Greiner Packaging’s inert barrier technology won the Swiss Packaging Institute’s award for outstanding performance in the packaging technology category. The technology, called ibt, makes it possible to extend the shelf life of foods in plastic containers without using ultra-high-temperature processing or adding preservatives.
The process involves applying a coating to plastic cups that acts as a barrier layer to minimize migration between the fill material and the packaging; it also protects the fill material from outside influences. The cups are placed into a chamber where a vacuum is created. Oxygen and gas containing silicon are then fed into the chamber, and a plasma is created using an electrode. The resulting silicon oxide coating is chemically inert and sharply reduces oxygen and hydrogen permeability. The silicon oxide coating can be used in cups made of highly transparent materials without affecting their transparency. Additionally, the longer shelf life can help reduce unnecessary food waste, and the coating does not cause any disposal or recycling issues.
“We are very pleased to see our intensive efforts at advancing development in the packaging industry rewarded in this way. The award shows we are on the right track and encourages us to continue to drive our research forward,” says Tobias Strasser, managing director of Greiner Packaging Diepoldsau. In addition to winning in the technology category, ibt was among the top three submissions in the sustainability category. Greiner Packaging is the first company ever to place in the top three in two categories in the same year. Its technology is now eligible to advance to the World Star International Packaging competition.
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Peter Hackl, Greiner Packaging International,