Regulations Pose Challenges to Food Packaging Industry

Convenient and Easy-to-Use Packages Emerge as Clear Favourites

Nov 02, 2005, 00:00 ET from Frost & Sullivan

    LONDON, November 2 /PRNewswire/ -- The rising emphasis on improved
 quality and extended shelf life for packaged foods are leading to greater
 demands on food packaging in terms of protecting the quality, freshness and
 safety of foods. The passing of several regulations governing food packaging
 only reinforces the need for more innovative and intelligent packaging
     Many of the regulations have come into force due to rising health
 concerns regarding carcinogenic ingredients used in the packaging materials.
 For example, bisphenol-A used in plastic food containers is being linked to
 breast cancer and miscarriages. Other regulations require food packages to
 use biodegradable and environment-friendly material.
     The most significant is the European Commission's proposed Super
 Regulation that compels the food packaging industry to use only those
 materials mentioned in the positive list of permissible ingredients for
 making plastics. The European Commission also stated in January 2004 that
 manufacturers would have to stop using semicarbazide in sealants for glass
 jars and bottles by October 2005.
     "These regulations will spur advancements in the food packaging industry
 as manufacturers now have additional responsibilities for proving the
 suitability of their packaging solutions and meeting the required standards,"
 explains Technical Insights ( Research
 Analyst Kasturi Nadkarny.
     In a bid to promote environment-friendly packages, Denmark-based Danisco
 has launched a plasticizer produced from hardened castor oil and acetic acid.
 It is colourless, odourless, and completely biodegradable and is also highly
 effective in softening plastics and increasing its flexibility.
     At present, manufacturers of food packaging solutions are not only
 focusing on developing economic and effective packages for protecting the
 food products, but also on the aesthetic value of the packages.
     "There has also been a tremendous emphasis on convenience of food
 packages and packaging that offers better functionality, portability and
 storage capabilities," observes Ms. Nadkarny.
     A new type of flexible beverage pack for noncarbonated water, offers
 advantages such as ease in opening and non-spill characteristics. It also
 ensures on-shelf differentiation and is an ideal give-away pack at events.
     The material used in the packaging is useful especially for packaging
 noncarbonated potable water. The barrier property of the material, which
 possesses both chemical and organoleptic certification, also ensures that
 water remains pure and fresh for a longer period of time.
     A new innovative carton introduced by leading Norwegian dairy
 manufacturer Elopak guarantees to change the way milk is packaged. The curve
 present on the carton, called the 5th panel, indicates the flavour of the
 milk present inside the carton.
     "This carton is the only one in the market today that has a screw cap and
 its biggest selling point is the eye-catching design endorsed by consumer
 surveys and huge initial sales," says Ms. Nadkarny.
     The increasing demand for premium packaging and a packaging system that
 offers real added value has led German-based Nordenia International to
 develop the FlexZiBox that can be custom developed for a particular
 application. It is square in shape and includes a front slider that controls
 the opening and closing of the packaging ensuring that food remains fresh for
 prolonged time intervals.
     With the increasing health consciousness among consumers, food packaging
 is also more inclined towards aspects such as ensuring food safety through
 control of the environment within the package and minimizing damage resulting
 from microbial attack.
     Researchers at the University of Leeds a nanomanufacturing institute,
 United Kingdom, have identified nanoparticles of magnesium oxide and zinc
 oxide to be effective in destroying microorganisms. This shows huge potential
 for safe, effective and affordable food packaging in the near future.
     Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) is also emerging as a highly useful
 packaging technique for maintaining food quality by altering the atmospheric
 conditions within the package.
     The Foundation for Scientific and Industrial Research at the Norwegian
 Institute of Technology (SINTEF) is attempting to use nanotechnology to
 develop plastic film that provide barrier protection by preventing gases such
 as oxygen and ethylene from damaging the food content.
     "While different packaging technologies and materials continue to compete
 directly with one another in the future, its success depends on the
 functionality, cost efficiencies and its impact on the brand value,"
 concludes Ms. Nadkarny.
     If you are interested in an analysis which provides manufacturers, end
 users, and other industry participants with an overview, summary, challenges,
 and latest coverage of Global Advances in Food Packaging - then send an
 e-mail to Magdalena Oberland - European Corporate Communications at with the following information: your full name,
 company name, title, telephone number, fax number, email and source of
 information. Upon receipt of the above information, an overview will be sent
 to you via e-mail.
     Technical Insights is an international technology analysis business that
 produces a variety of technical news alerts, newsletters, and research
     Frost & Sullivan, a global growth consulting company, has been partnering
 with clients to support the development of innovative strategies for more
 than 40 years. The company's industry expertise integrates growth consulting,
 growth partnership services and corporate management training to identify and
 develop opportunities. Frost & Sullivan serves an extensive clientele that
 includes Global 1000 companies, emerging companies, and the investment
 community, by providing comprehensive industry coverage that reflects a
 unique global perspective and combines ongoing analysis of markets,
 technologies, econometrics, and demographics.
     Title: Global Advances in Food Packaging
     Media Contact:
     Magdalena Oberland
     Corporate Communications - Europe
     P: +44(0)20-7915-7876
     F: +44 (0)20-7730-3343
     Trisha Bradley
     Corporate Communications - North America
     P: +1-210-247-3870
     F: +1-210-348-1003
     Pramila Gurtoo
     Corporate Communications - Asia Pacific
     DID: +603-6204-5811
     Gen: +603-6204-5800
     Fax: +603-6201-7402
     Keywords in this release: food packaging, bisphenol-A, European
 Commission, Super Regulation, semicarbazide, plastics, Elopak, modified
 atmosphere packaging, Danisco, plasticizer, castor oil, acetic acid, Nordenia
 International, FlexZiBox, University of Leeds, nanoparticles, magnesium
 oxide, zinc oxide, Foundation for Scientific and Industrial Research at the
 Norwegian Institute of Technology
     List of key industry participants: Amcor Flexibles, CCL Plastic
 Packaging, Alert Packaging Limited, Solvay SA, Danisco A/S, Stanelco PLC,
 Tetra Pak, Rapak, Pactiv Corporation, Biosphere Industries, Elopak AS,
 Earthshell Corporation, Silgan Containers Corporation, Basell Polyolefins BV,
 BASF Corporation, MeadWestvaco, Eastman Chemical Company, Oxonica Limited,
 Pliant Corporation.

SOURCE Frost & Sullivan