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

Fabulous Food Plant: Paramount Citrus

Learn more about this fabulous food plant in Food Engineering's article, found here.

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

THE MAGAZINE

Food Engineering Magazine

Food engineering magazine 2014 april cover

2014 April

Catch a preview of the Powder and Bulk Show in this April 2014 edition of Food Engineering. Also, be sure to check out a coffee stick making a real stir and a major advancement in the the pet food industry.
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.pnglinkedin_40px.png