A new resin for use in high density polyethylene (HDPE) film packaging applications provides costs savings through higher moisture resistance and stiffness while using less film, its manufacturer claims.
Nova Chemicals said that its resin, Surpass HPs167-AB, can be used in multi layer film packaging for cereals, meats, cheeses, ready-to-eat meals and pet foods.
The company claims that the resin provides 50 per cent improved moisture resistance and 20 per cent superior stiffness over existing polyethylene barrier resins.
HPs167-AB gives packaging designers more adaptability in balancing the shelf-life needs and the gauge (film thickness) required for a particular food application, said the Canadian based company.
The company said that research conducted with a US cereal manufacturer informed development of the HPs167-AB.
"Our technical department was asked to develop a cereal liner that uses less material but does not sacrifice any of the protective quality of the packaging," Nova spokesperson, Jennifer Moorehead, told FoodProductionDaily.com
"The end result is a pack providing excellent product freshness while being able to reduce the amount of film needed, thus keeping costs down and contributing to higher sustainability."
HPs167-AB is FDA approved for use in food applications. Its regulatory status in the EU is not known at this stage.
The resin is designed for the co-extruded blown film process and the company said that it underwent pressure and temperature tests using various film extrusion lines, running successfully on several including groove feed and smooth bore with a variety of screw designs.
"The temperature profiles used were typical of the profiles for traditional HDPE resins. The performance of the HPs167-AB has proven to be less sensitive to processing conditions than standard HDPE resins available on the market today," said Moorehead.
Cost-effectiveness is a growing priority for manufacturers as raw material and energy prices continue to increase across the board, with oil, for example, recently reaching a record price of $135 a barrel.
Rising polymer costs are placing great pressures on food packaging manufacturers, forcing many to push up their prices to maintain margins.
However, Nova Chemicals claims that the reduction in film usage through down gauging results in less energy consumption in the production and transportation of HPs167-AB throughout the supply chain and thus enhances its value:
"If the North American carton liner and sleeve market, estimated at 120 million lbs, were to be converted to HPs167-AB, with an average 20 per cent down gauge, the carbon footprint reduction would be the equivalent of the C02 produced by the burning of 9 million gallons of gasoline per year," said the company.
NOVA Chemicals is a global company incorporated in Canada, with its registered office and Canadian operating centre located in Calgary, Alberta. Its European operating centre is located in Fribourg, Switzerland.