CELLCOMB TO MANUFACTURE GROUNDBREAKING ABSORBENTS IN NEW MACHINE
Paper Province member company Cellcomb, from Säffle, Sweden has recently installed a new production line. It will be used to manufacture a variety of products aimed at the food packaging industry. For certain kinds of foods the company promises doubled shelf life and dramatically reduced transportation costs. The new machine will produce so-called “food pads” with closed edges – an absorbent placed in food trays for meat, chicken, fish, berries and other foods that release fluid. The absorbent is placed under the meat and its task is to keep the food fresh for longer by absorbing and encapsulating the liquid. The size can be customized to fit everything from small trays in consumer sizes up to large vendor boxes.
The uniqueness of Cellcombs absorbent is that the edges are sealed, which enables it to encapsulate liquid for a longer period. Furthermore, it eliminates the risk that the chemicals or fibers of the absorbents core will leak out, which can happen with open edged absorbents. With such features the consumer food security is increased considerably. The company can also produce a food pad where the absorption material consists of 100 percent cellulose, which gives even greater food security.
The most promising product though, is something that Cellcomb calls an ”active absorbent. It has the ability to prolong shelf life for some types of food by more than 50 percent and at the same time dramatically lower the transportation costs and the consumption of packaging material.
– The difference is that our active absorbent has active ingredients. When the fluid is absorbed it reacts with our active ingredients and gradually emits packaging gas. That way we can keep the concentration of gas constant, which will prolong the shelf life of the food, says Daniel Carlsson, Business Unit Manager at Cellcomb.
PRODUCT SPECIFIC RECIPES
Every type of food is unique. To acquire optimum shelf life for each food type, Cellcomb has developed product specific absorber recipes, for chicken, meat and different kinds of fish.
– Our tests show that shelf life is increased by around 60-70 percent for chicken, and by around 30 percent for fish and red meat. Thanks to our active absorbents the consumer can store food longer in the refrigerator and the world wide food waste can be decreased says Daniel Carlsson.
DECREASED TRANSPORTATION COSTS
A regular food package is filled by a gas whose purpose is to extends the food shelf life. That is the reason why the trays containing fresh meat is several times bigger than the meat it holds, which means that food transports carry around a huge amount of gas.
– But since Cellcombs active food pad emits its gas gradually, the trays can be shrunk. I some cases trays only half as big can be used, which results in fewer transports and less vehicle exhausts, according to Daniel Carlsson.