The market for ready meals has expanded relentlessly in the past decade. New processes and the increasing demand for greater convenience has increased the variety of foods on offer and improved the quality. At every stage of this expansion aluminium foil has played a primary role in these developments.
More detailed information about the LCA of "Lasagne" can be found here.
Whether in the form of a lacquered and compartmented individual dish or a traditionally formed tray alufoil containers can resist almost any cooking and freezing temperature and can be lidded in a number of formats. Once used, they can be put into the aluminium recycling system for clean, efficient metal recovery.
Deep drawn alufoil containers with smooth shoulder rims have grown the market for prepared meals consisting of meat joints and fish dishes. Small meat and poultry cuts can be presented in the ready-to-cook tray, hermetically sealed and protected with an inert gas to reduce oxidation and to extend shelf life without loss of quality. The consumer need not handle the raw meat or fish while the dish acts as a heat-conductive cooking vessel with the potential for secondary uses.
Light, quick to re-heat, strong and consumer-friendly, alufoil containers enable millions of airline passengers to enjoy hot food. The surfaces can be lacquered to conform with the airline's corporate style and embossed with logos or messages. Clip-on alufoil lids can be colour coded or embossed according to the contents without spoiling the presentation. As with all alufoil containers, the used dishes can be passed directly into the recycling system.
Foil's characteristics offer great scope for the packaging of many types of chilled or frozen ready meals and desserts. The ready formability and robustness of aluminium foil means a large variety of standard shapes and sizes is available. This enormous choice ranges from a tiny dish 35mm in diameter to the biggest catering size measuring 527 x 325mm, with nearly ten litres capacity. Between these two extremes there are hundreds of shapes and sizes, many with a choice of rim configuration.
Ideal for the automated packaging line, foil containers offer ‘whole life' durability. They can accompany their contents from hot or cold filling through every stage of chilling or freezing, lidding and other packaging procedures on to distribution, retailing, cooking or reheating and serving by the ultimate consumer. Combining lightness with stackability containers are easy to handle and store. They are suitable for all types of cooking and re-heating: grilling, fan and convection cooking, barbecue griddle and microwave oven and are easy to handle, open, use and dispose of.