Active Packaging that Maintains the Freshness of Products
The digitalization of our food purchasing culture is gaining momentum, with the ease and convenience of shopping for groceries using mobile delivery apps. However, food can get spoilt, or its freshness can be compromised during the delivery process. No matter how quickly or how easily food can be delivered, if the food that you ordered after mulling over the choices must be thrown into the wastebasket, you will hesitate the next time you order food delivery.
Today, “smart” packaging materials are being developed with which you can package and store foods to prolong their freshness. Hyosung Chemical is one of the most outstanding manufacturers that is adding value and convenience to our eating lifestyles through its world-class nylon films, PET films, and polypropylene (PP) films.
Active packaging using “smart” film that ensures the freshness and safety of groceries
The big issue in industries is how to provide food products more safely and in a way that ensures their freshness. The ability to store food for as long as possible without destroying or degrading it also affects customer satisfaction, not just the food hygiene. The traditional wrapping materials with which foods were wrapped merely protected them from external shocks and impurities. Today, however, new types of packaging materials, collectively referred to as “active packaging”, are being introduced that extends the expiration dates of food products by improving freshness and by removing or adding elements like oxygen and carbon dioxide that are needed to extend the shelf life of food products.
Hyosung Chemical's self-developed nylon film, the top seller in South Korea’s nylon film market, boasts excellent impact resistance characteristics, has anti-pinhole characteristics, is very printable, and can block out oxygen molecules. This means food can be stored for a long time without requiring a separate preservation process. Hyosung’s nylon film in particular, can maintain a vacuum state inside the packaging through its ability to block out oxygen, and hence it can protect the sterilized interior without the need for preservatives. Due to this characteristic, nylon is widely used as a pouch for packaging fresh produce, container lids, and for retort food packaging, i.e. food that is processed by sealing and then pressurizing it for long-term storage.
Thanks to their excellent quality, Hyosung’s nylon films are not only used for diverse purposes in the food industry but are also used widely as a packaging material for detergents, refillable goods, and other daily necessities that we encounter in our daily lives.
Besides nylon film, PET film is another product that has become the core product of the food industry. Hyosung Chemical's PET film is non-toxic and non-odorous, and excels in blocking out air. Its uniform thickness translates into very high mechanical strength, and it has excellent thermal characteristics as well as chemical stability. As a result, it is widely used as a material for packaging food. Due to its excellent product characteristics, just like in the case of nylon, Hyosung’s PET film is used as a retort food packaging material, and even more widely for packaging daily necessities. Furthermore, due to their excellent printability, PET films are used as a material for labels, stickers, and advertising banners, as well as for high-gloss sheets on home appliances such as screen displays, refrigerators, and washing machines.
To keep pace with the pro-environmental trend, Hyosung Chemical has been busy at work developing and researching post-consumer recycled (PCR) products that can reduce carbon emissions. An excellent example is mechanically recycled PET film. As it can be inferred from its name, environmentally-friendly PET film is made from discarded PET bottle materials that are collected and recycled mechanically.
That said, it would be wrong to view recycled film as a simple product. Around 99% of Hyosung Chemical's mechanically recycled PET film is made from environmentally-friendly raw materials. This is a product with a high degree of purity because it is manufactured with recycled flake chips made from discarded PET bottles. As such, it should be viewed as a truly environmentally-friendly recycled PET film. During the manufacturing process, the carbon emission rate is reduced by 30% or more when compared to the manufacturing process for regular films.
Are you perhaps concerned that a product made from PET bottles might have quality problems while not discounting its positive effects on the environment? Well, there is nothing to worry about. MR recycled PET film is not only an environmentally-friendly product, but it is also a high-quality film created with technological know-how developed through years of effort and investment. Through continuous research and quality testing, Hyosung is now manufacturing MR recycled PET films whose quality is on par with regular PET films.
With PP materials, it’s okay to heat your food in a microwave oven!
Were you ever worried about the safety of eating hot food delivered in a container or heated in a microwave with the packaging material left intact? This is an unnecessary concern because, nowadays, food producers use PP materials - smart plastics that are safe, harmless to the human body, can withstand high heat, and do not secrete environmental hormones.
Used widely by many people in their daily lives, PP (polypropylene) material is a high-tech product with advanced attributes such as the ability to withstand high temperatures and pressures, high rigidity, and strong resistance to impacts. So it would be a mistake to view PP in the same light as ordinary plastic. In addition, PP is composed solely of carbon and oxygen; it does not contain any raw ingredients that are harmful to the human body, and hence no environmental hormones are emitted by PP. For this reason, PP is used widely in numerous objects that come into contact with the human body, such as food containers and packaging films.
You can tell whether a food container is made from a safe PP material simply by checking for the existence of a PP mark (No. 5) on the container. This mark identifies the container as being made from a PP material that does not secrete any bisphenol A, an environmental hormone. A PP material can withstand both high and cold temperatures, tolerating high temperatures of up to 121-165°C and cold temperatures as low as -20°C. This is why bowls used to carry food deliveries, containers for storing food ingredients in refrigerators, multi-use containers, water bottles, containers for instant rice, and lunchboxes are often made of a PP material.
Due to its excellent durability and material properties, PP is also widely used in baby bottles and other baby products that come into contact with the skin of infants who have weaker immunity than adults. This is the reason PP is sometimes called a safe baby bottle material.
As befits its name, PP containers melt at temperatures above 165°C. Because they neither become deformed nor secrete environmental hormones when they are disinfected or heated in a microwave at temperatures of around 100°C, they are very safe to use. However, for the sake of safety, using a PP container not to warm food but rather to directly cook food is something that is highly discouraged. You should also bear in my mind that removing the packaging vinyl or lid (if it is made of a material other than PP) before using a PP container is the most sensible way of using a PP material.
Hyosung Chemical was the first company in South Korea to commercialize the dehydrogenation process for extracting PP from propane The company has been supplying products made of PP material over the past twenty or more years based on its independently developed technological capabilities. The know-how accumulated over many years has enabled Hyosung Chemical to manufacture PP materials of outstanding characteristics. Indeed, the company’s products are used in a broad range of products such as airtight food containers, shampoo bottles, coffee pots, and other home-use products, as well as for products in the pipe, film, and medical categories that require careful handling. Hyosung Chemical’s steady research and development efforts to improve product quality and increase product differentiation have resulted in product quality enhancements that have made its PP products globally competitive as well as making it the most preferred brand in the market.
The lining and the outer fabric of face masks that we wear all the time, and which come into direct contact with our mouth and nose, are all made of PP, including the static electricity filter that goes into the mask. PP is the material of choice for products that come into close contact with people's respiratory systems because it is a safe plastic. In this way, PP has become indispensable in our daily lives.
Hyosung Chemical for a safe and convenient daily life!
Hyosung Chemical is improving our quality of life with nylon film, PET film, and PP products that deliver convenience, safety and value to our eating habits and daily lives. Hyosung is leading the acceleration of the industry’s shift to environment-friendly products by developing truly environmentally friendly packaging materials such as MR recycled PET film, and PCR PP made of recycled PP materials characterized by outstanding quality and environmental-friendliness. With these materials, customers can produce products that transform our lives for the better and create a more sustainable society. Hyosung Chemical plans to continuously identify new environment-friendly products, gradually expand the scope of application (to apply to industrial packaging, food packaging, daily necessity packaging) of recyclable PCT PET film, and comply fully with the government's environmental regulation on ‘recycling more than 50% of plastic packaging waste’.