International Food Partners (IFP) has launched a new sealing technology for flexible packaging, which it claims will save food manufacturers thousands of tonnes of film per year, and provide a more effective closure.
The new seal system – Integrity Seal – is currently in use on frozen foods and whole potatoes, but IFP said there is the potential to expand the technology to other categories including fresh produce; cereals; crisps, nuts and fruit snack packs; bakery products including cakes and bread; and confectionery.
Integrity Seal is a retro fit system for use on vertical form fill seal and horizontal flow wrap machines. Integrity Seal uses new generation weld technology to produce very narrow bead seals that are 1mm wide compared with conventional crimp seals which are typically 15mm wide.
This narrow seal typically saves 10% in the length of the pack, delivering substantial film savings.
IFP said Integrity Seal is superior to conventional seals in strength and quality and seals can help improve product quality and give longer shelf life.
Other benefits of the Integrity Seal system are improved operational efficiencies and lower manufacturing costs, it said.
One of the first companies to use the new sealing technology is frozen food brand McCain Foods. It has recently installed Integrity Seal on all its filling machines in its three main factories in the UK.
“We are excited to bring Integrity Seal to market, as the food industry was in need of a superior seal system on packaging that uses flexible films,” said IFP director Graham Clough.
“The concept of the development was to improve seal quality and strength, and seal flexible packaging in a way that will significantly reduce the amount of film required to make the seal,” said Clough. “I am delighted that we have achieved this and am confident we can make a significant impact on reducing film packaging.”
McCain Foods’ innovations and central engineering director, Dave Stewart, said: “The introduction of the Integrity Seal system has proved beneficial for McCain, with usage and operational savings in line with our expectations. Integrity Seal works well and is a worthwhile conversion from the old style crimp seal.”
Andy Dawe, head of retail at WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) said: “We are delighted to have supported the Integrity Seal concept. The potential packaging reductions are significant as well as the opportunity to reduce food wastage through improved seal integrity. We look forward to more companies across the food industry adopting this new technology and benefiting from the impressive film savings and improved quality of seal.”