Meat+Poultry - July 2018 - 70
PA C K A G I N G S O L U T I O N S
While the popularity of
vacuum skin packaging
has grown in the US and
Canada, the growth has
been quicker in Europe.
Lericos points to other food safety
advantages of skin packaging. "The absence
of oxygen in a skin package improves shelf
life and results in reduced loss due to product
expiration. If a skin package leaks, it will be
instantly noticeable. Even a small leak will
result in an air pocket bubble around the
product, if not complete delamination," he
says. "In this way, leakers and therefore early
spoilage are more detectable than non-skin
pack MAP (modified atmosphere) packaging
has been in the past."
of oxygen in a
life and results
in reduced loss
due to product
- DREW LERICOS
MEAT+ POULTRY | 07.18 | www.meatpoultry.com
Lericos says skin pack popularity has grown
a great deal in the US and Canada, but the
growth has been especially rapid in Europe.
"Skin packaging is very popular in Europe
for protein suppliers, where the vast majority
of packages are now converted to skin pack.
This is primarily the case for fresh red meat
but is now beginning to show up with poultry
products as well," he says. "In the US, the
fresh seafood industry has made a major move
into packaging, largely because of the shelf
appearance and marketable attributes of the
package." The meat and poultry side here in
the US is moving into VSP starting with more
specialty products and into premium channels
like Whole Foods, he says.
Lericos points to two major trends in the
meat, poultry and food processing industries
that skin packaging lends itself to: the
continued popularity of trays used in skin
packaging, and the growth of online shopping,
ready meals, meal kits, and the move to meals
with multiple components. Packaged foods
within the same sealed package are more
complete and consumer convenient than a
single meal component, he says.
Ryan notes an advantage to skin pack is
that the film flows over the product and acts
like a mold, as opposed to a traditional vacuum
pack, where the film can end up being wrinkly.
"Part of it is about appearance, and sealing the
film right up to the package," he says.
He points to a couple of new innovations
in skin packaging at the company, including
the Platformer, a new thermal former from G.
Mondini in Italy, whose products Harpak-Ulma
distributes in the US and Canada. The former
produces high quality trays ready for product
loading and feeding right into tray sealers. The
film is cut to the length of the tray, resulting
in a great amount of film saving, with only
2 percent scrap loss. It's delivered to the
belt or chain conveyor and can be loaded.
Harpak-Ulma also offers customers technology
for tray production. "It's very exciting for our
customers to be able to make their own trays
as they're needed, instead of having to order
the trays from the outside. They can design
their own trays at an inexpensive price," he
A new skin packaging innovation from
Multivac is its skin packaging technology with
an additional perimeter seal for added security,
called its MultiFresh package. "Customers that
require additional product safety or longer
shelf life may add this perimeter seal to an
already very tightly-sealed package," Lericos
says. "The company also has developed a
combination of MultiFresh skin technology
and LIPForm allowing the creation of a
thermoformed package with exceptional skin
packaging attributes plus with the feel and
structure of pre-formed trays," Lericos reports.
There is also the FormShrink package, a meat
cut skin package where the film has fully
surrounded the meat portion, with no rigid
bottom web or tray type structure.
Both Harpak-Ulma and Multivac offer skin
packaging equipment to smaller processors,
as well as the giants of the meat processing
industry. They also have packaging technology
for small portions like sliced deli meats up to
large cuts like beef roasts. And both companies
say small processors can move into larger
production capabilities without compromising
their unique package appearance and quality.