The SLB shelf life booster is the technology that is now being aimed at the dessert market. It is a modified atmosphere technology (MAP) system that the company claims can achieve residual oxygen levels of less than one per cent quicker than other MAP systems.
What the technology is therefore designed to do is preserve the look and shape of food in packaging that also promises a long shelf life. Seafood is one market Hefestus has already gone after because fish traditionally has short shelf life and needs to be handled with care to preserve its look and feel.
Hefestus is now turning its attention to desserts, paying special attention to the gourmet, delicate end of the market.
Protection of fragile desserts
Most dairy and mousse desserts are fragile so traditional packaging options to keep food fresh like vacuum packing are inappropriate.
Also such desserts can be difficult to pack with standard machines so manufacturers often have to resort to manual labor. This is expensive and time consuming and can also create food safety risks and cut potential shelf life because the products are exposed to the air.
Hefestus is aiming its technology at dessert manufacturers that are in this position but it is also hoping to tap into the trend for preservative-free desserts.
Quoting a July 2009 report from Innova Market Insight, the company said the top positioning for new products in the desserts category is “no additives or preservatives”. Hefestus is targeting dessert makers in this category by offering to help them extend shelf life without turning to preservatives, or damaging the look of their products.