A customer of ABX was presented with a challenge by a brand owner of vegetarian processed foods to provide a solution for sous vide films free of any animal by-products. Many everyday plastic packaging materials are made using petrochemical based resins in their production, however some of the additives and adhesives may contain components that are derived from animal by-products. Although these by-product additives are not used in a large capacity, they are important in the processing for both the film manufacturer and the material end user. The challenge to ABX Packaging’s R&D team was not only to provide the customer with a zero by-product solution, but also to preserve package performance through the sous vide cooking process and high barrier properties to maintain fresh flavors and extend shelf-life.
The R&D team at ABX began examining the current materials used in its sous vide films. They arrived at a short list of animal by-product containing components that had to be substituted. ABX worked with their suppliers to seek out validated by-product free alternatives. To meet quality control standards for sous vide films, ABX first used replacement materials in its manufacturing process prior to offering the new films to their customer. Ultimately, the films were successfully used on the customer’s thermal form packaging and sous vide processing line with the brand owner’s vegetarian meals. The films free from animal by-products provided the same high level of performance as the materials they replaced and were approved by both the customer and brand owner.
ABX packaging has decided to build on its success by expanding its line of animal by-product free thermal forming films by launching high barrier films for non-sous vide foods as well medium barrier sous vide and non-sous vide materials. This packaging can be used where any vegan or vegetarian food regimens are strictly observed