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Benefits of Using Cast Forming and Non-Forming Films for Meat & Poultry Products Packaging

ABX takes pride in matching your product to the right packaging solution. We have the expertise and capabilities to provide either blown or cast solutions and understand when one is a better option than the other.

Here is what you need to know about cast vs. blown forming and non-forming films.

Why cast instead of blown?

While both cast and blown films can work well in forming and non-forming applications, there are nuances to each. We will cover formability, clarity and gloss, and physical property characteristics, giving the advantage to either cast or blown films so that you can see which option is the best for your particular needs.

1. Formability

While both form well, cast film tends to be softer and have better forming characteristics. This can be a pivotal difference, especially in deep draw applications, where uniform thickness is critical, non-uniformity within the barrier layers can impact the shelf life of food products.

Advantage – Cast

2. Clarity and gloss

When it comes to clarity and gloss, cast again has the advantage. Because of polymer crystallization during the extrusion process, blown tends to be hazier. In some cases, this may not factor into your decision, and it may not have any effect on your consumers. But if high clarity is essential, then cast should be the extrusion method of choice.

Advantage – Cast

3. Physical property characteristics

Here is where blown may sometimes have an advantage. Due to how the blown extrusion process forms the bubble, blown film may offer improved MD and TD properties than cast, thus resulting in stiffer film with a higher tear resistance. Like the clarity example, this may or may not matter to the customer making the package. It’s therefore crucial to understand what specs are needed and use that to balance the choice of extrusion.

Advantage – Blown

4. “Total Package Costs”

Every HFFS package is comprised of the Top (Non-Forming Web) and Bottom (Forming Web). As highlighted above, the benefits of using Cast Films for Forming Webs are quite clear. But additional gains are possible by using Cast Films in the Non-Forming Web portion of the package, replacing more costly laminated films with a clearer and more cost-effective option.

Advantage – Cast 

ABX Cast Films

As can be seen the cast extrusion process can provide advantages for forming and non-forming films. If you’re looking for better film clarity to showcase your chicken breasts, ribeye, or ground beef, look no further than ABX.

With enhanced softness and formability properties, cast films are an excellent choice. And with 11 layers and a thickness range of 2.5 to 13 mils, the available resin combinations provide a wealth of options (e.g. EZ Open, Oxygen Barrier, Moisture Barrier). Whether for standard or high barrier applications, or more exotic end uses like high pressure pasteurization (HPP) or sous vide, our uniquely designed films are perfectly suited for a wide range of temperatures, from deep freeze to microwave uses.

Various barrier properties are available as well.

  • Breathable films allow Oxygen transmission while maintaining a sound moisture barrier. These are typically used in poultry end uses or in frozen applications such as red meat which require bloom.
  • Standard barrier films provide both Oxygen and Moisture barrier properties and are generally best for frozen applications without bloom or when high barrier is not required.
  • If high barrier is needed, ABX has a family of films with excellent Oxygen and Moisture barrier properties, typically used in fresh applications where the barrier is critical to extending shelf life.


If your product needs additional strength properties, ABX has you covered with our new UltraFilm™. Developed in-house at ABX, UltraFilm™ boasts unique grades and blends of EVOH, nylon, and PE to provide extra toughness to help prevent puncturing from sharp objects.

Specifically, UltraFilm™ allows customers to eliminate the need for a boneguard wrap, enabling both cost and labor savings and promoting awareness to our natural environment. UltraFilm™ also provides enhanced barrier properties at lower thickness levels, improving sustainability and reducing plastic going into landfills.


Sustainability is at the forefront of everything we do at ABX. We especially take pride in the work we’re doing around creating films that utilize post-consumer recycled content (PCR), post-industrial recycled content (PIR), and films that are “front of store” recyclable.

The Bottom Line

Like any packaging project, understanding the needs of the packaged product is vital to selecting which extrusion method provides the best fit. At ABX, we provide both blown and cast films, so it’s up to us not to steer customers to one versus the other but instead guide customers based on which method provides the best solution for their products.

If you still have questions about which option is suitable for your application, contact us. Our experts are happy to help you determine the best options.

Information on Meat Solutions                Information on Poultry Solutions   

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