New moisture barrier made from recycled paper

EcoShield paper and linerboard closes the recycle circle while providing a moisture barrier that is oil and grease resistant. The material is made from recycled paper and is fully recyclable and repulpable, according to a news release from Cortec Corp.

Using a water-based coating, the St. Paul, Minn., Cortec Corp. developed EcoShield to be temperature tolerant and compliant with federal regulations for food contact products, according to the release. The manufacturing process for EcoShield does not use chlorine or any other bleaching chemical, which eliminates contamination issues found with other packaging papers.

EcoShield also has a reduced moisture transmission rate, providing performance similar to polycoated papers and better than waxed papers, according to the release.


StePac promotes Xtend packaging for asparagus

Retailers are moving away from the practice of displaying fresh asparagus, bunched with rubber bands and standing in pans of water, opting instead for “grab-n-go” packaging, according to a news release from StePac.

StePac North America, based in Romeoville, Ill., initially developed its modified atmosphere packaging Xtend for bulk products for wholesalers and club stores, according to the release. However, consumers’ desires for convenient packaging and retailers’ needs to reduce shrink spurred the company to begin offering individual bags and other pack styles.

“High-quality green asparagus packed in Xtend under disciplined postharvest handling protocols and good cold chain can often be kept for in excess of 28 days with no signs of decay, feathering, butt drying, or dehydration,” according to the release.

A major club store in the U.S. that tested a bagged asparagus program succeeded in reducing shrink by more than 5% using the Xtend packaging.

Eliminating unbagged asparagus and pans of water from retail displays can also decrease food safety risks, according to the release.