Project aims to tear strips off packaging problems

By George Reynolds

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Research

The effectiveness of tear strips used in cardboard packaging is
being tested as part of a new project, which aims to market the
findings later this year.

Swedish packaging manufacturer, Korsnas, is attempting to find out what makes a tear strip work and how strips in various materials differ in performance. To date, there has been very little research conducted on this subject, the company claims. The research could help the manufacturer improve the access designs, ensuring product security and easy access without compromising packaging strength. Tear strips in cardboard packaging aim to combine convenient access with a tamper-evident seal. However, the new security feature has led some consumers to complain that products are too difficult to access, according to Korsnas. People with limited dexterity, including the elderly and infirm, as well as workers using protective gloves due to heightened hygiene regulations, are among those that suffer the most. The aging population is some markets is causing food manufacturers to think about how best to combine security with easy access. In 1995 there were 101 million Europeans over the age of 65, with numbers in that demographic expected to grow to 173 million by 2050, according to development researchers, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASI). Recent research has also suggested that difficulty of access if a significant factor in discouraging consumers from purchasing certain products. Stringent health regulations in plants are requiring more food workers wear gloves and other protective clothing, which can impair grip. Karsten Thuring, from Dresden Technical University and project leader, along with Anna Jansson, laboratory engineer at Korsnas' PackLab, have designed the study that will make it clear what happens at the opening moment. "It is not only the moment of opening that is important when it comes to tear strips,"​ said Korsnas. "The tear strip is a deformation in the pack that makes it less durable for stacking and transport."​ Korsnas said one aspect of the research will focus on the effects of different amounts of layers, along with the optimum speed and angle required to remove the strips.

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