Award to environmentally-oriented packaging

With Vartdal Plast as client, Nofima has developed a new type of packaging called SuperFresh. With a smaller footprint and a longer shelf life for food, the packaging is good news for the environment. On Thursday evening Vartdal Plast was awarded the 2016 Optimization Award for the product.

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Portrettbilde av Marit Kvalvåg Pettersen

The Award was presented at the Packaging Days in Sandefjord, and could represent an international breakthrough for the innovative product.

The jury stated the following: Vartdal Plast has laid down an impressive effort to create a brand new product that can contribute to reduce packaging volume by as much as 50 per cent. At the same time they have developed an accompanying packing solution that increases the product’s shelf-life by up to 40 per cent.

Anti-bacterial

With SuperFresh, Vartdal Plast has started what will hopefully become a trend for packing fresh fish, meat and chicken in consumer packs. In brief, SuperFresh is based on an absorber that is like a cushion in the consumer package. Its technical name is a CO2 emitter, which emits anti-bacterial CO2. This is tailored to both the type of food and the food’s weight. For example, salmon can stay fresh for 20 days with SuperFresh, as opposed to 14 days with other types of packaging.

SuperFresh has been under development for several years by Vartdal Plast in close cooperation with Nofima. The presentation of the Optimisation Award to SuperFresh at the Packaging Days is confirmation that Nofima’s research improves food quality. Implementation of the product has taken time, but when such processes take time, the final result is good. Several Norwegian and foreign producers have already started to use SuperFresh.

Testing in Europe

Testing with SuperFresh in consumer packs has been conducted in France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and the UK with salmon, cod, chicken and shrimp.

“We have great faith in a major breakthrough in Europe in the next six months,” says product manager Mounir El’Mourabit.

“We have a customer in New Zealand who has started to use SuperFresh for hake (Merluccius merluccius). The first test period with the product in the shops is under way, and we have expectations of larger orders towards the end of 2016/beginning of 2017,” says product manager Mounir El’Mourabit.

Following the product’s launch in Brussels three years ago, Vartdal Plast has worked hard on optimising the product and has continued research in cooperation with Nofima. Currently the product is in Norwegian shops for the following products: Crab, cod and dried and salted cod. The Rema 1000 and Coop supermarket chains sell products using SuperFresh.

Less food waste

“For Vartdal Plast this has been a very instructive and motivating process. It’s pleasing to see that the market is becoming more and more ready for the product.
That said, we believe that those involved in the sale of food in Norway and globally have some ground to cover to increase focus on food waste and food safety,” says product manager Mounir El’Mourabit.

Such focus will provide a longer shelf life and significant environmental and economic benefits.

The western world throws away food corresponding to three times the needs of the entire world’s population. SuperFresh will thus be a small, yet important contribution to reducing food waste.
Vartdal Plast hopes that this award will contribute to more of the large supermarket chains increasing focus on food waste and food safety. Such focus will send a clear signal to the producers that they need to keep up with the times and contribute to better food safety and less food waste.

Nofima is a contract-based institute for applied research. The Institute has worked with Vartdal Plast for several years, which is an innovative packaging business in Sunnmøre.

Food safety and quality  

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