Alufoil’s History - The new millennium

The ageof convenience and resource efficiency

Come 2000 resource efficiencyand even better consumer convenient options were the major goals for alufoil,as they were for all material sectors, converters, brand owners, retailers andultimate consumers.

Successes in lightweighting ofalufoil which had begun in the eighties led to material savings of more than 30% in the new millennium, and in turn this has provided growth in markets forresource efficient packaging options. Today alufoil's unique barrier propertiesare being merged increasingly with flexible films to create lightweight packswith excellent preservation properties and this has been instrumental in theiruse for a number of exciting new and expanding markets. To name just a few,pouches for everything from pet food to drinks; lidding applications;technically innovative solutions for pharmaceuticals; and the increasingacceptance of alufoil as a microwave safe material.

FOOD & DRINK

Combined with plastic films ofnumerous specifications - which have also developed rapidly over recent years -alufoil has enabled foods and other products to enjoy greatly extended shelflife. In contrast to three decades ago, when the steel can ruled, todayautoclaving and aseptic filling of lightweight flexible packs routinely ensurethat food and products are sterile and remain in top nutritional and tasteconditions for many months.

Alufoil's characteristics havegiven it the role of ‘enabler' in several innovative applications. For example,high barrier foil laminates have transformed the vacuum packaging of coffee,once the exclusive domain of tinplate cans.

HEALTH & BEAUTY

Convenient, safe and versatilealufoil packaging offers formats for tablets, creams, liquids and powderscovering an enormous variety of pharmaceutical and cosmetic products. Todayalufoil's unrivalled barrier properties are being used increasingly forproducts that need to totally exclude moisture, oxygen and other gases,micro-organisms and light.

Alufoil is particularlysuitable for blister packs due to its range of mechanical properties, anddepending on the alloy and treatments alufoil can be made more brittle, tougheror more ductile. It can also be combined with other materials to create a rangeof innovative solutions including, for example, tamper-evident and childresistant blister packs.

ALUFOIL CONTAINERS

Deep drawn alufoil containerswith smooth shoulder rims have created a growing demand for prepared meals aswell as meat joints and fish dishes. Advances have included intelligent designthat produces not only reported lightweighting and material savings of up to30%, but also provides add on advantages thanks to advances in alloy and designtechnology to give strong and stable shapes including contoured handles to helpconsumers grip when hot .

Additionally consumerattractive lightweight ribbed trays using innovative have brought the alufoiltray to the fore for applications such as ready to cook meat, poultry, andfish, roast potatoes, barbecue meats with marinades, and roast summer andwinter vegetables.

All these strong and stabletrays have the aesthetic appearance of a ‘standard' alufoil container with noacute-angled corners; and a smooth flange area to provide good heat sealintegrity.

The objective is always tosave time in the kitchen without compromising quality. For example small meatand poultry cuts are presented in the ready-to-cook ribbed tray, hermeticallysealed and protected with an inert gas to reduce oxidation and to extend shelflife. The consumer need not touch the raw meat or fish and the dish acts as an effective,heat-conductive, cooking vessel which has secondary uses and is readilyrecyclable.

Alufoil's attributes as amicrowave safe material was one of the most significant advances of the newmillennium.