AkzoNobel has launched antifog additives for polyethylene and ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA) food packaging films to boost the appeal and shelf life of fresh products.
The firm told FoodProductionDaily.com that it was working on the additives to improve hot and cold fog properties in polypropylene and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) applications at K Show in Dusseldorf.
Armofog 151-XE35 is a granular form of Armofog 151, containing 35% active antifog additive, which can be dosed directly to the extruder.
Haimo Tonnaer, commercial manager polymer additives Europe and Africa, said the project was started in 2012 due to customer demand for antifog additives.
“Polyethylene film is the biggest of all packaging films where antifog additives are used but there is a big need for polypropylene film and PET film.
“For polypropylene film there are no good functioning antifog additives so there are some on the market but they are not good enough and for PET there are no antifog additives at all that can be mixed into the polymer.”
Antifog additives target the problem of water droplets forming on plastic films.
“I think everybody knows when you go to a supermarket and you see for example fresh cut vegetables, that there can be droplets on the packaging and it doesn’t look nice and people have the feeling that the product isn’t good anymore and this is why you want to prevent the formation of droplets,” explained Tonnaer.
“What antifog additives actually do, they cannot prevent really the fog, but they make a nice transparent layer of water inside the packaging film which makes it transparent and you don’t see the droplets anymore and the products look fresh and people want to buy it.”
Cold and hot fog
AkzoNobel said the additives are for use with fresh products found in a refrigerator.
“Cold fog is typically what happens below 5 degrees Celsius so if you have a product in the fridge that’s where you talk about cold fog and hot fog is any temperatures above 5 degrees Celsius so at ambient temperatures for example,” he said.
“If you look for example at microwave meals, if you buy it from the fridge it should look very nice but then if you put it in the microwave and it is hot then you still want it to look very nice and fresh.”
It is the first product under the name of Armofog 151.
“It looks better and prevents a lot of waste in the supermarkets because normally people if you have the choice of a very nice transparent looking packaging or one with a lot of droplets, they usually go for the fresh looking product and supermarkets have to throw away a lot of food that contains these droplets,” said Tonnaer.