Chilled is the new freshness

It need not always be the freezer, convenience products can be looked after just as well on chiller shelves. Their storage life is not as long as products in a frozen sleep, but they are popular due to their image of freshness.

Board for the refrigeration chain

Does a folding box board have to satisfy special requirements for refrigeration and deep freeze applications in the foodstuffs area? baking+biscuit international discussed this with Manfred Aumann, Branded Food Sales Director at the Metsä Board Corporation in Espoo, Finland’s largest paper and board manufacturer. Metsä Board participates actively in education regarding safety, traceability and migration within the packaging supply chain

© Metsä Board
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Metsä Board | Manfred Aumann explained that packaging for frozen products must satisfy a series of statutory conditions and food industry requirements

bbi: Are some types of board particularly suitable for frozen products?
Aumann: There are no easy “yes” or “no” answers to this question, since it depends on the requirements imposed on the packaging by the converter, brand name company and user. Increasingly exact measurement methods and legislation to protect the product and safeguard the consumer impose high demands which must be fulfilled by foodstuff packaging, which also includes packaging for frozen foods. Moreover, economic and ecological aspects are becoming ever more important in the processing industry and among brand name companies. Easy package handling and an undamaged, safe, appetizing frozen product are also indispensable criteria for users. The board must therefore conform to these demands.

bbi: Which grades are used – including those for increased efficiency?
Aumann: For frozen products Metsä Board specifically recommends Simcote, which is a fully coated, lightweight folding box board (GC2). It is recommended for foodstuffs, which also includes frozen products, confectionery, pharmaceutical products and long-life consumer goods. It is available in basis weights from 205 to 340 g/m². The surface of Simcote provides optimum printability and the board has the rigidity needed to protect the product perfectly.

Simcote is lightweight, which means that the weight of the board quality can be reduced while retaining the same criteria regarding rigidity and strength. This saves costs and the ecological footprint is reduced.

A special reverse side treatment ensures that condensate water cannot penetrate into the board, so the quality of the packing is not degraded by the resulting moisture when the product is removed from the cooling bar. Taking Birds Eye frozen products as an example, this has the following significance: after a successfully completed joint project by Metsä Board and WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme), the packaging weight of Birds Eye frozen products was reduced considerably. One of the project’s essential criteria was to achieve a weight reduction without loss of rigidity and processability. These are both important preconditions for the efficiency of the packing line and for the stability of the carton packaging during transport and when presented on the chiller shelf.

As a result of the series of experiments, Birds Eye was able to reduce total annual consumption in England by approx. 2%, corresponding to a CO2 reduction of 135 – 210 tons.

Leading producers like using Metsä Board’s Simcote board grade to pack frozen foods. High quality, efficiency and sustainability are just a few of the arguments in favour of its use.

By investing in three board factories, Metsä Board is increasing its production capacities by 150,000 t/year to an annual 935,000 t in order to meet growing market demand. This is almost a doubling of capacity in the board manufacturing area over the past 15 years. Metsä Board also focuses constantly on developing its products and services. For example, the company is optimizing the finishing area at the Äänekoski board factory in Finland and the service portfolio at the Gohrsmühle site in Germany. Metsä Board is thereby increasing its ability to deliver its quality.

© Metsä Board

© Metsä Board | The packaging weight for Birds Eye frozen products was reduced considerably by using the Simcote grade of board

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