dimanche 27 février 2011

Bioplastics News : Heinz PlantBottles & Frito-Lay ‘Quieter’ bags

Heinz Adopts Coca-Cola PlantBottles

 Starting this summer, Heinz will be bottling its famous ketchup in more earth-friendly packaging. Yesterday, the company announced that it plans to use plant-based bottles developed by Coke — aptly named “PlantBottles” — for all of its 20 oz. ketchup bottles. The plastic bottles consist of 30 percent plant material, and are made with a Brazilian sugarcane ethanol, which results in a lower reliance on unsustainable resources as compared with traditional PET bottles.

Frito-Lay Unveils ‘Quieter’ SunChips Bags

Four months ago, a bold Frito-Lay packaging move suffered jeers for what critics called an embarrassing marketing blunder. Today, the chip giant said it has found a solution.

The company’s 100 percent compostable bags for its SunChips product, sneak-previewed and then unveiled with great fanfare, proved a flop when customers complained that the plant-based bags were too noisy. Consumers have compared the SunChips’ bag noise to a “revving motorcycle” and “glass breaking”. In October, Frito-Lay yanked the bags for all but its SunChips Original snacks, reverting most flavors to the original packaging.

mercredi 23 février 2011

Smart Packaging: Top food firms interested in novel food freshness label

A Scottish entrepreneur claims that two top food manufacturers and a major supermarket have shown interest in licensing an innovative colour-changing label that tells consumers how fresh their food is, which could be used on products within 12 months.

According to Strathclyde University research, around 8.3m tonnes of food are wasted in the UK every year, where consumers buy jarred or bottled products with a six-week shelf life, but forget how long it has sat in the cupboard or fridge and throw it away.

Pete Higgins from Liberton-based UWI Label told FoodManufacture.co.uk that his firm’s patent-pending system – which has been nominated for a John Logie Baird scientific innovation award – uses chemical means taken from another industry to ascertain how fresh food is.

mardi 15 février 2011

Coca-Cola says biodegradable packaging 'not a viable option'

Coca-Cola said earlier this month that biodegradable packaging is“simply not a viable option” but a new report suggests that other smaller drinks companies are beginning to take an interest.

In its 2009/2010 sustainability report, Coca-Cola gave a hostile assessment of biodegradable drinks packaging. It said: “A one-use bottle is simply not a viable option for our business.”

The soft drinks giant explained: “While biodegradable packaging can be a sound choice for products that are not commercially recyclable, the process of capturing the embodied energy and raw materials in beverage bottles for reuse through recycling is, in our view, a much better option.”

But according to a new report on drinks biopackaging from Zenith International not all manufacturers agree with Coca-Cola.

High growth rates

The food and drinks consultancy said the use of biopackaging, defined in the report as compostable packaging, rose by 47 per cent in Western Europe and North America last year. This takes total volume to over 100 million litres – a small proportion of total volume but a large percentage increase nonetheless.

“Despite the difficulties, we foresee continuing strong growth in development projects. If the challenges can be answered, then volume can gain serious market share”, said Jenny Foulds, a senior analyst at Zenith.

Foulds said the environmental credentials of compostable bottles, typically made from corn-based PLA (polylactic acid), sit well with green-minded consumers.

Persistent challenges

This provides a powerful basis for future growth but challenges such as price, separation from PET and composting facilities persist.

These factors have so far prevented compostable solutions from becoming the green solution of choice for drinks manufacturers. “The use of recycled PET continues to gain momentum and has overtaken compostable bottle formats,”said Foulds.

jeudi 10 février 2011

Intelligent Packaging: OnVu ICE Label Facilitates Cold Chain Monitoring

Germany-based BASF Future Business GmbH, a 100 percent subsidiary of BASF SE, has developed the OnVu ICE label that facilitates cold chain monitoring that informs retailers and consumers if a frozen food is still safe to eat.

The creation of the new label technology was borne of the simple realization that a consumer or retailer can’t simply look at frozen food and determine if it is safe to eat.

“Manufacturers, retailers and consumers will soon be able to tell at a glance whether ice cream, pizza, fish or any other products were kept constantly deep-frozen or should rather be discarded because the cold chain was interrupted significantly,” explains Martin Angehrn, project manager, BASF Future Business GmbH. “And they’ll know this more reliably than by looking at the best before date.”

The OnVu ICE time temperature indicator from BASF has recently been launched, specifically targeting manufacturers of frozen products.
Temperature Memory

OnVu time temperature indicators are smart labels placed upon food packaging to monitor the cold chain for chilled and deep-frozen food, making the current state of the product visible–the label changes color depending on temperature. The darker its color, the better the cold chain has been maintained.

“OnVu labels, which sort of memorize temperature, help to keep chilled and frozen products fresh,” says Angehrn.

Applied to the packaging OnVu monitors the food on its way from the manufacturer to the retailer. In addition, the label is a useful marketing tool allowing retailers to help customers at home to maintain their own cold chain for chilled and frozen foods.

Simple Symbol

OnVu is actually cost-effective and easy to use: a temperature-sensitive ink is used to print a thermometer symbol on the product label or even, in the packaging line, directly onto the packaging.

The indicator at the center of the thermometer is activated for use by means of UV (Ultraviolet) light, which causes it to turn a dark blue color. From this moment on, the indicator monitors the cold chain.

Acting as a reference, the outer portion of the thermometer is a lighter shade of blue. The cold chain monitor works simply: as long as the center is darker than or the same as the reference color, then there has not been any significant interruption in the cold chain, and the best before date shown on the packaging remains valid.

As time goes by and/or if the cold chain is broken, the color pales. The speed of the color change process and the temperatures that trigger it can be customized individually.

On frozen foods, OnVu stays a dark blue color as long as the temperature is kept continually below minus 18 degrees Celsius. The higher the temperature rises, the faster the color changes. This is suitable for foods that keep for a long time when frozen to –18 degrees.

“When the temperature rises to cause thawing, these foods should be consumed immediately,” Angehrn explains.

mardi 8 février 2011

Alimentation: pour ne pas hausser les prix, on réduit les formats

Je partage avec vous l’article de Marie Allard publié aujourd’hui dans le quotidien LaPresse :

Vous n'avez pas rêvé. L'oeuf de Pâques Cadbury est plus petit qu'avant, mais son prix n'a pas baissé. Alors que les cours des matières premières atteignent des records - ceux du cacao ont monté de plus de 25% en deux mois, selon l'AFP - les fabricants sont nombreux à réduire les formats en douce.

Ce n’est pas un nouveau phénomène. Au début de cette année, ce sujet a fait la une de plusieurs journaux américains (Cliquez ici) : Le Shrink Packaging.

Depuis toujours les manufacturiers doivent trouver la juste équation entre, d’une part le prix de leur produit, leurs profits, l’emballage et, d’autre part, les aléas du marché comme l’augmentation des prix de la matière première, et une compétition de plus en plus féroce. Pour rester concurrentiels et plutôt que d’opter pour une augmentation des prix de leurs produits, plusieurs marques ont trouvé une solution miracle : procéder à une belle cure d’amaigrissement de l’emballage et tant qu’à faire du contenu. Si la taille de l’emballage diminue, et si le contenu est réduit, le prix reste toutefois le même; c’est ce qu’on appelle le «Shrink Packaging». Le plus souvent, le consommateur ne s’en aperçoit pas car cela se dissimule derrière un nouveau design plus moderne et plus alléchant.

Ce phénomène a toujours existé, mais les compagnies sont de plus en plus nombreuses à le pratiquer. Depuis l’automne 2008, on assiste à une recrudescence de cette pratique qui s’est largement accentuée en raison de la crise.

Vous pouvez consulter ici le dossier sur le phénomène du «Shrink Packaging»

lundi 7 février 2011

Global Active, Smart and Intelligent packaging market

Global Active, Smart and Intelligent packaging market by products, applications, trends and forecasts (2010-2015) - The increasing demand for fresh and quality packaged food, consumer convenience and manufacturer concern for longer shelf life of the food products is driving the market for Global active and smart packaging technology for food and beverage market. The global market for active and smart packaging technology for food and beverage is expected to grow to $23.474 million in 2015, at an estimated CAGR of 8.2% from 2010 to 2015.

Amongst all market segments, modified atmosphere packaging commands the largest share in terms of value, while smart and intelligent packaging leads in terms of growth. Freshness indicators and time temperature indicators are the major product segment in smart and intelligent packaging, which is commanding the largest share due to increased application in packaged food, ready-to-eat meal and frozen food category. In terms of value, the active packaging technology contributes approximately 35% of the global active and smart packaging technology.

dimanche 6 février 2011

Case Studies: Functional and Sustainable Paper-based Packaging

I will be presenting at the upcoming Pira International's fifth annual Sustainability in Packaging conference scheduled for February 22-24, 2011 in Orlando, Florida USA. The conference will feature nearly 50 expert presentations assessing market trends, technical development and application.


Paper-based Packaging provides versatile and responsible packaging solutions for product manufacturers, retailers, and consumers. Improving paper's barrier properties is seen as a crucial step in increasing its viability as a packaging material. The missing performance and barrier properties of paper can be compensated by wax impregnation, plastic film lamination or polyethylene extrusion coating. However these options are raising Recyclability and Renewability Concerns.

In fact, with the push towards sustainability, repulpability and recyclability, water-based coatings are gaining acceptance. The packaging will combine the best aspects of two materials: environmentally friendly paperboard and good barrier properties of water-based coatings.

I will present some case studies of eco-friendly and innovative paper-based packaging coated with water-based barriers coatings.


1. Sustainable Packaging

2. Paper-based Packaging

3. Water-based Coatings on Paperboard

4. Case studies :

                      1. To-Go Containers
                      2. Detergent Boxes
                      3. Corrugated Boxes for Produce
                      4. Corrugated boxes for Meat, Fish and Poultry

5. Take Home

Check out the agenda to learn about the more than 50 presentations that you will benefit from.

I look forward to seeing you in Orlando!

samedi 5 février 2011

Les nanoparticules de dioxyde de titane (TiO2) suscitent des craintes pour la santé

Plus de deux millions de tonnes de dioxyde de titane nanométrique (nano-TiO2) sont produites chaque année dans le monde. Utilisé comme pigment et opacifiant, ce nanomatériau entre dans la composition de peintures, cosmétiques, crèmes solaires, médicaments, dentifrices, colorants alimentaires et nombre d'autres produits d'usage courant, selon l’article de l’ATS consacré à la publication des chercheurs romands.

Les chercheurs du Département de biochimie de l'Université de Lausanne (UNIL) ainsi que de l'Université d'Orléans, en France, et du Centre national français de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), dont le travail a été publié dans la revue américaine PNAS, se sont spécialement penchés sur les inflammations causées par le nano-TiO2. Ils l’ont testé sur des cellules humaines et sur des souris de laboratoire.

Selon leurs travaux, les nanoparticules de TiO2 produisent des effets similaires à ceux de deux autres irritants environnementaux bien connus, l'amiante et la silice. Comme eux, elles activent l'inflammasome NLRP3 – un complexe multi-protéique provoquant une réaction inflammatoire – et la production de dérivés réactifs de l'oxygène, des molécules toxiques capables de s'attaquer à l'ADN, aux protéines et aux membranes cellulaires.

jeudi 3 février 2011

EPA releases 2009 waste disposal data

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released its annual report for 2009 on municipal solid waste in the U.S., which includes a wealth of information on national recycling and composting trends. In 2009, Americans generated about 243 million tons of trash and recycled and composted 82 million tons of this material, equivalent to a 33.8% recycling rate. On average, Americans recycled and composted 1.46 lb of their individual waste generation of 4.34 lb per person per day.

The recycling rates of packaging materials were as follows:
  • More than 66% of steel packaging (mostly cans) was recycled.
  • About 72% of paper and paper¬board containers and packaging was recycled, including 81% of all corrugated boxes. • The recycling rate for aluminum packaging was about 38%, including almost 51% of aluminum beverage cans.
  • Around 31% of glass containers was recycled
  • About 22% of wood packaging—mostly wood pallets—was recovered.
  • Almost 14% of plastic containers and packaging was recycled, mostly from soft drink, milk, and water bottles. Plastic bottles were the most recycled plastic products. Recovery of high-density polyethylene natural (white translucent) bottles was estimated at about 29%. PET bottles and jars were recovered at 28%.

mardi 1 février 2011

Cartons, Carbon Footprint and Biogenic Carbon

This short video summarises the industry’s approach to Carbon Footprinting. Following IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute’s report on cartons and biogenic carbon, and Pro Carton's brochure “ Cartons and Carton Footprint”, this video communicates the key messages of the IVL Report in a more concise way.