The Flexible Packaging Association (FPA) has awarded its 1998 Top Packaging Awards to several converters for achievement in flexible packaging. Among the winners was Cryovac/ Sealed Air's Rotated Patch TBG (total bone guard) Bag. The heat-sealed shrink bag has oxygen barrier layers providing extended freshness and a leak-proof package for bulky roast-size meat products. The TBG Bag provides bone protection over the previous alternatives that were over-packaged or had excessive leak rates. The Nalgene Cantene flexible container from packaging converter Pactech/Nalge was also honored. This flexible container for liquids was originally marketed to outdoor enthusiasts as an alternative to a rigid portable container. The Cantene offers consumers a lightweight, wide mouth, large capacity, leak-proof container that can be boiled or frozen. The flexible container is composed of LLDPE (linear low-density polyethylene) multi-layer film providing gas barrier properties. Printpack's Kettle Tortilla Chips bag featuring barrier properties and seals that allow the package to be shipped over high altitudes without bursting was also an award winner. The new package extends product shelf life by 30 percent and resulted in a 30 percent sales increase. The CLEAR-TITE 16 high-shrink barrier bag from the Viskase Corporation packages respiring cheese. It was honored for its patented materials and methods permitting the film to maintain high tensile film strength across unsupported areas such as the open eyes of Swiss cheese, while shrinking at optimum temperatures.

For more information contact: Flexible Packaging Association, 1090 Vermont Ave., NW, Ste. 500, Washington, D.C. 20005-4960. Tel.: (202) 842-3880

Multi-sided aseptic carton provides a healthly 'Advantage'

ConAgra's Golden Valley Foods division is the first company in the U.S. to launch a product in Tetra Pak's 330ml Tetra Prisma Aseptic package. The product -- a soya-based fruit "smoothie" in raspberry, strawberry and strawberry-banana flavors -- is part of the company's Advantage/10 line of 100 percent vegetarian foods. The line also includes frozen entrees, veggie burgers, oven-roasted pizzas and nutrition bars. The cartons feature metallized printing offering an upscale appearance, an oversize PullTab closure for easy pouring and sculpted corners for comfortable handling. The carton can handle a volume range of 330ml to 1500ml.

Tetra Pak Inc., 3300 Airport Rd., Denton, TX. Tel.: (940) 565-8800; Fax: (940) 565-8420

New plastic can heats up frozen juice line

Graham Packaging Company partnered with Welch's to develop a new plastic can for the juice producer's line of frozen concentrate juice drinks. The new recyclable plastic can features an easy tear strip opening and can be defrosted in the microwave within 60 to 90 seconds. According to Welch's president and CEO Daniel P. Dillon, the plastic can is not only expected to boost Welch's frozen juice sales but help frozen juice category volume as well. "We are very excited about our new plastic can. It's the first packaging innovation for frozen juices since the invention of the peel strip in 1979," said Dillon. "We know that packaging innovations have a major impact on consumer purchases and buying patterns. [We] believe that the new plastic can will generate more consumer traffic and sales in an area of the store where business has been trending downward," he added. The 11.5-oz. plastic can is composed of an extrusion blow-molded high-density polyethylene (HDPE) body with an injection-molded linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) lid from Graham Packaging. The new plastic can is the culmination of years of development, according to Roger Prevot, senior vice president and general manager of Graham Packaging's food and beverage business unit. "This project required a number of significant developmental breakthroughs involving package and lid design, molding systems and cap application equipment," said Prevot. Included in these breakthroughs is a patented closure sealing system that can withstand freezing and thawing temperatures while maintaining seal integrity and providing easy opening. "When you go to a plastic can, the challenges are different. You don't have a true hermetic seal that you would on a metal can," said Marion Williams, senior vice president of technology at Welch's. According to Williams, although the filling process is somewhat standard, a capping system also had to be specifically designed by Graham and capping equipment supplier Fowler Products to successfully handle the high speed capping application. Welch's frozen juice concentrates packaged in the new plastic can are available in a variety of flavors including 100% Grape Juice, Welchade Cherry, 100% White Grape Raspberry Juice, Cranberry Juice Cocktail, 100% White Grape Juice and Apple-Grape-Raspberry flavors. The cans are currently available on the East Coast with nationwide distribution to begin over the next year.

Graham Packaging Co., P.O. Box 2618, York, PA 17405-2618. Tel.: (717) 849-8500; Fax: (717) 854-4269

Fowler Products Co., P.O. Box 80268, Athens, GA 30608-0268. Tel.: (706) 549-3300; Fax: (706) 548-1278

Shrink labels add spice to condiment line

To improve tamper-evidence, graphics and copy on its bottles, Beaverton Foods switched from screen-printed labels to Seal-It's new full sleeve shrink labels for its 4-oz. glass jars of Inglehoffer condiments. All 16 flavors of the Inglehoffer brand condiments packaged in the same round bottle, including mustards, horseradish, garlic and tartar sauce, use the shrink labels. Each full sleeve heat shrink PVC (polyvinyl chloride) label by Seal-It is reverse printed in two to three colors, depending on the condiment flavor. According to Bill Small, Beaverton's chief executive officer, besides providing tamper-evidence by sealing the lid to the bottle, the label costs less than screen printing, provides 360-degree graphics, larger billboard space for identification and more room for ingredient listing and nutrition facts.

Seal-It, Inc., 70 Schmitt Blvd., Farmingdale, NY 11735. Tel.: (800) 325-3965; Fax: (516) 935-3967