience.
Lars Holmquist, Executive Vice President Packaging Solutions and Commercial Operations, Tetra Pak, says: “These are key milestones in our journey towards the world’s most sustainable food package: a carton that is fully made from renewable or recycled materials, is fully recyclable and carbon-neutral. We consistently strive to deliver products and services that adds value to food and people while protecting the planet. Our promise, ‘PROTECTS WHAT’S GOOD™,’ allied with this strong purpose means we are providing customers with innovative products that also meet the rapidly changing demands of society.”
Tetra Pak’s tethered caps and paper straws developments mark the latest additions to its range of responsible end-to-end solutions, allowing manufacturers to achieve their ambitions in three essential areas – food safety, food waste and the environment - simultaneously.
With this in mind, Tetra Pak has accelerated innovation in the caps domain. Holmquist adds: “The significant challenge of deploying tethered caps is the scale of the change that this brings across the value chain. If we look at Europe alone, more than 1,000 packaging lines supplied by us will be potentially transformed, translating into over 20 billion packages which are expected to be converted. All of that in three years, while minimising impact on our customers’ operations, optimising the consumer experience and contributing to both minimising litter and creating a carton package with increased plant-based and recycled content.”
Tetra Pak is progressing on this complex journey by working seamlessly across various project streams. Overall, this covers approximately 40 different packages with tethered caps. Those caps are all planned to become available as a plant-based option. The first one to be released on the market is the HeliCap™ 26 Pro closure. This product features a new screw and flip concept with a self-locking hinge, securing food protection while providing convenience for in-home consumption. Its opening and closing mechanism has proven popular with consumers, demonstrating that the solution is delivering further benefits in addition to meeting legislative requirements.
Cremer’s WD Series counting & dispensing machines provide hygienic, efficient and 100% accurate solution for packaging frozen meatballs.
During shipping, insulation and refrigerants are key to preserving products like seafood, plants, meat, and fruits as well as dairy, medical, and chemical products. With the proper combination of insulation and refrigerants, you can maintain products within specific temperature ranges. You can keep products frozen, or prevent products from freezing. You can prevent melting and thawing in hot weather and minimize the effects of short-term temperature variations. We’ll show you how.
Maggi has broken new ground by becoming the first major brand to use recyclable paper packaging to wrap individual bouillon cubes, for its organic range in France. This is the latest result of an innovation drive to use more paper packaging for Nestlé products.
The new solution is a coated paper that is recyclable through the paper stream in France. Until now, the bouillon cubes have been wrapped in a multi-layer laminate that includes aluminum.
Agnes Lalanne, Global Category Lead for Cooking Aids at Nestlé, said: "We want to provide both healthy and more sustainable options. That's why we're happy to bring recyclable paper packaging to a favorite like these Maggi organic bouillon cubes."
The paper used for the wrapper is from sustainable sources – pulp and paper mills certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and The Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification – and its development marks another step in Nestlé's commitment to make all its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025, as the company works towards a waste-free future.
Torsten Pohl, Head of Nestlé's Product Technology Center for Food in Singen, Germany, said: "The main challenge our team faced was the creation of a foldable, sealable material that is robust enough to provide a sufficient barrier – to keep the product fresh and safe – whilst also being readily recyclable."
Ahead of the launch, the team also worked to refurbish and upgrade existing packaging machines, to allow the new paper wrapping to run on them.
Maggi products – including bouillons, soups, seasonings and sauces – are sold in over 90 countries. Nestlé selects local ingredients where possible to ensure that its bouillon cubes provide an authentic taste and texture, consistent with regional preferences and cooking styles. The cubes are fortified with vital micronutrient in some markets, for example where iron deficiency is widespread.
Created in partnership with Berry Global's Blue Clover Studios, the new light blue easy-grip container is made of recyclable plastic with a wraparound in-mold label and a space-efficient tapered cube design that, based on an analysis conducted by Berry Global, reduces the carbon footprint associated with manufacturing and transporting the hot cocoa containers by 15 percent. The new package design will initially be used for Conagra Brands' 38-ounce size Swiss Miss Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix. "This redesign is an important step forward on our sustainable packaging journey," said Katya Hantel, senior director of sustainable development at Conagra Brands. "We will adopt the recyclable cube design over the next several years, supporting Conagra's target to make 100% of its plastic packaging renewable, recyclable or compostable by 2025." The new design reduces the package's carbon footprint by 98 metric tons each year due to less energy required to manufacture and transport the material. This is equivalent to avoiding the greenhouse gas emissions of driving a passenger vehicle 243,176 miles, which is further than the average distance from the Earth to the moon. The new shape also allows Conagra to better utilize space in transit, saving more than 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel annually from fewer truck loads transporting plastic tubs. The new Swiss Miss package is the result of a cross-functional design process between Conagra Brands and Berry Global's Blue Clover Studios, including manufacturing, packaging and business stakeholders. "The magic happens when the right people come together early and often, which saves time in the long run when launching a new custom package," said Scott Fisher, Blue Clover Studios design director. "If your company is committed to sustainability, this package is a giant leap for many reasons," added Dave Weaver, vice president, product management at Berry Global.
The drive to minimise the use of plastics in packaging is a main topic for retailers and food producer. Solid plastic trays are commonly used for fresh vegetables and fruits, and even if trays made of renewable plastics have been introduced, recyclable fibre trays are requested. AR Packaging has therefore introduced a one-piece tray with a thin barrier coating. The tray is based on cartonboard made of fibres from certified sustainably managed sources and a fibre content of up to 95% makes it recyclable in the paper stream in most countries.
The majority of our product developments are focused on packaging solutions made of renewable materials and which are recyclable. The switch to fibre-based trays for fresh vegetables can be pretty easy with no investments in new production equipment needed”, said Philipp Eissner, Business Development Manager at AR Packaging. “These new trays are already in use in Germany and they are well suited for a wide range of products such as fresh vegetables & fruits, herbs, mushrooms, seeds and much more.”
The unbleached paper look and feel of the tray makes it easy for brand owners to communicate the environmental benefits to the end consumer. Both the outside and inside of the tray can be printed.
In addition to providing the requested product protection, the tray can be combined with a lidding film which provides consumer convenience such as easy peel opening and reclosure. The reclosure feature can prolong the shelf life of the product and minimise food waste when the consumer uses parts of the content at different occasions.
The fibre-based tray for fresh vegetables and fruit is one example of many sustainable tray solutions offered by AR Packaging
The company is awaiting a patent on the packaging technology, which is compliant with European and US Food and Drug Administration standards and available in stand-up and three-side seal configurations.
“RT-3000 is the newest member of the ProActive Sustainability® product family, a comprehensive set of packaging solutions that are helping our customers meet their greener packaging goals,” said Adam Grose, chief commercial officer at ProAmpac. “A revolutionary innovation, this recycle ready solution was built on ProAmpac’s material science expertise and significant experience in retort pouch design. Engineered to run on existing high-speed filling lines, RT-3000 maintains filling machine efficiency.”
The solution was designed for difficult-to-recycle, multi-material applications, such as those used in wet pet food manufacturing and retort applications. ProActive Recycle Ready Retort RT-3000 is compatible with filling and processing speeds currently offered by other multi-material options that are non-recyclable.
“The multi-year development included successful validation on commercial high-speed filling lines and qualification in commercial retort chambers,” said Hesam Tabatabaei, vice president of product development and innovation at ProAmpac. “RT-3000 delivers exceptional thermal stability, excellent stain and grease resistance, easy-to-open tear performance, and a superior oxygen and moisture barrier. Able to withstand aggressive retort conditions of 130oC without sacrificing barrier properties, RT-3000 has been successfully tested in advance of our commercialization.”
The packaging solution is available in clear or opaque options with optimal stiffness, high puncture and flex-crack resistance to withstand product handling and distribution.
This latest innovation adds to ProAmpac’s growing sustainable pet food and treat packaging portfolio, which also includes ProActive Recyclable QUADFLEX launched in March 2020, ProActive Recyclable R-1000 rollstock film introduced September 2019, and its Signature Surfaces ProActive Recyclable Paper Touch launched in April 2019. The company also offers renewable, post-consumer recycled and compostable packaging materials.
ProActive Recycle Ready Retort packaging is mono-material and has a high recovery potential for advanced recycling streams, ProAmpac said.
“Designed for maximum recovery in advanced recycling streams, RT-3000 supports emerging sustainability legislation in Europe as well as commitments made by retailers and manufacturers for more mono-material packaging,” Tabatabaei said. “We are confident RT-3000 is well positioned to advance the sustainability goals of our customers.”
Flexible packaging companies are discovering new ways to develop products with less impact on the environment and adhesive companies, like H.B. Fuller, are enabling these products with sustainable solutions. In addition to being a more sustainable option than solvent-based products, benefits of compostable adhesives include:
- Minimizes stress on the ecosystem
- Reduces costs of waste processing
- Keeps manufacturers ahead of regulatory changes
H.B. Fuller offers two compostable adhesive solutions for the flexible packaging market: Flextra™ Evolution SF1000/XR2000 and Flextra™ Evolution WB1200/XR2200.
Both products work seamlessly with existing equipment. In industrial composting facilities, the adhesives decompose with no toxic residue, microplastics, or other pollutants.
Flextra Evolution SF1000/XR2000 is a solventless compostable system that works on a variety of compostable substrates, such as cellulose films and polylactic acid films, including newer barrier structures, allowing you to create a variety of packaging types from bar wrap to snack packaging and beyond. It also allows for sound dampening.
Flextra Evolution WB1200/XR2200 is a water-based two-part system that works best with paper-to-film laminations. It is fully compostable according to EN 13432, ASTM D6400, and BPI certification.
Both solutions have similar performance to conventional multi-layer packaging adhesives, good appearance and adhesion, and can be utilized on standard equipment.
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