The BeeMagicTray developed by Dampack International has been granted a patent across Europe as it celebrates being a finalist in De Gouden Noot 2014 - The Netherlands Packaging Centre awards (NVC) at Interpack.
The packaging tray is suitable for modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) and uses a perforated film on top of a honeycomb base, allowing excess moisture to pass through a film and separate it from a packaged product.
Ludo Rutten, inventor of the BeeMagicTray told FoodProductionDaily the product meets all European Food Safety Agency requirements regarding its declaration for red meat.
He said the FAVV (Belgium's Federal Food Safety Agency) found that the use of some absorbent inserts for meat packaging releases fibres from the cut side of the contact material which end up in the food.
This is the case for the type of sheets on a roll, the sides of which are not sealed. This is not in accordance with legislation and cannot be accepted. Also in the EFSA’s evaluation of these active materials, it was stated the mechanical release of fibres must be excluded.
“The BeeMagicTray is a simple pack design. The moisture is retained through the surface in the honeycombs that act as capillaries,” said Rutten.
“It is a breakthrough which makes non food-grade cut traditional moisture absorbers (because of paper and plastic fibres that are released) redundant and it is 100% compliant with the latest European packaging regulation.”
Rutten said he invented the tray in 2010 and won a patent for the design last month.
He said Dampack International is now in discussions with some large supermarket chains about the product which is currently in on-going tests.
“It’s mainly used in the meat and fish industry but we are also looking at fruit and vegetables where a product is in contact with its own liquid. This is bad for the quality of the product and so we look to separate the liquid from the food,” added Rutten.
100% mono materials
The BeeMagicTray can be easily produced and inserted in the existing production line of a packaging manufacturer and packer/filler.
The concept is composed of 100% mono materials for recyclability. It uses fewer materials than traditional absorbers, which can no longer be recycled once they are filled with blood or moisture.
The BeeMagicTray improves the quality (lower bacterial count, less moisture loss and less discolouration, reduced acidification, no base imprint), as the gas mixture is also in contact with the underside of the product, which allows the shelf life to be extended.
NVC (founded in 1953) is the association of companies addressing the activity of packaging throughout the supply chain of packaged products and De Gouden Noot is its packaging innovation contest open to retailers, producer of packaged products, design agency or packaging supplier.
Other finalists in the NVC awards include: the Next Generation Food Can by Ardagh and Bonduelle. By applying nitrogen dosing in a controlled way, Ardagh has managed to reduce the wall thickness of food cans by 43% with 15% material savings.
A multipack crate bySchoeller Allibert and the Tenderpac by Ultrapack and Naber Plastics.
By adding the TenderPac to packaging, moisture and gases are sucked away from the product and into the reservoir by inducing an automatic vacuum.
In this way, the shelf life of a product is increased, for example for beef, the increase of the shelf life is at least 30 to 40 days.
Click here to view all 10 finalists of the competition. The winner of De Gouden Noot 2014 will be announced during the 10th NVC Packaging Innovation Dinner on September 30, 2014 at Holland Casino Utrecht.