Tuesday, April 22, 2014

No. 839: Improving containers to extend the use-by date of foods (April 22, 2014)

Materials makers are introducing new containers that extend the use-by date of foods. Toyo Seikan Group, Japan’s largest container maker, developed a plastic container that allows long-term preservation. Adopting multilayer coating of aluminum foil and special film, the company successfully extended the use-day of content from several months to three years, which is the used-by date realized by a metal can. A leading supermarket chain adopted this container for its private brand corned beef. Its corned beef contained in this plastic is 60% lighter than the conventional canned corned beef, and it can be opened easily even by the elderly.

Nippon Paper developed a recyclable drink box that allows preservation for several months at normal temperature. Using film that prevents quality deterioration, the company eliminated the necessity of aluminum foil required to prevent light from penetrating. The new drink box has been adopted by a new vegetable drink of Itoen, and it receives an inquiry from more than 10 drink vendors. Kuraray will apply its EVOH resin excellent in interrupting oxygen to containers for prepared foods. EVOH has about 7,000 times higher performance to interrupt oxygen. The considerably higher interruption performance expands the use-by date of food. An experiment verified that EVOH successfully expanded the use-by date by more than three times.

Retailers, wholesalers, and food makers are jointly working on the reduction of food waste. A total of 35 companies involved in the food business introduced a new rule to reduce returned foods last August. The government also backs up the efforts to reduce food waste.

Prepared foods in the container made of Kuraray’s EVOH    

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