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Active packaging pad keeps food moist and cuts waste

By Rachel Arthur+

28-Mar-2014
Last updated on 28-Mar-2014 at 13:14 GMT

Essentra Packaging AquaSense moisture food packaging Interpack

Essentra Packaging has launched its AquaSense pad, an item of active packaging which controls the moisture content within packs. 

On opening a pack, the consumer puts the AquaSense pad under water to soak up liquid. It is put back in the pack and releases moisture slowly to keep contents fresh and stop them drying out.

Simon Wildash, head of marketing, Essentra Packaging, told FoodProductionDaily.com this helps reduce food waste and gives consumers more control over products.

Are you a ‘fellow innovator’?

The pad absorbs a set amount of water, like a sponge,” Wildash said. “Once the pad is full, you close the packaging, and that moisture will slowly release into the environment.

It goes from a translucent colour back to opaque, so you can tell when it’s running out and needs more liquid adding to it,” he added.

Wildash said the product is currently being used by a tobacco producer, but the company wants to hear from “fellow innovators” as it develops the product for the food industry.

The AquaSense pad is 25mm in diameter but this can be varied, and only soaks up as much moisture as it needs, so the consumer does not need to measure the dose.

Graphics and designs can be added to the pad.

Essentra says its pad can be designed to meet the needs of a particular product, and offers consumers a more “more interactive relationship with the brand through the packaging”.

What do you want from active packaging?

Essentra Packaging will be demonstrating the product at Interpack (Düsseldorf, May 8-14) where it will ask food producers what properties would be useful.

It’s really something where we’re open to discussion,” Willdash said. “It’s a food approved product, so what are the environments it could be used in?

“Is it salads, is it coffees? We’re exploring the kind of goods where elements do need to be controlled.

Where is moisture important to the freshness? Or maybe it’s the other way around and our products needs to be absorbing moisture,” Willdash said.

Could it offer absorption capability, could it be flavour release, could it absorb other elements?”

Part of Essentra Packaging’s Protect range, AquaSense has been released as part of Essentra’s Active Label Technology and has been co-developed and patented with Essentra Porous Technologies.

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