The Finnish company said the enhanced paperboard tray can now also be used in conventional ovens and is suitable for freezing, as well as being microwave friendly. The original format was launched last year solely as microwave packaging.
“The tray is well-suited for sensitive products that require cold storage and a modified atmosphere package, as the package's good protective properties maintain the product's freshness, and its suitability for the oven, microwave and freezer make it multifunctional” said a company statement.
The packaging also combines the best aspects of two materials: environmentally friendly paperboard and good barrier properties of plastic, Stora Enso’s Johanna Linden told FoodProductionDaily.com.
”Paperboard has replaced aluminium as the material for the tray because it is environmentally friendly,” she added. “Our lifecycle analysis showed a DeLight tray has a lower carbon footprint than an aluminium tray. We also believe it is easier to recycle as it can be placed in the same recycling containers as milk and juice cartons."
MAP shelf life extension
The packaging, which the company developed for Finnish fish processing firm V. Hukkanen, is its first ovenproof modified atmosphere packaging (MAP). This development offers significant shelf life extension for products, said Stora Enso. The MAP technology gives beef a typical shelf life of 12 days, pork 9 days and 18 days for chicken.
Stora Enso said it had combined paperboard and plastic in a new way to get packaging that is more rigid and easy to handle. This had been achieved by the strengthened rim, which ensures that even the most challenging forms hold together and are effectively sealed.
“The innovative injection moulding technique used to form the trays gives brand owners a much wider choice of shapes than the conventional square or rectangular trays,” said Linden. “Our system means we can make forms as diverse as ‘V’ shapes or clouds. Companies can really think outside the box and we will try to offer a solution.”
The paperboard substrate also offers very good printability on both the bottom and sides of the tray.