Food Engineering

Drop the knife

March 1, 2011


Butterball and Perdue are early adopters of Cryovac’s grip & tear poultry bags.


Sealed Air’s Cryovac division began introducing Grip & Tear bags for different food applications in 2007, with varying degrees of acceptance. Leak-resistant bags for whole fresh poultry may be the first bona fide home run.

Focus group research confirms the bags have particular appeal when people have to handle raw poultry, according to Don Smith, marketing manager at Duncan, SC-based Cryovac. Processors are sitting up and taking notice, with Perdue and Butterball expanding to both consumer and deli case applications. Using a knife to open a bag is as much a hazard in the workplace as it is in the home, after all, and knifeless opening of skin-tight bags is the primary benefit of the bags.

Tabs at the top of the bag initiate package removal, but the “straight-line tear propagation” that results in a clean vertical tear line is a function of the bag’s polymer matrix, Smith explains. “Getting the market educated is the biggest challenge” to expanded use, he adds.

Gaining acceptance for innovation from food packagers can be a drawn-out process, making the fresh poultry bag’s early success gratifying.

Oven-Ease is a cook-in bag that can be used in either a microwave or convection oven. Retention of juices and ease of preparation are the bag’s appeal, but applications remain limited. One issue is retail placement: Because there are no comparable cook-in bags, retailers are uncertain where to stock those products, and shoppers don’t readily understand the value-added proposition and don’t have time to orientate themselves on the run.

For more information:
Don Smith, Cryovac, 800-391-5645