Antimicrobial Packaging for the Food Industry


Over the past few years, there has been increasing interest and growth in food manufacturers seeking antimicrobial packaging solutions. In part this has been a result of the also growing global demand for processed and prepackaged food.

A recent consumer preference trend favoring lightweight and environmentally friendly packaging – plus the need to preserve food according to safety standards – adds an additional level of complication to the equation. Unlike traditional plastic packaging, which can be easily modified to provide antimicrobial protection, simple solutions for antimicrobial paperboard packaging have yet to emerge within the industry.

Unlike traditional plastic packaging, which can be easily modified to provide antimicrobial protection, simple solutions for antimicrobial paperboard packaging have yet to emerge within the industry. Click To Tweet

 

Our team at yet2 has identified four areas of expertise that are valuable in the search for lightweight, antimicrobial packaging solutions for food products:

  1. Additives: When applied as a coating to paperboard, several additives – including chlorhexidine – have shown promise in providing antimicrobial protection.
  2. Coatings: Though several methods are being considered to incorporate antimicrobial properties into paperboard packaging, coatings have emerged as the likely front-runner amongst the technologies in development.
  3. Printing: Printing technology is evolving dramatically, providing easier solutions to essential functions across a multitude of industries.
  4. Packaging: Paperboard provides unique challenges and nuances unlike any other areas of the packaging industry.

In the course of our topic-specific searches for various clients, we’ve researched a range of solutions to meet this challenge. They include:

  • Broad spectrum preservatives effective against mold, yeast, and bacteria
  • New additive materials and strategies for greater stiffness, higher heat resistance, and lighter weight in thermoplastics
  • Base polymers or resins to build barrier coatings for paper packaging that provides moisture resistance, oil resistance, or resistance against gases such as O2 and sulfur dioxide
  • Oxygen barrier materials, ingredients, and additives for improving food/beverage shelf life in TPE and EVA based packaging
  • Paper coating receptive to inkjet inks that prevents feathering, bleed-through, and offsetting
  • Recyclable food wrapper solutions with excellent oil and moisture resistance characteristics
  • Lightweight packaging technology

 

Contact us directly if you’d like more information on our topic specific searches in the food and beverage industry.

 

Interested in additional yet2 insights on the food industry? Read Trends in Food: Functional Foods, Superfoods, and Eating Less Meat.