CMYK

C O VF EO RC S UT SO R Y

Barrier Packaging:
Essential for the Retail Success

The growing need for such thermoformable barrier sheets can not be ignored. Organised retail is here to stay and flourish. If such materials are not offered by the local industry, nothing stops the organised retail chains from importing them from their current sources
Sunil Jain
President, Rajoo Engineers, New Delhi

anywhere in the world.
THE ECONOMIC TIMES POLYMERS

• AUGUST - SEPTEMBER, 2008

19

it is already accepted. Indians. Barrier Packaging Materials Edible products need any or more than one of the following packaging materials: • Films for use on FFS machines for solid and liquid products Rigid thermoformed containers – packed on FFS machines (with in-line thermoforming) or off-line packing in preformed containers • Rigid retortable high temperature resistance thermoformed containers In this contribution. requires to be protected from the vagaries of nature and exposure on the retail market shelves. Thermoformed containers of barrier materials consist of two components – lidding material and the container itself. a high abuse container resistance together with an attractive presentation. Barrier films were first introduced in the country for packing of long shelf-life edible oil. Retortable shelf stable barrier plastics offer a unique packaging concept on autoclaveable. to attain the required shelflife. reheatable and microwaveable plastic containers with outstanding performances on sensory and nutritive characteristics. why the demand for high barrier packaging materials for packaging of food is poised to rise in the country to stupendous volumes in days to come. The fact. cooking meals at home is taking the back burner or for that matter no burner at all! And this is precisely the reason. With rising disposable incomes and DINK households (Double Income No Kids). Thanks also to the revolution of the organised retail and also the availability of the packaging materials. Such sheets not only offer barrier and chemical resistance properties. The variety in cuisines is as diverse as the country and its people. Thanks to the perseverance of the flexible packaging material producers. Containers from barrier thermoformable sheets can also be hot filled. from the top and the bottom. The food product needs protection both. remains that it is now a success. thermoformable barrier multilayered sheet for shelf stable rigid containers. It took ages for this concept to be both technically and commercially viable. Thermoformable barrier sheets have low oxygen or moisture transmission. however. they can also be formed into many unique and generic shapes. the edible oil producers. It was always understood that such materials are only for packing of meat as happens in the Western and meat-eating countries but the scenario has changed and the advantages of using such materials even for vegetarian food is now being understood and accepted.e. focus will be on the latter i. While the top lidding is produced on 5-7 layer blown film lines or from composite laminates.SEPTEMBER. a high abuse container resistance together with an attractive presentation. retortable shelf stable barrier plastics offer a unique packaging concept on autoclaveable. They also help in preserving the aroma and odour. still prefer fresh food over frozen or precooked food. Further. • Applications Any product which is highly susceptible to oxidation or turns rancid or is not edible over a period of time. reheatable and microwaveable plastic containers with outstanding performances on sensory and nutritive characteristics. 2008 . the bottom container is produced from 5-7 layer barrier sheets and then thermoformed in-line or off-line. FFS machine manufacturers and of-course. unlike many other Asians. Some of those 20 THE ECONOMIC TIMES POLYMERS • AUGUST .CMYK Introduction Concept of barrier packaging materials is yet to gain momentum in India the way it should have. The market for barrier films and sheets for packaging of ready-to-eat or pre-cooked food will surely not witness such prolonged efforts and as a concept.

pâté. polystyrene (PS) or miniportions of cream for coffee. cured cheese.Suitable for modified atmosphere required for packaging (MAP).Coexpan • PP • Nylon • EVOH THE ECONOMIC TIMES POLYMERS • AUGUST . from desserts. long-life fresh pasta. ice cream. resistance is sauces. Barrier is imparted by using Nylon.. PVDC or EVOH. 2008 21 . compact sweets. pizzas.CMYK Shelf stable food from Rexham Retortable bowls from Rexham Retortable trays from Rexham categories of products are: • Dry fruits • Dairy products • Ready-to-eat food with curries • Frozen food • Ready-to-eat full meals • Soups • Sauces and chutneys • Baby food The advantage of opting for thermoformable sheets is that any shape of container can be formed..High barrier for Meat products where high subjected to autoclave. cooked PS/EVOH/PE – High barrier sheet for.Coexpan retorting.. Suitable for modified atmosphere which PS is the most packaging (MAP)..Coexpan packaging (MAP).for Preserves.. a necessity for t h o s e applications PP/EVOH/PP.. fresh • PE cheese. sauces. The use of PP is however.. fresh or temperature meats.Suitable for modified atmosphere fresh desserts . which are mostly PS/EVOH/PS – High barrier sheet . The barrier sheet is produced from any or a PS/PE/PS – Medium barrier for combination of the Frozen foods. • • • PVDC Tie resin PS The barrier sheet can have either of the following configurations depending on the final properties required: • ABA • ABAC • CABA Materials The bulk layer of the co-extruded sheet is one of the so called mass polymers. milk-based polypropylene (PP). cooked dishes.Coexpan preferred one because of the ease of thermoformability that is necessary on Form-Fill-Seal lines. fruit preserves. jellies.SEPTEMBER.. milk-based following materials: desserts. fruit juice.

Total thickness ranges from 300 microns to 1. It is necessary to use PP or PS to impart thermoformability to the sheet. In addition. • Desiccant dryers. Sheet Line Typical setup of a barrier sheet line is as follows: • 4/5 extruders. no contribution can be complete without addressing the environment issue. • Three-roll inclined polishing roll stack. • Two-station centre winder. it is necessary to emphasize that the plastic sheets are all based on a major part of a bulk material (PS or PP) and therefore incompatibility upon recycling is not a major issue. A typical example being certain kinds of cheese and curd. • Trim grinding and collecting unit. • Cassette type / continuous screen changers.CMYK • • CABAC ABCBD Typical barrier sheets contain either nylon or EVOH as the barrier layer e. For certain dairy products stored in the chilled chain cabinet. PP/CXA/Nylon or EVOH/CXA/PP. For medium and high barrier sheet extrusions. 2008 . multilayered plastic products are more difficult to recycle if heat sensitve materials or incompatible materials are coextruded. • Melt metering pumps. • Melt pressure and temperature transducers. Conclusion Today. • Conveying and gravimetric feeding system. • Trim station with rotary cutter. thermal stability of all the components will not intefere Three roll inclined polishing stacker 22 THE ECONOMIC TIMES POLYMERS • AUGUST . as a supplier of packaging material based on plastics. In general. additional techniques and procedures are employed to extend the shelf-life of such food.5 mm depending on the size and depth of the final container. • Circulating fluid temperature control unit. and a CO2/ Nitrogen mixture and a PS/Barrier/PE material.g. • Co-extrusion feed block.SEPTEMBER. • Flat sheet die with trolley. • Take off unit.

We request you to send it in duplicate along with detailed diagrams. Organised retail is here to stay and flourish. coextruded structures can be integrated in the recycling systems and will contribute to optimal reutilisation of materials. Please send in your articles. 2008 23 . Tel: 24980271 Ext. Road. nothing stops the organised retail chains from importing them from their current sources anywhere in the world. Mumbai : 400 001.CMYK Extruders – typical 4 extruder five layer configuration Two station winder under normal processing conditions. Kindly send us a soft copy for the text matter. which could be considered for publication after evaluation.com THE ECONOMIC TIMES POLYMERS • AUGUST .N. The Economic Times Polymers Times B2B. Dr D. 140 • E-mail: b2bads@timesgroup. project or set-up. Therfore. Fort. tables etc.SEPTEMBER. The Times of India Building. sketches. Bennett. excluding the PVDC containing materials where specific techniques need to be used. If such materials are not offered by the local industry. TECHNICAL CONTRIBUTIONS We solicit your Technical Editorial Contributions by the way of Case Studies associated with a unique application. Colemen & Co Ltd. Adaptation to a new technology or process could also be the basis of your article. The growing need for such thermoformable barrier sheets can not be ignored. photographs.