DSM counts on functional packaging growth in India

Solution provider for high-performance barrier films

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The DSM stand at Plastindia 2015. Photo PSA

Netherland’s life sciences and material sciences company, DSM, featured numerous new applications in automotive, mobile electronics and electrical equipment at Plastindia 2015. The company also talked about applications for the packaging segments. DSM’s product portfolio in flexible packaging includes various polyamide 6, 66 and 6/66 copolymer types  Akulon and Novamid  as well as Arnitel copolyester elastomers, including bio-based Arnitel Eco. These materials can be used for food packaging, functional packaging, and also for medical packaging.

Akulon and Novamid polyamides can be used to provide high barrier in multilayer coextruded films for packaging of meat, cheese, and edible oils. These films provide enhanced food protection by increasing the shelf-life. Akulon and Novamid can also be used for high-barrier thermoformable films which are used for packaging nuts.

Arnitel thermoplastic copolyester can be converted into breathable films with high permeability to water vapour, for modified atmospheric packaging (MAP) of fresh fruits and vegetables, once again extending shelf-life and reducing food waste. Akulon polyamides and Arnitel copolyesters, with their resistance to high and low temperatures, are ideal for cooking bags, freezer-to-oven bags, and pan liners that provide extra convenience in the kitchen, simplify meal preparation, and reduce the need for washing-up afterwards.

High barrier multilayer thermoformable packaging films incorporate Akulon protect medical devices and components. For DSM, the packaging segment currently constitutes a very small part of the business in India. However, the company sees strong growth potential in the country. According to Sanjay Jain, business director at DSM Engineering Plastics India, food packaging is the most prominent segment which has immense room for growth.

Jain informed that currently only 3% of fruits and vegetables in India are sold through organized retail outlets, and this sector currently pre-packs only 15% of its fruit and vegetables. The organized retail sector is growing rapidly, at around 20% each year, and it is targeting to pack around 70% of these products. DSM is working on a MAP solution for this segment.

Jain pointed out that most of the local multilayer coextruded film manufacturers in India have approved DSM products in the past. With Novamid premium copolyamides in our product portfolio, customers can turn to DSM as a complete solution provider for high-performance barrier films. The functional packaging market is expanding, and DSM is considered as a source of packaging solutions for high temperature food processing. Fruit and vegetable packaging customers see DSM as a provider of solutions to meet their needs to increase food safety, Jain concluded.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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Editor of Indian Printer and Publisher since 1979 and Packaging South Asia since 2007. Trained as an offset printer and IBM 360 computer programmer. Active in the movement to implement Indian scripts for computer-aided typesetting. Worked as a consultant and trainer to the Indian print and newspaper industry. Visiting faculty of IDC at IIT Powai in the 1990s. Also founder of IPP Services, Training and Research and has worked as its principal industry researcher since 1999. Author of book: Miracle of Indian Democracy.