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New packaging solution relies on proprietary features and performance of DuPont

Du Pont Engineering Polymers : 01 April, 2003  (Company News)
Montorsi Francesco & Figli SpA, part of the Veronesi Group and an Italian leader in processed meat, has worked with DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers to develop a new high-performance film for flow-packing AIA brand roasted turkey breast.
This new solution, which is also used by Montorsi to package other food specialities, relies on the proprietary features and performance of DuPont™ Surlyn® brand resin. It offers maximum hygiene, an excellent secondary seal with perfect adhesion to the meat, a high barrier against gas, resistance to pasteurising temperatures, and excellent features in terms of brilliance and transparency.

The packaging film, which contains polyamide and EVOH, features a sealing coat made of a special zinc-based Surlyn® resin, which has several particularly important properties for this specific application.

“We were looking for a packaging material that could offer the best possible performance in terms of secondary seal,” says Agnese Prete, head of packaging department at Montorsi. “In changing the type of packaging used for several of our products sold to delis and catering businesses, which we protected in the past using heat-shrink packaging, we sought a vacuum flow-pack that would adhere perfectly to the meat. We didn’t want the liquid that can ooze from the cooked meat to move about inside the package. The types of metallocene polyethylene we tested were unable to satisfy this requirement.”

“The film also had to be able to resist pasteurisation without any problems, a treatment that requires temperatures of up to 90 °C. Moreover, it also had to offer a high barrier to oxygen and, of course, be suitable for direct contact with food,” adds Prete. The key to the solution came from a film made with a zinc-based grade of DuPont™ Surlyn®, which yields a packaging film that can be wrapped around the meat like a second skin.

The DuPont material has a high melting point and can stand pasteurisation temperatures without any problems. Moreover, it complies with the standards in force in the European Union and in the US for direct contact with food. Thanks to the use of polyamide and EVOH, this new film is thinner, yet offers the same shelf life as the packaging used previously.

“The entire project to change the packaging started with the decision to maximise automation of the packaging lines,” adds Prete. “Before, the product was manually placed inside the bags and then forwarded to the sealing and heat-shrink phases. Now the process is completely automated: our personnel never directly touch the product, and this means that we can offer one of the highest levels of hygiene in this industrial sector. Another detail that should not be overlooked is the fact that the change has reduced our labour needs and has allowed us to assign these human resources to other areas.”

The aesthetic quality of the new packaging is yet another advantage offered by the DuPont material. The brilliance of the film – a characteristic that has contributed to the success of DuPont™ Surlyn® in this sector – provides the ideal medium for rotogravure, whose excellent performance in turn underscores the high-quality image of the product inside. Montorsi uses the new film above all for packaging roast turkey breast and poultry products to be sold in slices by delicatessens, gourmet shops, catering businesses and the foodservice industry.

In addition, it is used to package roasted and spiced pork loin. In this case, DuPont™ Surlyn® offers the added advantage of a reliable seal against contamination. The average weight of these packages ranges between 1.5 kg to 7 kg: the mechanical strength of the DuPont material permits the production of packages that weigh up to 15 kg without any problems. A significant share of these products will be sold on foreign markets.
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