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Uflex increases tortilla chip shelf life from three weeks to 90 days

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By Jenny Eagle+

Last updated on 09-Jan-2017 at 14:49 GMT2017-01-09T14:49:02Z

Packaging by Uflex for Whole Foods Market. Pic: Uflex
Packaging by Uflex for Whole Foods Market. Pic: Uflex

Whole Foods Market has partnered with Uflex to redesign its tortilla packaging after the barrier coating left the chips soggy after three weeks.

The US chain says it was using multi-layer Kraft Paper bags with BOPP sealant layer but this was not providing enough barrier from oxygen and moisture. 

Paper torn in the supply chain

Consumers also had to cut the 16oz bags from the top to take the chips out which meant there was no provision for resealing them to open at another time for snacking-on-the-go. 

Anup Sachdeva, joint president, packaging (Global Exports), Uflex, told BakeryandSnacks, the fabrication of multi-layer Kraft paper is in itself an expensive proposition that requires specialized equipment at the converters’ end. 

“Disadvantages were paper being torn in the supply chain or ruptures from the sharp edges of the tortilla chips,” he said. 

Printing on paper poses further limitations diminishing the aesthetics of the pack.” 

Sachdeva added, being the largest seller of organic food in the US, Whole Foods Market wanted a design that gave the packaging an organic feel to it, upholding its brand ethos.

3D flat bottom pouch

Uflex created a three layered, 12.5 micron coated polyester/18 micron BOPP (both sides treated)/35 micron polyethylene packaging structure as a 3D flat bottom pouch. 

Polyester provides excellent barrier from oxygen and thermal resistance owing to its melting temperature that is as high as 150-160°C. 

BOPP acts as a strong barrier to moisture, and polyethylene (PE) serves as a sealant layer that gives added strength and sturdiness to the pouch. 

To impart a paper-like organic look, special registered matte coating was applied on the glossy polyester film. 

The pouch is reverse printed and the same machine has the facility of carrying out Registered Top Coating, either in matte or gloss allowing for a transparent window. 

A concealed Press-To-Close (PTC) pocket zipper was inserted on the front panel of the 3D pouch with a perforated strip for easy opening and protecting the product for deferred use without fear of spoilage. 

One million pouches

We dispatched one million pouches to the co-packer in December for the Christmas season,” said Sachdeva. 

The pouches are now on the retail shelves and the response has been terrific. The matte finished paper-like pouch lives up to the image and ethos of the organic food packed inside.

Plus, the inks we have used in the converting process are Toluene and MEK-free (methyl ethyl ketone)

Tortilla is categorized as healthy food and enjoys a huge market in West America. Consumers appreciate the PTC zipper for its convenience.” 

Sachdeva added, Uflex based in India is now getting more enquiries from Tortilla and other snacks brands in the US that are still using conventional paper packaging. 

Ashok Chaturvedi, MD, Uflex said the pouch was manufactured on a Quad Seal Machine with registered PTC/Slider applicator and perforation facility.

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