To many consumers, food packaging is seen as little more than an attractive array of bags, stand up pouches, plastic trays and cartons, designed to entice them to purchase the product. For the manufacturers and retailers however, today’s packaging is the result of extensive research and is a high technology product, designed to extend shelf life and freshness whilst providing unprecedented levels of functionality for the user. Many of the features incorporated in modern packaging, which consumers now take for granted, would not be feasible were it not for the processing capabilities of lasers.
Keeping produce fresher for longer Modified Atmosphere packaging (MAP) increases the shelf life of fresh and refrigerated food products. For perishable food in particular, shelf-life has a great influence on its value. The growth in markets such as healthy foods and snacks, has driven the requirement for not only attractive presentation, but extended shelf life for products such as organic fruit, vegetables, nuts, dried fruit and cereals. The freshness of these products is largely determined by air-ventilation and the preservation of humidity within the packaging. To achieve this requires a series of precise and consistent perforations which are produced using a laser. An additional requirement has also arisen for multi-chamber trays used for multicomponent snacks. For these products each chamber requires perforating differently, to optimise the storage life of the ingredients within that particular chamber.
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