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Lidding film technology improves shelf life, claims KM Packaging

By Joe Whitworth, 04-Jan-2013

Related topics: Packaging

KM Packaging has developed lidding film technology that it claims can provide some ambient ready meals with a shelf life of up to 12 months.

The films, available under the firm’s Superguard X range, are aimed at ambient ready meals containing uncooked meat, vegetables and sauces for airlines, the military and shipping vessels and can also be used in frozen products.

KM Packaging said that the meals are usually presented in a crystalline polyethylene terephthalate (CPET) tray and require lidding films that are ovenable and able to withstand retort processes, which keep the contents of the ready meal fresh and safe from any bacteria.

They added that the films are more reliable, deliver superior peelability, high barrier properties and film clarity.   

Significant increase

The new Superguard X films could guarantee product integrity of uncooked produce stored at ambient temperatures for nearly a year, said KM Packaging.

The multilayer films are 52 microns thick and can be sealed to a variety of types of packaging depending on the film.

Product trials took into account environmental and processing elements as well as the behaviour of various contents of sample pre-prepared meals.

Market demand

Charles Smithson, KM Packaging’s managing director, said the technology was driven by requests from food manufacturers.

“They have recently come under increasing pressure to source more resilient and reliable packaging materials following a significant increase in demand for sophisticated, ambient ready meals from organisations such as airlines, the military and shipping vessels.

“Typically ambient pre-prepared meals only last up to eight weeks, which can often lead to significant product waste.

“KM Packaging recognised the need for a superior high performance lidding film and with our vast experience in the food manufacturing industry we were able to easily identify the key performance criteria of the material required to do the job.”

KM Packaging said the ability to identify film functionalities that would be affected by different processing techniques, storage atmospheres and logistic conditions encountered by the product were key to its design.