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NatureWorks, Metalvuoto launch new Ingeo-based film for food packaging

Karen Laird

March 26, 2016

2 Min Read
NatureWorks, Metalvuoto launch new Ingeo-based film for food packaging

NatureWorks and Metalvuoto, a metallized film producer based in Roncello, Italy have developed a new generation of high barrier Ingeo based flexible substrates designed to keep processed foods fresh on store shelves. While Ingeo film has been used for years in fresh food packaging, this is the first application for foods with a long shelf life, which these days are typically packaged in flat, stand up, or squared bottom laminated multilayer pouches.

The introduction comes in response to a strong interest from the flexible packaging market in packaging simplification, with brands looking to move from complex multilayer laminates to simpler packaging solutions without compromising shelf life. Laminated pouches made from the new Metalvuoto film consist of only two layers, yet offer a performance matching that of three-layer pouches.

Metalvuoto, founded in the early 1970s, produces metallized plastic films for food packaging and for the consumer electronics market. Metalvuoto’s metalized films provide high gas, aroma, and water vapor barriers, which help to preserve the prolonged organoleptic properties of packaged foods. Branded Ingeo Propylester, the new film is created by coating Ingeo bioplastic using Metalvuoto’s Oxaqua biocoating technology, and combining this with paper to provide a fully biobased performance package at a cost competitive with current three-layer structures.

According to Gianni Costanzo, Metalvuoto’s Executive Director, the reason the flexible packaging industry depended on the use of multi-material laminates was because no single material was able to provide multiple functionality.

“For example, brand owners often use an aluminum layer for barrier, a PET layer for external aesthetics, and an internal PE layer for heat-sealability,” he explained.  “Now, we have used our Oxaqua coating technology with an Ingeo base film to replace two layers of different materials with one layer that simultaneously provides excellent barrier and heat sealability.”

Ingeo Propylester has barrier properties of less than 0.75 cc/m2/24hr for oxygen - significantly better than metalized biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP). It has a water vapor transmission rate of 2.5 g/m2/24hr. Barrier performance is compared in the figure shown against a range of materials normally considered for use in flexible packaging markets.

Moreover, the new film provides good seal strength (>80 g/cm), eliminating the need for an additional sealant layer and enabling a structural package simplification.

This combination of benefits has not been previously available using Ingeo as a basis. Costanzo said that Metalvuoto expects strong interest from the market in two-layer structures.

Ingeo Propylester is well suited for food packaging in both horizontal and vertical form-fill-seal applications, and has demonstrated good process ability. In testing on pouch making machines, 30 to 40 units per minute were produced, depending on the type of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper pouch – flat, stand up, or square bottom.

Metalvuoto will give a presentation on the new possibilities this technology offers for the pouch market at Innovation Takes Root, the global Ingeo users’ forum, March 30 – April 1 in Orlando, Florida.

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