Sustainable Packaging and Extending Shelf-Life

Coupled with the consumer demand for organisations demonstrating a strong sense of CSR is the need for sustainability and minimising the carbon footprint of a product. While new solutions for sustainable packaging are currently on the market, the challenge lies with how to properly extend shelf-life while still adhering to the consumer dislike for additives and preservatives. For example, recyclable, biodegradable and possibly paper-based pouches are often preferred. In fact, in PMMI’s 2016 Food Packaging Trends and Advances report 80 percent of food company leaders responded that they were interested in this type of sustainable packaging, but need assurance that they provide an appropriate level of barrier protection for perishables and acceptable shelf-life. On the other hand, flexible pouches afford opportunities for lightweighting, conserving space – and therefore fuel – in transportation along the supply chain while providing a wide range of barrier protections that prevent degradation from exposure to air, UV light and other contaminants. 

Advancements in flexible packaging have even reinvigorated interest in existing technologies like High Pressure Processing (HPP), which can provide additive-free products like nutraceuticals a longer-shelf life. HPP is the practice of using very intense pressure in order to render pathogens ineffective in food and beverages, such as nutraceuticals and juices. One of the major benefits of using HPP for nutraceutical processors is its potential to extend the shelf-life by three to four times in some instances without using chemical additives. For instance, a healthy juice that would typically have a three-day shelf life can now extend to anywhere between nine and 12 days. Additionally, HPP protects the flavour properties of natural ingredients that the chemical additives and heat pasteurisation commonly used in processing can alter. To assist in the advancement of this technology and formalise industry best practices, PMMI convened the Cold Pressure Council (CP Council). The council will conduct an education session on the Innovation Stage at PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2017 (Sept. 25-27; Las Vegas Convention Center).

Nutrition for the Mind

Staying up-to-date with innovative technologies, consumer trends, regulatory matters and industry-wide challenges can be challenging while trying to remain competitive in a growing market. Nutraceuticals manufacturers and processors can benefit from a wealth of information and network with industry professionals at PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2017 and the co-located Healthcare Packaging EXPO. Both shows feature free education sessions open to all attendees including Innovation Stage, and the Reusables Learning Center. These sessions on new technology, industry specific innovations and best practices for sustainable supply chains are invaluable resources for nutraceutical professionals seeking to upgrade equipment or stay current with industry trends.

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