A downgauged film is receiving rave reviews from Virtues of Coffee Livermore CA a two-year-old foodservice and specialty coffee producer. Virtues is reported to be among the first to use Cur-Lite3(TM) film for nitrogen-flushed bags of ground coffee. Curwood (Oshkosh WI) supplies the 1.4-mil film that includes 1-mil polyethylene sealant/0.05-mil glue laminant/0.35-mil Esterphane(TM) metallized polyester. Virtues began using the structure commercially in April '95 after about a year of structural tests with Curwood. Cur-Lite3 replaced a 2.85-mil structure also from Curwood. That film consisted of 2.25-mil PE/0.1-mil glue/0.50-mil metallized polyester. The change to the thinner material says Glen Virtue president "saves us $18 or about 15 percent in film costs." Material savings were precisely what prompted company founders Glen and Kristine Virtue to seek a film alternative. "By downgauging you can lose some of the qualities that make the film effective. But with the Cur-Lite film we maintained the product's six-month shelf life without changing filling speed. The newer film also provides greater puncture-resistance and machinability" he adds. Why Curwood? "I had worked with them back when I was employed by [San Francisco-based] Nestlé Beverage Company" Virtue recalls. "They produce all the components of this film. We tested the film and felt positive about it especially the polyethylene sealant layer because it allowed us to reduce film thickness. And the metallized polyester provides the barrier we need to keep the same product shelf life we had with the thicker film."