Food sector boosting 100 per cent rPET demand

By Rory Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Food Polyethylene terephthalate

Phoenix Technologies has received a letter of no objection from Canadian authorities at a level up to 100 per cent for production of its food grade recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) resin.

Demand from the food industry for 100 per rPET was the driver for the company applying to Health Canada for this approval, Phoenix sales and marketing manager Lori Carson told FoodProductionDaily.com.

“We had previously been given approval in Canada for up to 50 per cent but we received so many inquiries from food companies for higher amounts that we decided to submit additional data and apply​.”

Carson believes the drive towards sustainability within the food and beverage industries has been key in heightened interest for100 per cent rPET.

“It is an environmental and brand-owner strategy for companies to reduce their carbon footprint,”​ she said.

The company received the green light last month from the Food Materials and Incidental Additives Section of the Chemical Health Hazard Assessment Division for its LNOc application on for the recycling process for treating “PET material that will be used in the manufacture of containers used for packaging all food types under conditions of use ‘boiling water sterilised’ through ‘frozen or refrigerated storage: ready-prepared foods intended to be re-heated in a container at time of use’.”

The LNOc process relies on its “extremely small particle size​” technology that enables more efficient decontamination leading to faster output and significant energy savings, said Phoenix. As well as creating rPET resin for sale directly to blow/injection moulding and thermoforming operations, the company is also making the technology available to others wishing to set up their own operation - via a licensing, partnership or turnkey system installation.

Phoenix has been working with Canadian manufacturers on commercialising various food and beverage packaging applications.

“The initial market was for bottled water sector, which has expressed quite a bit of interest already,”​ added Carson. “The level of interest from food companies was unexpected but now we have approval in Canada, it gives us a bigger market to go after.”

As FoodProductionDaily.com reported in February last years, Phoenix received a similar ‘no objection’ letter from the US Food and Drug Administration. It is currently seeking approval for Europe and said it expects the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to deliver its verdict before the end of the year. The company has also applied for approval in Mexico and is considering making applications in Brazil or Peru.

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