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Reducing leaks in meat packs

ClearShield™ shrink bags developed by Alcan Packaging offer bone-in meat packagers an alternative to more traditional shrink film bags that need to incorporate “patches” or “caps” strategically applied to the bag exteriors to prevent bones from puncturing the film and creating package leaks.

Using newly developed manufacturing equipment as well as new raw material technology ClearShield bags are made of a unique coextrusion of ethylene vinyl alcohol (oriented by means of a proprietary technology) polyethylene and polyamide. The finished bags exhibit outstanding puncture resistance over 100% of the package structure including the seal area says Alcan. They have proven to reduce in-plant package leaker rates by more than 50% compared to standard patch bags. And the improved package integrity through distribution wholesale and retail channels extends product shelf life cuts product waste and enhances product marketability. The bags also exhibit superior clarity high oxygen and moisture barrier good shrink properties and ease of machineability on existing shrink packaging equipment. Moreover they bring savings in labor and cost of materials by eliminating patches caps and other extraneous wrapping mechanisms.

Well-suited for packaging applications such as bone-in beef ham steaks and pork ribs the bags also have significant potential for packaging a range of other sharp-edged products. First marketed in March 2004 these bags now enjoy broad commercial use by more than 20 packers with that number growing monthly.

Alcan’s ClearShield bone-in shrink film bag is a recipient of a DuPont Silver Award.

—Judy Rice

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