TURNING the food packaging industry from the villains into the superheroes was Sirane MD Simon Balderson’s primary message for a lecture broadcast live around the country.

The Institute of Food Science + Technology (IFST) Midland Branch’s October lecture was broadcast live from Harper Adams University in Shropshire, and Simon explored how reducing food waste through clever packaging can make heroes in the food trade.

Using examples such as a Sirane’s Dri-Fresh Soft-Hold pad – a cushioned absorbent pad for soft-fruit which is being used extensively across the world – he explained how understanding the parameters of shelf-life can lead to the creation of effective solutions.

He said: “The food sector is probably the most demanding industrial and commercial environment of all. Constantly changing, hugely complicated, geographically diverse and moving at breakneck speed, it is difficult to imagine a more challenging and exciting area in which to be involved. Fresh packaging challenges are thrown up almost daily.

“Food packaging really can perform miracles – a point I made in the presentation. What Sirane has tried to do is create a structured development system in which things happen.

“As well as fruit, we examined packaging solutions for seafood, including multi-compartment steam-cooking bags and other recent developments, and how these solutions can positively impact on shelf-life, sales, and the quality of the product for the end consumer.

“Sirane was founded with the aim of bringing a new level of innovation and service to the industry, and although food packaging is challenging, we simply love a challenge. If there’s a problem, there’s invariably a solution, and we use our expertise to find it.”

The IFST event took place at Harper Adams University, Shropshire, on Tuesday, October 27, and was also broadcast live at a number of other IFST branches around the UK, including university campuses in Cardiff, Nottingham, Huddersfield, Leeds and Liverpool.

A number of questions came through via the IFST twitter feed. These included questions such as “is cost effectiveness the biggest barrier for novel technologies” and “when you oven heat plastic, is there any worry about volatiles from the plastic migrating in to food?”

Some questioned whether retailers would truly want increased shelf-life, with Liverpool John Moores food society asking: “will retailers want to increase shelf life? Consumer’s strawberries go off in the fridge so goes to buy more?” Similarly, one person asked “is the film extending the shelf-life of soft fruit expensive? If so, do you think the consumer will pay more?”

Simon explained how food waste is a global problem, and within the food chain there are many players, so not every individual or company within the chain will always benefit from solving a packaging problem. However, any reduction in sales for the retailer caused by better shelf-life would probably be balanced by less wastage and less discounting.

Simon charted the formation and growth of the company against the background and trends of the food packaging industry, highlighting the dynamism of the industry and the constant adaptability needed by suppliers who want to survive within it.

From small beginnings, the company now has manufacturing facilities in the UK, Turkey, and very soon Mexico, and offices/representation in the UK, Turkey, South Africa, the Middle East, the US, and Asia/Pacific, as well as a network of international agents.

He also emphasised the need for packaging companies and the food industry to work together to tackle and solve the many and varied problems in the food supply chain.

Sirane is an innovative packaging design, development, manufacture and solutions company which specialises in areas including absorbency and oven-ready/microwaveable products, compostable packaging, films, boards, pads, and much more. As well as food packaging, the company has three additional divisions: medical & healthcare; horticultural & industrial.

For more information on Sirane visit www.sirane.com or call +44 01952 230055.

Microwave susceptor boards

LOOKING for a way to sell burgers, paninis or sausage rolls which can be crisped quickly and effectively in the microwave? Sirane’s microwave susceptor board can offer exactly that.

Sirane’s Sira-Crisp™ susceptor packaging absorbs the microwaves and radiates heat to enhance the crispiness of the food. This process helps to prevent sogginess and provide the customer with crispy, appetising food – perfect for anyone selling ‘microwave fast food’.

Carton boards for crisping items such as burger buns are one ‘fast food solution’.

Jeremy Haydn-Davies, sales director, said: “Whether you’re looking to sell fast food over the counter but cooked using a microwave, or create a retail product which allows customer to buy a microwave ‘fast food’ meal, susceptor board could be way to create the product you are require. Crisp food, tasty food – and all cooked in a matter of minutes.

“We can create cartons for burgers and hot-dogs, paninis and other ‘fast food items’ – all custom-designed to fit around your exact application so giving perfect results every time.”     

Sira-Crisp™ products can be supplied printed with your own design or we can design it for you. They are available flat packed or fully formed to suit your packaging process. Whatever your requirements, Sirane has the expertise to create the product you need.

The Sira-Crisp™ range of products is not just restricted to flat platters. We can shape, fold & glue a variety of shapes suitable for crisping up paninis, meat slices, quiches, sausage rolls, molletes, burger buns and a variety of other popular fast-food snacks.

Other susceptor products available include absorbent susceptor boards – perfect for cooking pizza in the microwave – and susceptor films, as well as our popular potato-bakers. Susceptor films can be designed to fit snugly around a product, providing all-over crispness.

Sirane is an innovative packaging design, development, manufacture and solutions company which specialises in areas including absorbency and ovenable/microwaveable products, compostable packaging, films, boards, absorbent pads, and much more.

For more information on microwave susceptor boards for crisping food in the microwave, contact Jeremy Haydn-Davies on +44 1952 230055 or email jeremy@sirane.com

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