Friday, August 31, 2012


Food packaging is mainly intended to containerize the contents for convenience of use but over the years the packaging media have become highly functional also performing such useful tasks like preservation, protection, insurance against post processing infection, immunity to oxidation etc. From the simple materials like leaves, some parts of plants and man made papers used traditionally, packaging industry has come a long way and to day it offers a fantastic range of synthetic materials with phenomenal functional versatility. High strength, pliability, transparency, efficient sealing properties, heat durability, easy opening designs, recycling ability etc are hall marks of most packaging materials available to day. Tetrapack technology, aseptic packaging mode, bag-in-the box designs, MAP. CAP, zip lock versions etc are to day very commonly deployed for food packing. After the advent of Microwave heating and cooking technology, need for new types of packaging materials and designs that can with stand the high temperature and internal pressure generated without imparting any taint or leach out dangerous chemicals, has emerged and here is one of the recent developments in this field as being reported about new packing modes that can withstand both freezing as well as cooking temperatures.  

"Cook Chill bags are constructed from multi-layer films designed to protect foods from oxygen and moisture while preserving taste, texture and aroma. Foods made with the Cook Chill process can be stored refrigerated for up to 45 days, then reheated just before serving. The foods can be frozen for up to a year. The strong, ergonomic handle on Plascon's Cook Chill Handle Bags allows the end user to safely handle and transport filled bags even when the contents are hot. The handle can also be used to safely remove bags from hot water during the retherming process. Cook Chill Handle Bags incorporate an angled bottom seal, which maximizes yield of the product when the bag is emptied by eliminating corners where food can be trapped. After filling, Plascon Cook Chill Handle Bags can be clipped or sealed depending on the end user's preference. Cook Chill Bags on a Roll were developed to make the storage and dispensing of Cook Chill bags more convenient and to keep corrugated packaging out of commercial kitchens. Health departments in many areas prohibit corrugated in the kitchen due to contamination concerns. Cook Chill Bags on a Roll are wound on a plastic core and are as easy to dispense as paper towels. They can be used in conjunction with Plascon's Stainless Steel Bag Dispenser that can be used on a counter or mounted horizontally or vertically on a wall to keep bags close to workstations while protecting them from spills and splashes. Bags on a Roll are available in 10" and 12" widths and are packaged 100 bags to a roll and 4 rolls to a case. Each roll is individually wrapped. "These new bag configurations give our customers options that allow them to choose the bag that best fits their application," said David Peterson, CEO of Plascon Group. "We continue to use Cryovac films, the highest quality film that was developed specifically for the Cook Chill Process, which has outstanding seal integrity and the strength and durability to withstand the rigors of processing, handling and transportation."

One of the dangers in microwave heating is that if sealed or closed packs are heated without opening and transferring to open and compatible containers before heating, there is the likelihood of the closed pack bursting with risk of injury to the user. It is usually recommended that contents from a sealed pack must be either opened or transferred to microwavable containers before heating. The new development is highly consumer oriented with convenience in mind and can be cooked directly in hot water or microwave oven with no inherent risk of bursting. Imagine the comfort level of a house wife if unopened bags or packs from a frig or freezer can be taken straight for heating or cooking in hot water or microwave oven just before consumption. Packaging industry which has made tremendous advances, especially during the last two decades can be depended upon to come out with such game changing products with enhanced safety and convenience for the consumers, if the food processing industry continues to grow at the present pace in the coming years.


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