Packaging

Fresh lobster with legs

June 1, 2009
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+


A skin pack in a microwaveable tray provides shelf appeal for packaged lobster, though the processor believes improved quality is a greater benefit. Source: East Coast Seafood Inc.


Seven days is the longest shelf life lobster meat gets, and that’s not long enough for retail distribution. So when East Coast Seafood Inc. introduced pasteurized lobster with 90-day shelf life at trade shows in Boston and Brussels, Belgium, the reaction was exceedingly positive, according to Tom Livingston, product development director at the Lynn, MA-based company.

“This is what everybody expects lobster to taste like,” says Livingston, who worked for over a year with Cryovac’s ready-meals division to develop a barrier film that could withstand processing and retain product integrity. Although code dating is based on three months of refrigerated life, sample testing is averaging 165 days “with zero bacteria,” he adds.

The 6-oz. portions are in a protective skin pack in a polypropylene tray, with a 45-degree cutaway panel overwrap to display the product. The microwaveable product debuted in May at BJ’s Wholesale Clubs under the Legal Sea Foods brand.

A mild thermal process that does not denature meat proteins and turn the meat rubbery was developed seven years ago by Paturel International, a sister company of East Coast. The lobster first was packed in a transparent plastic cup. “Up until then, it was all retorted product in tin cans,” recalls Livingston. 

Adapting the self-venting Simple Steps microwaveable platform for seafood was a goal for Sealed Air Corp.’s Cryovac division, “and this helped that along,” says Sean Brady, marketing director. Developing an appropriate resin formulation was complicated by the post-packaging treatment that the lobster undergoes, he adds. Because the package is air tight, Clostridium botulinum is the bacteria of concern.

Shelf presentation is markedly better than the cup, but quality improvement is the greatest benefit, Livingston believes. “If you can get the customer to pick it up, they’ll buy it again,” he says.  v

For more information:

Sean Brady, Cryovac Inc., 864-433-2000, sean.brady@sealedair.com

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

Recent Articles by Kevin Higgins, Senior Editor

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

Plant of the Year 2014

Blue Diamond Growers was chosen as Food Engineering's 2014 Plant of the Year. The Sacramento-based company is the world’s largest producer of almonds and almond ingredients.

Podcasts

Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

FSMA Audit

What is the is most important step you have taken to become ready for a FSMA audit?
View Results Poll Archive

Food Engineering

FE September 2014

2014 September

The September 2014 issue of Food Engineering explores how lean manufacturing, quality improvements and increased automation helps processors meet rapidly changing demands. Also, read how robotics, advanced machine controls, software and OEE are just a few of the tools that can boost productivity on packaging lines.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

THE FOOD ENGINEERING STORE

Food-Authentication-Flyer-(.gif
Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

Food Master

Food Master Cover 2014Food Master 2014 is now available!

Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit www.foodmaster.com to learn more.

STAY CONNECTED

FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.png linkedin_40px.pngGoogle +