Freeze-dried veggies enjoy PVOH shield

A 0.84-mil oriented polypropylene with a coating of polyvinyl alcohol plays a key role in the distribution of Veggibles(TM), a novel freeze-dried vegetable snack from Beverly Hills Farmers Market.

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The mix of peas, corn, carrots, bell peppers and spices has been available from Beverly Hills, CA-based BHFM primarily in health food stores and gourmet shops since April '96. But beginning in March of this year, Frieda's, Inc. of Los Alamitos, CA, signed on to distribute Veggibles to supermarkets nationwide. These packs get a small oval-shaped Frieda's logo added to the other Veggibles graphics. The freeze-dried vegetables are highly hygroscopic, and the OPP does a good job of keeping moisture out of the package. But the PVOH coating provides the oxygen barrier necessary, 0.02 cc O2/100 sq"/24 hr, to prevent oxidation and premature spoilage. The product is coded with a six-month use-by date. Schuster Flexible Packaging (Com-merce, CA) converts the colorful package. It starts with reverse printing of the clear 84 AOH OPP, supplied by Mobil Chemical's Films Div. (Pittsford, NY). The printing is done flexographically in four colors. Next is adhesive lamination to 2-mil low-density polyethylene. The material then goes to a contract packager where it's used on a vertical form/fill/seal machine. A small amount of ethylene vinyl acetate in the PE provides good heat sealing during the vf/f/s process. The 1.2-oz packs retail for about $1.99. They've proven so popular, says Dana Slatkin, president of BHFM, that this month they'll be joined by freeze-dried fruit called Fruitles(TM) in the same bag structure.

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