All chocolate will one day be packaged in fully-sealed wrappers like those used in the cheese industry, according to Theegarten Pactec.
Steffen John, head of mechanical engineering at the company, said: "The market is going more in this way to have tight and hygienic packages. We know it from cheese that you have completely closed seals. We think in the future all candies and chocolate will go this way."
Theegarten Pactec recently partnered with fellow machinery supplier LoeschPack to create a packaging line for chocolate bars that combines flow wrap with cardboard in order to give the product greater protection.
"The aim was to have a premium package and a very hygienic package inside because with the help of the flow pack machine you have a complete sealed package."
"Normally you have aluminum foil over the chocolate bar and this is not completely closed. It is additional cost of course, but the main point is hygiene."
Functional barrier from mineral oils?
The Association of Germany Confectionery Industry (BDSI) recently urged the industry to choose plastic packaging such as polyethylene and polypropylene to provide a protective barrier against carcinogenic mineral oils.
Mineral oils are derived from crude oil and coal and are indigestible - certain types are also carcinogenic.
Recycled paper has been flagged as a potential source of dangerous aromatic mineral oils but tests by Darmstadt University have cast doubt on packaging as a source.
A project by the German government recommended a functional barrier against mineral oils.
Speed and clear windows
Under the Theegarten and LoeschPack partnership, Theegarten provides its FPC5/280 horizontal flowpack machine and LoeschPack takes care of the cartoning wih its LTM-K machine.
"With this combination we can run 170 bars per minute,” said John.
The package Theegarten exhibited at Interpack was a 100g pack with a clear window showing a portion of the product.
"The window is a marketing point to have a view through so you can have a direct view of the nice chocolate product,” said John.