Developments in Flexible Packaging – Part 02

photo courtesy Bemis Flexible Packaging

photo courtesy Bemis Flexible Packaging

In my previous article I promised that in this part we should take a look at the FPA Awards. But before we go there, I like to highlight one more flexible packaging outside of this competition. I talk about Reverse, a flexible packaging for wine, an elegant and innovative reinterpretation of the classic Bordeaux bottle.

Reverse wine pouch
According to design agency Reverse Innovation in Milan/Italy wine sold in pouches, a beverage carton or in a bag-in-box still are seen by the consumer as synonymous with poor quality.

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Personally I doubt that statement, but that’s beside the point. Fact is that we have seen high quality designs in bag-in-box for wine underlining the quality of the wine. And as for pouches, we should not forget that for wine the pouch is an on-the-go format, lightweight, easy to carry and dispose of.

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Has wine in beverage cartons a cheap image, wine in an original glass bottle often represents snobbism, which might tick off the consumer.
I wrote about consumer attitude to wine packaging in my previous article “Wine In Portable, Single-Serve Packaging”. So there is no need to repeat it here.

Anyway in partnership with winemaker Adriano Gigante, Reverse Innovation decided to “revolutionise” the wine pouch, baptising its design “Wine Pouch (R)evolution”.

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The result is a graphic and structured flexible pouch that intends to reinterpret the classic Bordeaux bottle. The rigid paper structure surrounding the glossy black pouch defines its sophisticated shape and guarantees that it can stand upright on its own. The graphic design and fine detailing plays a crucial role in supporting the high quality positioning of the wine. The contours of the bottle shape are emphasized with gold foil while the terroir of the wine is retold through the use of blind embossing and UV varnish to reproduce the specific shape of the vine leaf which is characteristic of the area.

It’s time to have a look at the FPA Awards.

Campbell’s Soup Ready Meals

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The Campbell Ready Meals packaging is a self-venting retort pouch for portable meals that looks and functions like a bowl. It’s said to be the first of its kind, is BPA-free, microwavable, while no refrigeration is needed. The easy-open tear creates an instant bowl, so that consumers can eat right out of the pouch. The microwave-friendly design includes cool touch zones, Magic Steam technology and controlled venting to eliminate hot or cold spots

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Bemis Flexible Packaging, the supplier of the stand-up pouch, states that it’s FDA-compliant at temperatures to 275⁰F (135⁰C). The high-performance clear barrier lamination incorporates PET, nylon, and PP sealant. The reverse-printed 48-ga OPET gets a retort-grade transparent barrier coating.
The robust, stiff, resilient structure allows the pouch to stand reliably and function as a bowl while delivering a 12-month shelf life. The transparent Doy-style bottom gusset allow the consumer to see the meal variety before purchasing.

The stand-up pouch is gravure printed in eight colours and features specially engineered sealants and inks, which resist the heat and abuse of the retort process to deliver an ultra-strong flexible pouch with vibrant graphics.
In addition to the controlled venting, so consumers don’t need to open the pouch before microwaving, the pouch includes cool touch zones that are clearly identified on both the front and back. With these cool touch zones the consumer can safely grab the pouch when it’s time to remove it from the microwave to tear it open.

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Also called out on the lower right front is the Quick Steaming Technology that allows the pouch to act as a miniature pressure cooker, quickly and evenly heating the contents. Carefully positioned vents in the film release steam, thus eliminating hot or cold spots for perfectly prepared meals. The quick, even heating maintains the optimal texture, flavour, and quality of the food and avoids overheating.

Although neither a stand-up pouch transforming into a bowl, nor the retortability of a stand-up pouch is new, the actual design can be seen as a convenient alternative to shelf-stable meals in metal cans, glass jars, or trays with flexible film lidding.

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In addressing the sustainability features and environmental benefits associated with this package, Bemis says the pouch has a number of advantages over traditional metal cans. For one thing, it eliminates Bisphenol A, the epoxy-based coating applied inside tin-plated cans to protect food from metal corrosion and bacteria. That BPS-free argument, as advantage, is of course outdated, as Campell’s Soup announced some months ago that it will go BPA-free in all its metal packages.

Autoclavable Dispos-a-vent Barrier Pouch
Steam, pressure, time and temperature represent the four parameters of steam sterilization, which is executed within an autoclave (steam) sterilizer to destroy microorganisms to prevent potential disease transmission.
Many medical device manufacturers sterilize in one package and then seal the sterile package in a second barrier pouch to provide moisture protection. The new Autoclavable Dispos-a-vent Barrier Pouch from Oliver-Tolas Healthcare Packaging, however, enables sterilizing in one porous package.

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Dispos-a-vent barrier pouches are designed with a disposable Tyvek or paper vent for maximum airflow during EtO or steam sterilization and a spacious high barrier film or foil pouch area for easy conversion after sterilization.

According to the company instructions, the medical device manufacturer has to package his device in a Dispos-a-vent pouch for sterilization. After the sterilization cycle is complete, he makes a seal enclosing the device in the film or foil area of the pouch and cut off and dispose of the Tyvek or paper vent. The result is a sterile device in a film or foil pouch with superior barrier properties.
The pouch withstands the high temperatures of autoclave sterilization, and provides barrier to moisture for devices requiring moisture to remain in the primary package after sterilization and until point of use.

The design is an improvement over existing packaging options, such as lidded trays and other rigid packaging, that involve sterilizing in one porous package and then repackaging in a second barrier package. Eliminating the need for a second package improves efficiencies, reduces costs, and eliminates unnecessary material waste.

The pouch employs a high-barrier foil lamination that provides maximum moisture and oxygen barrier properties to extend the shelf life of the device. The puncture-resistant, high-density polyethylene coextruded sealant layer prevents tray edges or sharp ends of medical devices from puncturing the pouch.

New blister-packaging uses pouches
Pharmaceutical products are, in general, packaged in a blister, which is housed with its leaflet in a folding carton. Bemis Healthcare Packaging in collaboration with Presto Products Co., uses flexible packaging instead of paperboard cartons to protect the blister packs.

160307-Presto_Bemis_ColdMed W540 100dpiCharacteristic for this new packaging design is the pouch, which provides both child-resistance (CR) and barrier protection for prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
The pouch features Presto’s Child-Guard CR track and slider, a closure designed to be difficult for children to open but easy and intuitive for seniors.

Bemis Healthcare Packaging converts the pouches using a three-ply lamination of 92-gauge PET/35-ga foil/PE (PerfecPharm P510), which offers high moisture and oxygen barrier. The 92-ga PET is often used in foil laminations that will be used in CR packaging applications. An alternative is a two-ply non-foil lamination (PerfecPharm 35634-M), which provides high puncture resistance suitable for CR packaging applications.

Consequently, the primary blister pack can be made from cost-effective non-barrier materials, as the product protection function is transferred to the pouch.

The pouches, supplied pre-made, can be created as stand-up or flat pouches, with the option to add a peg hole. The blister inside the pouch is a common blister size.

There are more interesting designs to come. See part 03 of this series, in which we will look at the Anti-Slip Bag of Kohinoor, Duke’s Mayonnaise, the Toyo Jidoki pouch, the SqueezyStraw Pouch, the Cowboy Bath-In-A-Bag and Mondi’s Teapot Shaped Pouches.

2 responses to “Developments in Flexible Packaging – Part 02

  1. Food packaging has come a long way indeed. In addition to being visually appealing, the packaging has to be safe for the food it contains. And I though BP-A can only be found in plastic products, namely polycarbonate bottles. But is this synthetic compound still a threat to the synthetic packaging industry?

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