Toppan’s new eco-friendly packaging for frozen storage of food

New packaging for long-term quality retention for frozen foods

New packaging helps to address issues of food safety and food loss by reducing discoloration, loss of flavor, and quality deterioration during frozen distribution and storage. Photo- Toppan

Tokyo-based Toppan Printing has launched new eco-friendly packaging that can retain the quality of meat, processed seafood, and other primary products kept in frozen storage for long periods.

Primary products, such as meat and processed seafood, are held in frozen storage warehouses because of the need for long-term storage. The quality of products deteriorates slowly under such storage conditions. For this reason, Toppan said, little attention has been paid to developing specialty barrier film packaging to preserve frozen foods better.

Toppan’s new packaging uses GL Barrier, a barrier film developed by leveraging original vapor-deposition and coating technologies to reduce oxidation and prevent discoloration, loss of flavor, and changes in food texture for a more extended period than is possible with conventional packaging. These features claim to reduce food loss and waste and facilitate the expansion of distribution by preserving food quality in regions without suitable frozen distribution infrastructure.

According to Toppan, the new packaging has improved environmental performance and is available in a mono-material structure that has reduced CO2 emissions and superior recyclability. The package also allows some food products conventionally subject to ultra-low-temperature frozen storage at -50°C or lower (F4) to be stored at higher temperatures of -18°C. This change cuts storage costs by around 60%, helping lower CO2 emissions associated with power consumption for freezing.

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Comparison of meat stored at -23°C for five months in non-barrier packaging (left) and packaging based on the GL Barrier (right). Photo – Toppan

Testing conducted by Toppan in collaboration with universities since 2016 has shown that, compared with conventional materials, packaging incorporating Toppan’s proprietary GL Barrier film and developed specifically for primary products, such as meat and processed seafood, extend the period in which quality is maintained under frozen storage. Based on know-how gained through this testing, Toppan can now select and offer frozen food packaging tailored for a wide range of contents.

“This new packaging has the potential to bring economic and environmental benefits for the food industry and wider society by maintaining food quality for longer,” said Masa Tatewaki, executive officer of Global Business in Toppan’s Living and Environment Division. “We will be expanding sales to food manufacturers, distributors, and wholesalers of frozen foods and will take advantage of the technology to develop more eco-friendly products that enhance freshness retention to contribute to a safer and more sustainable society.”

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