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224
FOOD PACKAGING TECHNOLOGY
Table 7.3 Examples of suitability of various films for packing the products named
Product
Fresh bread
Long life
bread
Snacks/crisps
(chips)
Biscuits
Nuts
Cooked meat
Frozen food
LDPE
OPP
OPP
(metallised)
OPP
(coated)
Laminate
(no Al)
Laminate
(+ Al)
Package
type
***
0
***
0
0
*
0
*(MAP)
0
**(MAP)
0
**(MAP)
HFF
HFF
0
*
***
***
**
***
VFF
0
0
0
**
0
0
0
*
**
**(MAP)
*
*
***
*(MAP)
**
0
**
**(MAP)
**(MAP)
***
***
***(MAP)
***(MAP)
***
HFF
VFF
Pouch
Various
0 = Not suitable, * = short life, ** = medium life, *** = long life, MAP = modified atmosphere pack.
gas permeability, optical properties, packing machine performance and heat
sealability.
The commercial consideration of cost must also be considered. Run lengths
and lead times are also important. It is not unknown for there to be run length
cost differences, where at one point a particular solution is cost effective relative to an alternative solution and for the position to be reversed at a different
run length.
7.11
7.11.1
Retort pouch
Packaging innovation
The retort pouch is discussed here as a demonstration, case study, of the integrated approach involving packaging materials, their conversion, forming, filling and sealing together with the processing and machinery which is necessary
to establish any new form of product/packaging presentation. The retort pouch
is a rectangular, flexible, laminated plastic, four-side hermetically sealed
pouch in which food is thermally processed. It is a lightweight, high-quality,
durable, convenient and shelf stable pack. Foods packed and processed in
retort pouches are in successful commercial use for a wide variety of foodstuffs in several countries, particularly Japan. They were originally developed
in the 1950s and 1960s in America through research and encouragement from
the US Army.
The materials from which retort pouches are made are either aluminium foil
bearing/plastic laminates or foil-free plastic laminate films. These must be
inert, heat sealable, dimensionally stable and heat resistant to at least 121°C
for typical process times. They should have low oxygen and water vapour permeability, be physically strong and have good ageing properties (Table 7.4).