New bio-based absorbent pad makes the food industry greener
Paper Province company Cellcomb’s most recent product effectively absorbs liquid in packaging for fresh foods such as meat, fish, and poultry. The cellulose-based pad contributes to reduced food waste as well as climate-smart and safe food packaging.
Food waste is one of the factors most affecting the climate. Cellcomb’s new, plastic-free food pad will help tackle that challenge. Made of pure cellulose, it is used in packaging for meat and other products to absorb liquid.
”There are already similar absorbent pads in food trays, but our product is safer and completely bio-based. The design, with all four sides sealed, prevents the contents of the absorber from coming into contact with the food. And being made entirely of cellulose, it is compostable and can be recycled like paper,” says Henric Nedéus, who is Cellcomb’s Marketing and Business Development Director.
Developed during the pandemic
Packaging made of monomaterials, meaning one type of material instead of several, helps the food industry in its strive to increase the durability and recycling rate of its products. Also, the common goal of the Swedish food retail sector is that all plastic consumer packaging is to be made from renewable or recycled raw materials by the year 2030, which means that Cellcomb’s absorbent is perfectly timed.
Based in the town of Säffle, Cellcomb develops and manufactures a range of cellulose-based products with protective and absorbing qualities. These products include short-term and disposable items for health care, the tourism industry, the hygiene sector, and the food industry. In 2019, the company applied for EU financial support for small and medium-sized companies, and it was one of three Swedish enterprises to be granted the support. The money was spent on the further development of the Cellsorb concept.
“With hindsight, the timing was good. As the pandemic began in 2020, we could take the opportunity to develop our idea all the way to a complete product,” says Henric.
Highly topical and in great demand
“Renewable and circular packaging solutions are highly topical, and the demand is global. But the products must also be cost-effective and offer the right user experience in order for consumers to see the need and ask for them. That is something that we have achieved, and the development project has been an enabler.”
Cellsorb Circular targets manufacturers of food trays and companies that pack food. Launching the concept at a recent packaging fair, Cellcomb noted the industry’s great demand for fossil-free solutions.
“Sustainability is not just research and development – the solutions already exist, and Cellsorb Circular is proof of that. At the fair, we saw many exhibitors with visions and prototypes, but we could actually show a real product that is available in the market. I believe fibre-based absorbers are emerging as a natural part of food packaging, because they make it easier for both producers and consumers to recycle, contributing to the circular society,” Henric sums up.