What are the technical properties of paper-based food packaging?

What are the technical properties of paper-based food packaging?

Food packaging is a fascinating challenge for research and development teams, as it needs to offer excellent barrier properties against heat, moisture and vapor, contribute to preserving freshness and taste, be visually appealing and, above all, protect human health. 

Composite materials, such as those containing PE (polyethylene) layers, may offer great performance, but they’re also energy-intensive to produce and recycle. Paper-based packaging materials are therefore becoming an increasingly popular option for conscientious brands. But do their technical properties compare to less sustainable options

Barrier properties 

Barrier properties is one of the main questions that comes to mind when it comes to food packaging. Metallized paper is a paper-based monomaterial that has been vaporized with a microscopically thin layer of aluminium to offer comparable barrier properties to many multi-layer alternatives. Metallized butter wrap, for example, has a grease resistance (GR) level equivalent to KIT9 and prolongs the shelf-life, color and visual appeal of the product, while being fully recyclable.

Moisture emissivity and heat retention

More people are ordering food to go as a result of the 2020 health crisis, which means that restaurants and dark kitchens are in need of packaging that ensures food stays crisp and warm. Metallized food wrap does just that by offering strong heat retention and moisture emissivity properties, enabling delivery of food in perfect condition and eliminating the non-recyclable materials usually associated with takeaway meals.

Converting and printing processes

Switching to more sustainable packaging materials can be a daunting prospect for companies, who are understandably concerned about disruption to existing processes. Metallized paper, however, can be converted and printed using conventional machinery, meaning that manufacturers can continue to work with their usual partners.

Food safety

A major concern for consumers and regulators alongside sustainability is the possible health implications of food contact materials. Our metallized food packaging is fully compliant with European Commission and FDA regulations and food contact safe certified. Companies can therefore rest assured that their customers’ health is protected, while cutting down on surplus packaging: paper-based chocolate wrap, for example, is suitable for food contact and can be printed upon directly, eliminating the need for an extra paper sleeve.

Get in touch to find out how we can create eye-catching, sustainable packaging that is tailored to the technical requirements of your products.