To give you an idea of how important the Anuga FoodTec is seen in the world of the food and drink industry, let me tell you that this year Tetra Pak had a stand covering 4,800 m2 (that for my American friends is more than 50,000 sq.ft), showing its whole range of products with several interesting novelties. But I will talk about the new developments of Tetra Pak in my next article.
My first report of the exhibition is a collection of smaller but interesting developments and products.
TenderPac – optimal maturation for case-ready meats
Within its thermoforming division, Sealpac GmbH from Oldenburg , Germany, attracted attention with its modern post-maturation packaging system for red meat: TenderPac. It ensures that fresh meat products, such as beef, can be stored ‘dry’ in their packaging whilst increasing shelf-life and attracting buyers due to their appealing vertical presentation.
The TenderPac features a dual-compartment vacuum packaging system, which creates the optimal conditions for maturing meat products and is presented standing or hanging in the retail shelves.
The packaging system uses a second compartment, separated by a porous seam and covered by a pre-printed film or label that neatly collects the meat’s drip-loss during the maturation process by means of a special absorption pad. This ensures that the meat is stored dry and appetizingly during its entire shelf-life.
The TenderPac system is available on Sealpac’s complete range of RE-series thermoformers. By using the Rapid Air Forming technology, packs from different film thicknesses can be formed in a highly energy-efficient process.
LamiCan – Aseptic Carton Packaging
My readers might recall that some time ago I wrote about the developments in beverage cans made from paperboard. At the Anuga one more company presented a beverage can made from paperboard. The LamiCan is similar to the paperboard can of CartoCan.
The company, Lamipak, manufactures a full range of aseptic paperboard material products which are fully compatible with TBA filling lines. They even have the Tetra Pak and SIG Combibloc like beverage cartons in their portfolio.
Although a Finnish company with production facilities in Valkeakoski, the Lamipak range is produced at a state of the art production plant in Kunshan, China, close to the port of Shanghai.
Lamican packages consist on several laminated layers, including the pull tape made of aluminium, printing inks and varnish, alufoil, tie layer and LDPE.
The can lid is made from LDPE, tie layer, alufoil and board, while the body of the can consist of a heating sealed lacquer, varnish and printing inks, followed by aseptic board material, LDPE, alufoil and AFF/PE.
Finally the bottom of the can is made from aseptic board material, LDPE, alufoil and AFF/PE.
Let’s have a look at the manufacturing of the paperboard can. I took the LAC 250 Aseptic Packaging Machine as an example.
By feeding pre-printed paperboard from a reel into the machine, the can is formed around a turret where, heated by hot air, the side joint is heat sealed.
A reel of the lid material with the closure mechanism feeds the die-cutting device. The lid is joined to the body, the surface of the seal is activated by hot air and the joint is sealed in the sealing unit. The can is then forwarded to the filling unit.
The aseptic process is an integral part of the packaging machine. In an aseptic chamber, a precise amount of peroxide steam is sprayed into the can and vaporised by hot air. The sterilised cans are transferred to the stage of product filling.
The filling of the can takes place simultaneously in all six lanes in the filling unit through the open bottom of the can. The filling of the can is carried out by using electromagnetic flowmeters to control the filling valves. The can is forwarded from the filling unit to the conveyor belt. The machine is equipped with a foam removal system. Inert gas in the head space of the package is used when required.
After the can is filled, it is closed by joining heat sealing. The seals are activated by hot air and pressed closed in the sealing unit.
Eurocap reclosable can end
Reclosable beverage cans are not new, but this design of Eurocap GmbH, from Schwaigern, Germany, has a completely different design. By the way the company supplies the complete can end.
Every can is reclosable with this can end. It opens like a RingPull and closes with an integrated flip top. The CanCap is designed for applications with beverages CSD, energy drinks, non CSD juices, milk, coffee, and other liquids.
The CanCap is made of just one component, but has three flexible parts to facilitate recloseability.
The CanCap was tested for tightness, aroma transfer and contamination by the Nehring Institute in Braunschweig, Germany and was certified as unobjectionable for use in the food industry.
The CanCap closure system can be modified and is suitable for all cans with liquid contents. A variation of CanCap was developed especially for drink cans; this is tailored to meet the specific physical requirements of the can as well as facilitating the easy use to which the consumer is accustomed.
Ecolean Air Aseptic – Lightweight packages for on the go
Lightweighting has proved to be a winning business concept in the liquid food business. Three years ago Ecolean launched its aseptic filling system for family size packages at Anuga Foodtec. New at this year’s exhibition are the aseptic portion packages, for the first time shown in Europe.
People are on the go more often and this has led to demands for smaller package sizes and more single serve packs. The portion packages are perfect for on the go, for smaller households and they fit well in children’s lunch boxes.
Ecolean showed its latest innovation: an aseptic portion pack with optionally an attached straw.
The portion packs sized 200 and 250 ml developed for ambient distribution become, when emptied, flat as an envelope and take almost no space in the trash can.
Ecolean packages weigh approximately 50-60% less than conventional cartons or bottles.
The packaging material is made from a thin plastic film, part plastic (PE and PP) and part chalk (40% by weight), one of nature’s own material. The pitcher shaped flexible package has an air-filled handle which makes it easy to grip and pour from.
This was my first report from the Anuga FoodTec 2012. Next article will related about the novelties of Tetra Pack. I will have one more article about packaging and food preservation and one more about novelties in flexible packaging, among others the new SurePouch from Robert Bosch. Keep tuned.