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Article | February 28, 2006
Convenience and nutrition in a single pack
Fresh vegetables can be steam-cooked in the microwave oven in two minutes or less thanks to Simple Steps™ for Produce packaging. Developed by Cryovac (www.cryovac.com), the concept won FPA Gold for Technical Innovation.
Among the very first to commercialize the award-winning technology is Sun Valley Foods whose Smith’s brand is shown here (see page 11 for more on Sun Valley Foods).
Like any fresh-cut produce package this one permits respiration the essential exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide without which fresh vegetables will quickly spoil. The exchange of gases occurs through the proprietary Cryovac lidding material a 3-mil coextrusion. Cryovac notes that the highly permeable nonperforated lidding allows for a passive modification of the package atmosphere. This eliminates the need for gas flushing which can affect total package cost and reduce packaging line speeds.
Trays are thermoformed by Mullinix (www.mullinixpackages.com) from coextruded barrier material that includes polypropylene and ethylene vinyl alcohol. An easy-open sealant layer on the tray gives the package its self-venting properties. “Stay-cool” handles on the sides make it safe upon removal from the microwave oven. A windowed paperboard sleeve provides graphic pop and branding information.
Integral to the Simple Steps for Produce concept is a T 350 vacuum skin packaging system from Multivac (www.multivac.com).
Worth noting is that Simple Steps for protein—poultry or red meat—won FPA’s Highest Achievement award three years ago. —Pat Reynolds
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