Swiss packaging company, Comvince, developed the tray with Fjordland and says it is the first PVC and EPOXY-free ready meal tray, which can withstand temperatures of up to 240°c.
It will give producers the chance to expand into the €30bn ready meal market, the company said.
Jörg Weltert, owner, Comvince, told FoodProductionDaily.com this allows consumers to heat meals in the oven at higher temperatures for a better meal and higher level of food safety.
The ConviTray has a four week shelf-life for fresh products. Weltert said long shelf life is useful for its initial use in Norway, where distribution to the far north can take time.
“Longer shelf life has economic advantages,” he said. “Larger production runs and cost efficiencies are possible due to the longer shelf life. There are reduced risks of food waste risks compared to short shelf life products.”
The aluminium tray has a tight seal and stable container which does not lose its shape when heated in ovens.
Fjordland is the first manufacturer to use the ConviTray, with the sale of its Ovnsklar ready meals (salmon fillet and lasagna) launched this week. The tray was developed in collaboration with Comvince, and is made by Nicholl Food Packaging in the UK.
Put it in the oven
“Manufacturers have the opportunity to create recipes and higher quality, better tasting premium meals with this product,” said Weltert.
Standard ready-meals use modified atmosphere packaging, to extend shelf life of the food by removing oxygen from the air.
Products in the ConviTray can be pasteurized at high temperatures as well, which gives it better food safety credentials and longer shelf life compared to other ready meals, Weltert said.
The company claims the tray preserves the taste, aroma and nutritional value of the food, and is used for meals which target the upper-end of the market. “We are talking about packaging for a premium product which you do not want to reheat in the microwave,” Weltert said. “For a better flavour you need to put it in the oven.”
The tray is targeting busy consumers, Weltert added.