A new range of split packs for fresh and cooked meats can help reduce food waste and tap into the growing trend for smaller packaging to cater for one and two person households, said Linpac.
Linpac Packaging said the dual packs, which are sealed in modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), mean contents can be separated into portion-sized compartments and kept fresher longer.
The UK-based company said they are targeted at the growing number of smaller households and are set for a wider roll out over the next few months after being trialled in Spain. This will include a multi-pack for cooked meats aimed at the European summer barbeque season in 2012.
Linpac said it had developed the packaging format as a direct response to growing concern over food waste, which currently stands at an estimated 89m tonnes annually in Europe – or 179kg per person. It added this figure was expected to soar by 40% by 2020 if no action was taken, with households responsible for 42% of food thrown away.
Company innovation director Alan Davey said: “Well-designed packaging can help consumers buy the right amount of food and then keep it in the best condition for longer.”
He added the packs were designed so that the consumer could buy a tray of chicken fillets for example, and open one side before replacing the remaining food two back in the fridge in a sealed pack.
Shelf life extension
The MAP techniques used in the packaging manufacturing reduce spoilage and contamination, and extend the shelf life of the packed foodstuff, said the firm.
It estimated that employing correct MAP conditions can increase fresh poultry shelf life from between four and seven days to 16 and 21 days under refrigerated conditions. Read meat shelf life can also be boosted using the technology from between two and four days to between five and eight days – depending on the pack.
“Where cooked or processed meats are packed in modified atmosphere packaging, shelf life increases from two to four days to between two to five weeks,” declared Linpac.
The company claimed it was one of only a few food packaging companies to manufacture both films and trays for MAP applications.