The packaging supplier said that the development of its new Aer Bag was inspired by the high percentage of Italian consumers who, on their return home from shopping, immediately take meat products from their orginal packaging and place them in film or bags for freezing.
'In Italy, the content of one out of two meat packages are transferred to bags for freezing in order to maximise the space in increasingly small refrigerator compartments, but this domestic handling runs the risk of product contamination,' said Cesare Vannini of Packaging Systems R&D at Coopbox.
The Aer Bag is composed of a barrier film that is attached to a polystyrene support to maintain normal product presentation at the retail outlet, but that the bag is removed from the tray in one simple movement through the incorporation of the CX strip tear system, he said.
'By removing the internal atmosphere, the bag is made as small as possible, thus saving space of up to 50 per cent in the freezer, while eliminating the time consuming and potentially risky separation of meat products into various bags by the consumer,' added Vannini.
He told FoodProductionDaily.com that while a patent is pending on the Aer Bag, the packaging will be released commerically in early 2009.
According to Vannini, removing the polystyrene support from the bag also helps the product to cool immediately in the freezer, and as the tray is not spoilt by product leakage, it remains clean for disposal purposes.
He claims that the Aer Bag has a low carbon footprint in that it helps reduce the usage of freezer bags and film for the storage of multiple meat products.
Using the Aer Bag concept, food companies can create family packs with individual portions to help reduce food waste and ensure consumer loyalty as well as improving their margins, argues Vannini.
The Aer Bag is compatible with existing protective atmosphere heat sealing machinery, he said.