Peelable films were first used to package medical equipment so that packages were easy to open in emergency situations and operating rooms. Since new materials and combinations of polymers have been created to meet the stressful requirements for food packaging, the popularity of peelable lidding films in the food processing industry has grown.
Food packaging suppliers and food processing manufacturers have focused their attention on the development of a food package that:
1) First and foremost, is consumer-friendly – creates an ease of use without compromising other properties of the package and impacting food quality. Key factors for consumers are little to no spilling, leakage or tearing, can be chilled, frozen or microwaved and recycled.
2) Balances superior tamper evidence with ease of use - has a heavy-duty seal to the film covered trays or bowls while providing the superior tamper evidence required by the food packaging industry and food consumers.
3) Cuts costs by reducing the materials and labor. Instead of buying the label stock, printing labels, sealing the product, and then applying the label, food manufacturers can accomplish the same in one simple step by using Preferred Packaging’s printed films and an in-line printer.
The science of packaging will always be the joining of many scientific disciplines. In peelable lidding the important considerations are:
- The Container – In a tray or cup food packaging, the container has an effect on the film performance and the machinery. Wide rim or lip containers tend to work best with peelable films however large flat surfaces increase the chance for contamination in the seal area. Monitoring of the production process is recommended to preserve the integrity of the seal.
- Film selection – Check out the Century Flexible Packaging laminate guide for seal classification by container or “Seal To” material. A film that is too thin may cause tears and leakage. A film that is too thick may cause the lid not to seal properly and jam the lidding machine. Contact Century Flexible Packaging for assistance in choosing the best film for your application.
- Hot Tack and Heat Seal Strength – Consider hot tack and heat seal strength for your application. Ask your packaging supplier for assistance.
- The Machinery - The machinery used in all steps of manufacturing a peelable package has an influence on the finished product. The new machinery to handle these technologies has become faster and more cost effective. Timing, temperature and pressure are key contributors.
Peelable film technology has certainly progressed in recent years, and its applications in the future are endless. The ultimate purpose for the lidding films in food processing and packaging is to seal in flavors,
maintain the appropriate color, texture and quality of food which create customer satisfaction and loyal consumers.
Century Flexible Packaging is a leading supplier of packaging supplies for the food processing and industrial markets. Contact the company for consultation for your packaging needs.