The right choice of film is a central topic in the management of a packaging project

Each of us, in his daily consumption, comes into contact with packaging. They serve different purposes: they cover the product, protect it against various influences, facilitate its opening, and, moreover, make it visually appealing to the consumer.

Protecting the packaged product is a key purpose. Even today, more than 1,000 people die from food poisoning every year in the Western industrialised world.

Pottery, natural products or glass were used in the past; now there is an on-going trend towards composite plastic films. The good news is that manufacturers are stepping up their sustainability efforts, whether with new, renewable raw materials, recycled products or bio-additives which optimise the oxygen barrier, thus reducing the number of layers or their thickness.

Each product requires a different answer

The variety of products to be packed is huge and each one has different requirements. While fats from a food product must be protected from oxygen to ensure the taste does not go off, chips have to be protected from moisture to keep them crispy. If the producer of a food product (e.g. a sausage) changes their recipe just a little (e.g. by adding parsley) this may require the use of another film. It is therefore important to know the requirements of the product and the customer - such as the desired shelf life - to define the right parameters.

Each material serves as part of the answer

Anyone who does not work in the industry has little idea of all the technology behind films. A film is not simply a combination of different components but is often a composite of different layers of different materials: PE (polyethylene), PET (polyethylene terephthalate), aluminium, EVOH (ethylene / vinyl alcohol copolymers) or paper are some of the commonly used materials. One offers light protection, the other transparency, the third protection against oxygen entry or serves as a water vapour barrier. Diversity also leads to success here. Only the combination of a number of these elements will create the perfect protection for your product. Using the size of the package and the properties of the material, we can calculate the level of protection. We will spare you the formula; it’s only of interest to specialists!

The various layers are connected by applying a hot melting adhesive using pressure and heat. The thickness of the finished composite film (and thus of the different layers) is very important for optimal packaging. For example, if it is too thick, too much oxygen can penetrate through the seal seams and damage the packaged product. In addition to choosing the right material, error-free machining is fundamental, which is why the films are "put through their paces".

Proderma is happy to assist you

Proderma has been a successful contract packer for more than 50 years. During this time, the employees have been able to acquire sound know-how, which they are glad to put to use for our customers. Do you have a question? We are happy to advise.