Food packaging manufacturer set to get US plant

By Joe Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

Mortadella cheese which the firm claim is 3 weeks old
Mortadella cheese which the firm claim is 3 weeks old

Related tags: Calcium carbonate

A developer of food packaging which it claims can extend the shelf life of a variety of products is planning to open a US manufacturing site to cope with expected demand.

Ovtene was created in Italy through CEO Alberto Tomasini and the University of Udine and the product was originally developed for cheese.

It is mainly made of calcium carbonate, talc and titanium dioxide and is held together through high density polyethlyne (HDPE) resins.

The developers are planning to open a corporate office in Marion, Massachusetts, followed by a plant on the South Coast so Ovtene can be produced in the US, it is currently manufactured in Italy.

Private sector demand for the product is a key driver in opening up “multiple​” plants, said the firm.

The food packaging is based around the premise of an eggshell, protecting the product inside.

US production need

Salvatore Gigli, North American president, said the packaging is proven to prevent spoilage and prevent bacterial growth.

“Production has to come here ​[to the US] and then we can produce 20 times more than we are doing now.

“The demand is out there for the bags and we just can’t meet it all right now.

“There are meetings planned in September for one or multiple plants, California would need its own plant to produce enough to meet what we need.”

The technology uses calcium carbonate and other trace minerals which are bound with polyethylene.

It is available in rolls, sheets, and bags and was launched at the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association trade show in New Orleans this year.

It can be manufactured in rolls up to 12,000 yards long and 5 feet wide at a micron level of 38.

Compatible foods

Chocolate, cherries and tomatoes have been under observation to see how they compare in the film to usual methods.

Gigli said: “I had half a sandwich and put it in the fridge wrapped in Ovtene and 12 days later I ate it and still have no digestive problem.

“The package also improves the ability to ship abroad, as products such as bread, will get there still fresh and not stale.”

When asked what foods the package might not work with, he said: “I don’t think milk would survive, avocado and cut banana don’t do so well but the banana in its shell does fine in terms of shelf life.”

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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