SWITZERLAND – In the Hibassk high-barrier film made by Dutch company A. van den Broek BV, a DuPont Surlyn sealant layer helps to ensure that the red colour of vacuum skin packed meat will be preserved for a longer time and that the typical odour associated with conventional nylon-polyethylene film packaging is prevented from forming, while also extending the storage life of fresh meat.
These benefits are the result of combining the gentle vacuum skin packaging technology with the meat adhesion of Surlyn which significantly reduces the undesired release of meat juice. With vacuum food packaging now a fast-growing trend in Europe, Hibassk film pouches thus offer the meat processing industry an advantageous packaging alternative for superior product quality and retail shelf appeal.
Moreover, the Surlyn sealant layer represents a key step towards enhanced environmental sustainability and preservation of resources. Compared with commonly used PE sealant layers of similar efficiency, it helps to save raw materials and energy by supporting both thinner film structures and lower heat-sealing temperatures without compromising on sealing performance.
The advantages of the Hibassk high-barrier skin film are manifold. Generally, its low oxygen permeability of just 2 cm³/m²/day supports a long storage life of the packed meat. In addition, vacuum skin packaging typically involves less under-pressure and a shorter vacuum application cycle than conventional vacuum packaging. The meat pores are therefore not sealed off quite as tightly, so that some – albeit restricted – interaction with the environment can still take place.
The excellent meat adhesion of Surlyn is of special advantage here since only very little meat juice will be released, despite the meat’s more open pores. This effect is supplemented by the very good secondary sealing properties of Surlyn, which make for a firm adhesion of film surfaces in contact with, but not directly heat-sealed onto each other. As a result, a perfect adhesion of the film to the meat product can prevent the release of meat juice on the long term, thus substantially diminishing this potential source of disagreeable odour.
Further benefits of the Surlyn sealant layer include its excellent sealing efficiency through contaminations such as grease and meat juice, its very high puncture resistance which is of particular importance when it comes to packaging meat with sharp bones, as well as its crystal-clear transparency which enhances the product’s retail shelf appeal.
Joost van den Broek, CEO, said, “Multiple trials carried out in close cooperation with DuPont have shown that the combination of a nylon substrate, a highly efficient EVOH barrier film and a sealant layer made of the highly saturated Surlyn acid copolymer used for Hibassk provides just the right stability, barrier effect and meat adhesion which is needed to efficiently avoid discolouration and the formation of undesired odours.
“Already the Hibassk high-barrier film has convinced a great number of international customers, such as Strogoff FreshFood B.V. of Schagen, the Dutch manufacturer of fresh meat, fish, venison and poultry products, whose major end customers in the restaurant and catering business appreciate the prolonged shelf life and tenderness of vacuum packed meat as particularly advantageous.”