Trend: Barriers

21/04/2017 | 3 min read
Charlotte Enzelsberger

Packaging with barrier effect has long been valued for its favorable properties – it can significantly extend the shelf life of its filling without added preservatives. This is not only practical, but also curbs the amount of food wastage. Current trends are driving the demand for barrier solutions even higher. Life is becoming more and more hectic for us all, and many consumers do not have the time or the opportunity to shop for their groceries every day. But globalization has also played a part in increasing the demand for food with long shelf life. In export, food travels long distances over the entire planet but must still be fresh and aromatic when it reaches its destination. Further driving the demand for barrier packaging is the boom in coffee and tea capsules. Barrier packaging is indispensable for protecting their aroma in the best possible way.

So the trend is clearly moving toward barrier packaging. There are now many packaging solutions that score by having a barrier effect – this holds true, in particular for aluminum and glass as established packaging materials. For many years, however, it is primarily the development of plastic packaging with barrier effect that has been gaining ground. The reasons for this are simple but varied:

Compared to glass, plastic is considerably lighter. That inherently low weight reduces CO2 production during transport. In addition, plastic packaging is shatterproof and easy to stack – features that make it particularly easy to transport. Recycling plastic is also more energy-efficient than recycling glass. And above all, an important criterion for customers is the diversity of decoration options that plastic offers compared to glass. Aluminum packaging, on the other hand, is quite susceptible to damage during transport, and is significantly more limited in its shape than plastic packaging.
Greiner Packaging offers two types of barrier solutions: IBT and MBT. With IBT, a barrier layer of silicone oxide is applied to the outer or inner side of the cup through a plasma procedure -- it is chemically inert and prevents the migration between the filling and packaging or external influences. The barrier layer has no impact on either the transparency or the cup weight.

With MBT, a special barrier layer, such as EVOH or PA, is embedded within a standard plastic, such as PP. Greiner Packaging offers MBT in combination with a number of technologies

  • MBT + extrusion blow molding (6-layer bottles and containers)
  • MBT + thermoforming (7-layer cups and bowls, primarily suited to high volumes)
  • MBT + IML (3-layer barrier label)
  • MBT + injection molding / co-injection process (3-layer)
  • MBT + Kavoblow

The right choice of barrier packaging for the application depends on many factors -- because not every product requires a 100% barrier effect. Thus, the level of barrier effect needed is determined individually in storage tests, depending on the product. With Greiner Packaging, customers can rely on comprehensive advice from the start in order to find the barrier solution that guarantees both a lasting visual effect as well as the aromatic attractiveness of their product. In addition, we conduct comprehensive research in our own centers of excellence to constantly improve and enhance our barrier solutions. After all, our company slogan is "do the innovation".


Related articles