One of the most important factors in the meat and cheese industries is to protect its products from spoilage, whether on the shelf or during the journey getting there.  Also important is the appearance of the product, especially in the commercial market.  The combination of the two not only helps increase customer appeal but also broaden a producer’s market reach.  Austrian company, PREMIUMPACK, produces packaging solutions that addresses exactly these points.

The use of copolymer ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH) as an oxygen barrier has been a major development in the packaging world.  One of the great benefits of using EVOH is that you need very little of it to create a barrier 100x stronger than standard vacuum pouches and 10x stronger than PVDC. As it is an ethylene alcohol byproduct it is environmentally safe and is susceptible to moisture.  Therefore, it is essential to use a multi-layer material composition that protects EVOH from moisture from both directions, from the inside and outside of the package.  PREMIUMPACK has perfected the use of water vapor barriers, therefore protecting the essential EVOH gas barrier. This unique technology advancement allowed PREMIUMPACK to introduce some the strongest shelf life oriented flexible packaging in the market, including their PREMIUMfresh (for boneless and cheese products) and PREMIUMmax (for meat with sharp bone) products.

Regarding appearance, the most attractive package for meat and cheese is one that barely looks like its there at all. It is the actual product, with its texture and color, that the consumer is interested in.  Therefore, a package that looks completely transparent and gives a tight fit while featuring the actual products attributes is optimal.  As EVOH is an ethylene vinyl alcohol byproduct, its use allows a flexible package to be completely transparent. 

Shrink rates are also an important factor in appearance. The percentage a material can shrink when exposed to 80―90°C hot water or air can directly translate to how tight the package will fit around the entire product, including its edges and corners. PREMIUMPACK uses its 9-layer high barrier shrink package to its advantage by introducing multiple layers of shrinkable polyolefin for extreme shrink rates.  Its PREMIUMfresh products have shrink rates of up to 50%, allowing for a tight second skin effect.

Combining all of these factors into one package, including extreme shelf life, high shrink rates and brilliant transparency, has been the focus of PREMIUMPACK’s industry leading products. This year at Interpack in Düsseldorf PREMIUMPACK will be introducing new appearance oriented high barrier shrink flexible packaging  including the tray shrink bag (a shrink bag that gives the appearance of a tray) and the V-shape (for more triangular formed products).  The meat and cheese industry will no longer need to compromise appearance to achieve their shelf life ambitions.

By Kelly Wright, Senior Sales & Marketing Manager, PREMIUMPACK