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Food Packaging: Materials & Containers
Follow your nose to where flavor engineering and packaging meet.
Magazine Issue Date: 01/01/2005
By Kathryn Martin, Contributing Editor
Horsham, PA-based provider of weight management products and services NutriSystem has introduced Aquaescents, a new weight loss aid that is the first commercial application of ScentSational Technologies�?? CompelAroma Encapsulated Aroma Release technology, which encapsulates flavors that release desirable aromas directly within the structure of plastic packaging. The technology can also mask off-flavors, help preserve the perception of product freshness, and be added to products in place of added fat, sodium, sugar or calories.
|NutriSystem is using ScentSational�??s technology to incorporate aroma into its water bottle closures, resulting in the user �??tasting�?? a lemon, peach or berry flavor. Source: ScentSational Technologies.
Using the CompelAroma technology, the Aquaescents refillable water bottle features a 53mm polypropylene cap that emits an aroma which has been embedded in the plastic during production. The closure imparts a lemon, peach or berry flavor, which has the effect of giving taste to the water without adding any calories, sweeteners or preservatives. It can be used for 30 days, at which point it looses its aroma.
By using the technology, NutriSystem hopes to help its weight loss clients consume the recommended eight glasses of water every day. �??It�??s water with a kick that livens up a diet with a fun way to stay properly hydrated every day,�?? says Dr. Jay Satz, vice president of product development for NutriSystem. According to Steven M. Landau, chief technology officer of ScentSational, the company is currently working with NutriSystem to develop trays as well.
The CompelAroma technology, developed by Jenkintown, PA-based ScentSational Technologies, involves incorporating FDA-approved food grade flavors within the polymetric structure of thermoformed packaging at the time of manufacturing. The approved GRAS flavor additives are added during the extrusion process.
The company worked with Firmenich, the third largest flavor and fragrance company in the world, to manufacture heat-stable flavor additives that are specially engineered to withstand the high heat items such as thermoformed bowls are subject to during extrusion, thermoforming, and cooking in a microwave.
The aromas can be released at an appropriate stage in the product�??s life cycle, such as on the shelf, at the time the package is opened or during microwave cooking. The CompelAroma technology has a shelf life of several years in a sealed package, says Landau. Once exposed to air, though, it will disperse.
After six years of R&D, ScentSational is now working with 17 of the world�??s top 25 food and beverage companies that are interested in employing CompelAroma technology to enhance their brands. These companies are working to use the technology as an ingredient rather than a packaging component, notes Landau.
The new technology is compatible with any plastic packaging substrate for use in bottles, containers, closures and flexible film packaging. According to ScentSational, no new tooling is required to implement its technology, making it cost effective. ScentSational is currently working with companies such as Fabri-Kal, AET Films, and Rexam to offer scalable manufacturing for different client applications.
For more information:
Steven M. Landau, ScentSational Technologies,
Innovative carton doubles as popcorn bowl
When Family Time Snacks wanted to re-invent the microwave popcorn experience and offer consumers a product more akin to movie theater popcorn, it designed the Perfect Popper, an innovative popcorn brand where the package itself is an integral part of the product.
|Family Time Snacks�?? Perfect Popper transforms from a flat knocked-down carton to a popcorn serving bowl. Source: Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation.
The basic concept of the Perfect Popper is a flat paperboard carton with a paper-based pouch of popcorn kernels glued inside. The consumer opens up the carton, forming a rectangular box and places it in the microwave. The carton then fills up with popcorn, the lid peels back and the carton becomes an instant serving bowl.
Chicago, IL-based Smurfit-Stone Container earned the top two prizes from the National Paperboard Packaging Competition for its unique package.
For more information:
Tom Lange, Smurfit-Stone Container Corp.,
Rachel Bowling, Commercial Packaging,
Paul Langen, AFA Systems Ltd.,
New PET bottle transforms 100-year-old brand
Launched in 1902 in �??friction-top tins,�?? Karo Syrup, produced by ACH Food Companies has moved into a new packaging era with the introduction of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles from Amcor PET Packaging, Manchester, MI.
Currently on store shelves in the new PET bottle is the brand�??s flagship 16-oz. size. The PET conversion is also used to introduce a new flavor�??Karo Corn Syrup made with real brown sugar.
Having recently purchased the Karo Syrup brand from Unilever, ACH Food Companies, a division of Associated British Foods plc, wanted to update the package with more functionality yet retain the familiar appearance of the brand.
|After spending the last 100 years in metal tins and glass containers, Karo Syrup received a major packaging makeover with its new 16-oz. PET bottle. Source: Amcor PET Packaging.
For easy dispensing of the viscous syrup, a 33mm polypropylene flip-top dispensing closure was provided by Crown Zeller USA. The closure, combined with the bottle�??s new squeezability, makes it easier for consumers to squeeze out the thick syrup.
As for the bottle itself, the objective was to create a lightweight, panel-less design that would perform well with fill temperatures required for syrup products.
The contemporary bottle design also has a slightly thinner waist to better suit the female hand. �??Our research showed us that this was a bottle that was easier to grip,�?? says Erin Shackelford, brand manager, ACH Food Companies. �??We wanted the bottle to have a quality feel and be able to stand up to shipping abuse without dented or scratched shoulders.�??
For more information:
Rebecca Streby, Amcor PET Packaging,
Nancy Kane, Crown Zeller USA, Inc.,
Clear labels made from Cargill Dow�??s corn-based NatureWorks polylactide (PLA) polymer film are now available from several major processors. Available in a variety of applications including cut-and-stack, shrink sleeve, and pressure-sensitive labels, NatureWorks PLA film offers clarity, gloss, and printability. The labels also feature high water vapor transmission rates and good adhesion. Processing trials showed that NatureWorks PLA successfully runs on a range of conventional labeling equipment with good throughput and line speed. The film is compatible with a variety of adhesives, including water-based, solvent-based and UV-cured adhesives. One of the companies currently offering NatureWorks PLA labels is Green Bay Packaging, which recently debuted pressure-sensitive labels made from the NatureWorks material.
Environmentally-friendly clear labels
New microwaveable packaging offers heat and go convenience for portable foods
The bar has officially been raised for consumer convenience packaging with the introduction of Quilt Wave from Marietta, GA-based Graphic Packaging. A �??breakthrough technology�?? the company says will greatly expand the number of food applications that can be prepared with a microwave oven, the paper and flexible film package provides heat and eat convenience for portable foods, says Dan Keefe, Graphic Packaging�??s director of marketing.
Quilt Wave, part of the company�??s MicroRave product line, is a flexible, three-layer, active microwave food package. According to Graphic Packaging, the product can be used either as a stand-alone pouch or package, or as an element in a paperboard carton, tray or sleeve. PET film is laminated to both sides of a light paper.
|Consumers can enjoy a crispy grilled cheese sandwich prepared in the microwave by using Graphic Packaging�??s Quilt Wave microwaveable packaging. Source: Sepp�??s Gourmet Foods Ltd.
The packaging incorporates a grid of individual cells, which expand when heated in a microwave oven. The cell expansion serves to provide excellent surface contact of the susceptor side of the film to the food product. This quickly crisps and browns the food product while keeping the outer surface of the film pouch cool enough to be handled when removing the cooked food from the microwave.
Quilt Wave�??s first commercial application is for a microwave grilled cheese sandwich manufactured by Sepp�??s Gourmet Foods Ltd.
�??The uniqueness of our product is found in the engineering of the new individual package,�?? says Patrick Villanueva, director of marketing for Sepp�??s Gourmet Foods. �??All consumers need to do is take the individual package from the freezer, open one end, place it in the microwave for 45 seconds, remove it from the package and allow it to cool for 30 seconds and enjoy a crispy, not soggy, grilled cheese sandwich�??a revolution in microwave cooking.�??
For more information:
Andy Johnson, Graphic Packaging International,
The Easy Go bag from Easy Snap provides a gusset fold at the bottom of the package, with a flat bottom so that the package stands up. The bag includes a rigid closure feature that gives a snap sound when closing the package. The company says the product provides low-cost market entry into reclosable packaging, as well as an efficient and economical in-line packaging process with VFFS equipment.
|The Easy Go bag�??s gusset fold and flat bottom enable it to stand up. Source: Easy Snap.
MeadWestvaco Packaging Systems has developed a stand-up pouch packaging system that can replace corrugated boxes while still maintaining the compression strength needed to protect the pouches. The paperboard package, targeted toward beverage manufacturers, is scheduled to be on US market shelves in the spring. MeadWestvaco�??s pouch package features an internal support construction that strengthens the carton and eliminates the need for tertiary packaging. The pack also offers an easy-open dispenser, enabling the beverage pouches to be stored in the refrigerator, freezer or pantry. MeadWestvaco�??s pouch package offers speed capabilities of up to 600 pouches per minute. This line speed allows multiple fillers to feed a single MeadWestvaco packaging line and enables beverage manufacturers to multi-pack more product with less investment in equipment.
Stand-up pouch packaging system
Genpak introduced a new self-absorbent foam tray called the Freshtray for meat products that soaks up liquid and eliminates the need for a soaker pad, resulting in cost savings on warehouse space, freight, shrinkage and time. Freshtray has small surface holes where purge passes to an �??open cell�?? area within the tray. Liquid is trapped there and held away from the product. Use of the Freshtray also offers consumers the appearance of a clean and sanitary tray. Freshtray is currently available in standard supermarket sizes to West Coast customers.
Self-absorbent foam meat tray
Seal-It introduced holographic shrink bands and labels designed to provide manufacturers of consumer products a visible security device that cannot be copied or simulated. The holographic strip is a three dimensional image which can be custom designed with a company logo or pattern. The complexity of the pattern is said to make it almost impossible to reproduce. The unique properties of the hologram provide higher security and help eliminate counterfeiting of products.
Holographic shrink bands
FreshPax is a patented oxygen absorber from Multisorb Technologies used to protect foods against spoilage, mold growth, color change, rancidity, loss of nutritive values, and loss of quality. Produced in a packet form using food grade ingredients, FreshPax is said to irreversibly absorb oxygen inside sealed packages to less than 0.01 percent and maintain this level. It can be used with or without gas flushing/vacuum packaging to absorb virtually all oxygen in the package and any oxygen that might permeate the package. According to Multisorb, FreshPax has been found to be effective when used with many kinds of packaging materials including ethylene-vinyl alcohol (EVOH) and polyvinylidene chloride (PVdC).
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