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New material extends shelf life performance

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New material extends shelf life performance

May 14
09:08 2013

DSM has filed a patent for a packaging material for food, feed and agricultural products to increase shelf life. The company says the material is capable of breathing at a rate that maintains a desired mix of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and water vapour inside the packaging system.

The invention relates to the use of a packaging system for storage of a product, which comprises a packaging material of a thermoplastic, monolithic film, having a water vapour transmission rate of at least 10g/m2 .day.atm at 10°C and 85% relative humidity, with oxygen permeability up to 100cc/m2.

The patent, published last month, cites an example where ‘the packaging material can be applied as a patch and/or label on various base formats such as a tray-lid, vertical form-fill-seal (VFFS) or horizontal, form fill and seal (HFFS). It can also be applied as a flat filmwrapped around the product while sealing with flow-wrap technology.’ After the product has been packed into the packaging system it is closed, preferably by heat sealing.

Referring to other approaches to solve the problem, such as antimicrobial substances, the patent claims these ‘may alter the taste and/or appearance of food. The use of separate sachets is undesirable, as the sachets may become damaged and consequently can form a health risk (or)…need additional handling or have complicated production processes…’

Shelf life or quality could be affected in high barrier packages as the accumulation of water vapour brings about an increase in the aerobic biologic activity in the packaged food. The patent cites an example in the storage of fresh white mushrooms that were cut into slices and packed in different packaging materials: Results demonstrate that the mushroom slices packed in the DSM packaging material showed no water drop formation on the interior surface after 28 days of storage, while the slices packed in the standard packaging material (non-perforated as well as perforated) showed water drop formation already after two days of storage.

“Moreover, the results demonstrate that less than 25% of the mushroom slices packed in the specified packaging material started to show brown spots after 16 days of storage, while mushroom slices packed in standard packaging material (perforated as well as non-perforated) started to show brown spots already after two days of storage,’ reported the inventors in the patent.

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