DISPATCHES FROM INTERPACK 2011

New plastic food packaging could replace metal and glass

By Helen Glaberson

- Last updated on GMT

The finished multi-barrier plastic packaging (right) and the inside barrier foil (left)
The finished multi-barrier plastic packaging (right) and the inside barrier foil (left)

Related tags: Food

A new multi-barrier plastic food packaging product from Netstal could replace glass and metals, claimed the firm.

Collaborating with partner companies Glaroform and Ilsemann, Netstal said its new multi-barrier packaging which is being launched this week at Interpack, Düsseldorf.

The packaging product consists of a barrier foil which is positioned between the injected layers of plastic. This allows the product to preserve food over long periods of time, with a shelf-life that is comparable to metal tins, claims the machinery supplier.

The use of plastic also eliminates crevice corrosion which can occur in metal packaging - this means no “tinny taste​”, according to Netstal.

Other benefits

The company said the inner layer of the packaging is safe for all filling products such as meat, vegetables, brine, oil, sauces, coffee and tea.

The packaging allows for in-mould labelling, said the company, and is also easy to stack, is re-closable and easy to open.

In terms of eco-credentials, Netstal said the use of recyclate on the outer layer of the packaging is possible. Ecological taxes can also be reduced, according to the company, as the product is classed as composite packaging.

Creating the multi-layer

To create the multi-layer function, a preformed barrier foil, similar to the finished container and made from metal or plastic of low permeability is inserted into the packaging mould, Netstal said.

After this stage, the first plastic layer is injected into the outer side of the container, followed by a second plastic layer onto the barrier foil on the inner side.

Another benefit of the multi-layer barrier compound is that the barrier foil is protected against damage from the outside, but also avoiding contact with the packaged product, according to Netstal.

The barrier compound also means there is no “retort shock” upon sterilisation of food products in the autoclave.

“Retort shock” refers to the weakening of barrier properties in packaging during the sterilisation process due to the water absorption of the plastic.

Netstal said the multi-barrier packaging product meets practical standards and that trials can be now carried out in the food processing industry.

The company said it will develop the system further with partners in the packaging and food processing industries.

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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