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Pickle tub packs foodservice benefits

A shelf-stable, high-density polyethylene container of sliced pickles from Dean Foods, Franklin Park, IL, ensures that Oakbrook, IL-based McDonald’s operators and its customers are well served.

Developed by Fabri-Kal ( the patent-pending 100-oz (0.8-gal) HDPE FS-100 container saves labor for operators and enhances food freshness for customers. It also cubes better in replacing a larger 1.2-gal round HDPE container from which operators would transfer pickles to a stainless-steel tub. The single-use HDPE tub fits directly into a food preparation table where the stainless-steel tub did before. The new tub has been rolling out system-wide in the chain in the United States since late ’01.

The tub measures 7’’ x 63/8” x 8’’ deep which makes it one of the deepest-draw thermoformed HDPE containers around according to F-K’s Tim Joseph director of marketing. That depth required thermoforming process adjustments including plug design development. FK molds the part on a Lyle ( machine at its Hazleton PA plant using resin from BP Solvay Polyethylene North America ( Container sidewalls and flange uniformity were crucial Joseph relates. The latter also affected seal integrity since brine is a particularly challenging material to seal through.

The container was designed in conjunction with new denesting filling and sealing machinery from FEMC ( installed at several Dean plants. The round containers had been manually denested so these operations have been automated. Dean’s declines to comment about the packaging. —RL

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