Metalprint | Celebrating Australian Food and Agribusiness Innovations 2020
When a smallgoods client sought to review existing packaging, Metalprint was asked for a solution that would be less generic. Extension of product shelf life was a key requirement, as was a way to address consumer demand for a more user-friendly portion-managed solution.
Current packaging was uninspired in terms of differentiation, did not guarantee the shelf life targets desired and was not functional in terms of resealability, messaging or differentiation.
To address the extended shelf life requirement, Metalprint engaged partner Mitsubishi Corporation, recognised leaders in oxygen-absorbing technology.
Within Japan, Mitsubishi had successfully developed solutions for pouch and lidding film applications in ready-cooked meals and pouches for oxygen-sensitive foods including fruit snacks. This was achieved using Ageless OMAC, a highly specialised food-safe film technology. Designed to preserve freshness, flavour and aroma, OMAC protects against colour change, prevents mould growth, maintains nutrition and prevents oxidation of fats and oils.
It incorporates the functional performance of Mitsubishi’s Oxygen Absorbing sachet directly into the pouch material, negating the need for a
separate sachet inside the pouch. OMAC is suitable for a range of processing conditions including retort and hot filling applications.
Together Metalprint and Mitsubishi developed the ideal pouch for a cold chain environment and achieved the first use of OMAC material outside of Japan. The pouch absorbs any residual oxygen, preserves the product and extends shelf life while improving food quality and appearance.
The new pouch was able to outperform the shelf life of the legacy pack format by a significant factor. It was demonstrated to scavenge 100% of residual oxygen and, using its barrier properties, maintain the pouch interior oxygen level at zero for a period of months longer than the specified required shelf life.
Awarded Silver in the Labelling & Decoration Category at the PIDA 2019 Awards, the pack creates a more reliable product and delivers logistics improvements that provide cost-effective access to export markets.