Sukano and Emery Oleochemicals Produce Anti-Fog PET Compound for Food Packaging | Article

0

Sukano has partnered with a manufacturer of natural-based chemicals Emery oleochemicals to develop a clear PET anti-fog compound for PET food contact packaging, aiming to address the need for additional anti-fog coatings.

Designed for rigid and oriented Coex films, the material contains Sukano’s co-polyester compound in a cover layer of a film extrusion line A/B structure and PET as the core layer.

Fogging occurs when small water droplets develop on the surface of films, often seen in fruit, vegetable and meat packaging. These can affect the visual appeal of a product, causing consumers to avoid products still within their shelf life, and can sometimes damage sensitive packaging or the product itself.

Although anti-fogging agents currently exist, using a homogeneous, transparent wet layer on the inside of the packaging to prevent the formation of droplets, the additives are applied to standard polyolefins or vinyl meat packaging films flexible and are incompatible with PET. Their application adds an extra step to film production, and solution-based coatings may cease to be effective when the surface is washed away. The new compound from Sukano and Emery Oleochemicals is believed to eliminate the need for this additional coating.

It is also said that the use of PET improves the the recyclability and gas barrier performance of the packaging. As an alternative material, it claims to maintain the transparency of other plastic packaging while providing durability, efficiency in various ratios, and without the need to invest in additional machinery for its manufacture.

The compound additive was reportedly tested in the form of PET lidding film applications, clam shells, and thermoformed lids and trays. These were then shredded, ground, washed and subjected to additional heating conditions to mimic the journey of a PET tray through the recycling stream.

“Early on, we realized that in order to be successful in producing effective anti-fog agents for PET, we needed to find a strong, expert masterbatch partner,” says Dr. Christian Mueller, Global Technical Market Manager at Emery Oleochemicals´ Green Polymer Additives. “Antifog for PET is a very difficult application in polymer additives, and Sukano is one of the most renowned companies when it comes to developing masterbatches and functional additive compounds. Sukano’s significant experience in creating masterbatches and advanced compounds for PET applications made them the perfect fit for this joint development project.

“Emery has worldwide leadership in the development and production of LOXIOL anti-fog agents,” added Michael Kirch, global head of research and development at Sukano. “Our partnership has combined a specialist in in-house anti-fogging agent molecule design with Sukano’s expertise in masterbatches and compound applications and polyester processing to enable long-desired functionality to be incorporated directly into the plastic material during the mixing step.”

Cosmo Films launched a similar product in 2020, designing a BOPP-based anti-fog film for large packaging and pouches containing fresh food.

The next year, air sealed launched a thermoforming packaging solution with an anti-fog lid film designed to reduce packaging weight by up to 50%. Camvac‘s ExtraPET mono-material barrier film, which is said to be made from 60% post-consumer recycled PET, would also offer an anti-fog option.

Share.

Comments are closed.