Linpac Packaging has unveiled a range of trays and films that can use additives to make the product inside last longer.
The range can be coated with antimicrobial properties before or after manufacture or include a pad inside the packaging to extend shelf life for meat, bakery and fruit products.
The firm worked with supplier companies to develop a range of antimicrobial solutions to reduce spoilage by slowing down the growth of bacteria, moulds and yeast.
The films and trays are commercially available now in the UK and Europe.
The length of shelf-life extension depends on factors including what the packaged item is, the method and amount of applying the antimicrobial and temperature the food is being stored at but could be between one to five days, the firm said.
How the additives work
LINPAC said the additives can be applied in a three ways and across a variety of sectors.
One option is for antimicrobial varnishes to be added to films and trays after manufacture, another is for labels or pads containing the additives to be included within food packages to soak up meat juices.
The third option is for the antimicrobial agents to be added into the film or tray polymer mix so that they are part of the packaging production process for rigid or expanded polystyrene (EPS) trays.
The firm added which method is chosen will depend on what product is inside the tray or film.
MAP packaging increase
The company claim using the correct MAP conditions, the shelf-life of fresh poultry can be increased from around four–six days to between eight and 14 days under refrigeration.
While red meat can increase from two–four days to between eight and 12 days, depending on pack design, they added.
Alan Davey, director of innovation at LINPAC Packaging, said the novelty of the concept is based on the final application improving shelf life and not the materials themselves.
“We have developed a technically advanced range of packaging solutions which incorporate antimicrobial agents to slow down the growth of bacteria which leads to food spoilage and waste.
“Crucially, the active agents do not affect the food’s organoleptic properties, such as taste and smell.”