Demand for ready meals and healthy foods are two trends fuelling growth in the food industry.
Steam cooking improves retention of food colour, texture, vitamins and flavour as opposed to boiling or other heating methods. Popular foods that benefits from steaming includes vegetables and fish.
Rockwell Solutions claims its Easysteam-PE can replace the existing top webs of boil-in-the bags packaging to create a pouch that can be both steamed or boiled, the UK-based manufacturer claims.
The lid allows the inside of packaging to contain high moisture air, which reduces cooking time while retaining the health benefits of the food, claims the manufacturer.Cooking times are around 50 per cent of competitive films, with complete meal solutions ready to eat from between three and six minutes, the company claims.
Rockwell claims the Easysteam system produces the closest results to a stove top steamer in the current market.
Easysteam requires no action by the consumer to activate other than to put the product in the microwave.
It can be used with either ovenable crystalline polyethylene terephthalate (CPET) or polypropylene (PP) trays or in form fill seal (FFS) applications as a pack or pouch, in both peelable and weld grades.
No additional machinery is required to use easy steam in packaging lines. Only minor pressure, temperature and dwell time changes may be required on the lidding machine, claims the manufacturer.
Packs sealed with easysteam are hermetically sealed and can be used in high speed bagging applications at over 125 products per minute, such as packaging frozen fish, the manufacturer claims.
According to Euromonitor International the ready meals market in Western Europe was worth €19.9bn in 2006 and will rise to €21.8bn by 2010.