Mitsubishi brings oxygen-absorbing food packaging technology to North America
NutraSave replaces the need for the typical oxygen-absorbing packet or sachet typically found in food products for extended shelf life purposes.
“There is a little bit of stigma [associated with packets]. People don’t want something mixed in with their food that says ‘do not eat’,” Sean Hael, marketing and sales manager at Mitsubishi Gas Chemical, told DairyReporter at PackExpo.
Instead, the NutraSave oxygen-absorbing resin technology is embedded within the flexible packaging, eliminating the need to drop in a packet or sachet into the food and the need for additional sodium, spices, and other additives to counteract the effects of high heat required in retort processing.
The technology is currently used in Japan, where Mitsubishi sells it as finished packaging, but for the US market the company has launched NutraSave in a resin format in order to work with packaging converters and can efficiently run on existing processing systems, according to the company.
Mitsubishi Gas Chemical is now targeting the North American retort packaging market which is valued at $41bn and projected to grow by 6.7% annually through 2020, according to a Markets and Markets report.
“Here in the US we wanted to open it up and sell just the resin to the filmmakers to be connected with their customers,” Hael said.
NutraSave has had success in preventing oxygen-sensitive food products such as soups, sauces, dips, protein bars, and baby food from spoiling. While at PackExpo, the company also discussed additional applciations such ambient packaged cheese as well as spoonable and drinkable yogurt applications, according to Hael.
“What we’re looking to do is to extend the shelf life to a point where people don’t have to have extremely conservative short shelf lives,” Hael said.
While the resin technology is only available for flexible packaging solutions such as pouches, NutraSave could eventually be incorporated into other formats such as the yogurt lid or rigid containers.