This packaging procedure uses not only specifically designed MULTIVAC packaging machines but also special MultiFresh™ films, which were developed by MULTIVAC in conjunction with leading film manufacturers.
The MultiFresh™ range of machines is characterised by its great diversity in terms of pack size, output, and level of automation. The high-quality MultiFresh™ films have been approved for use in extensive tests by MULTIVAC, and this means that optimum running on all MULTIVAC packaging machines is assured. The film range, which is unique in the market in terms of its variety, includes solutions for all typical applications, and it offers individually designed sealing systems such as skin peel, burst peel, and sealing to mono lower webs. Thanks to the perfect interaction between machine and packaging material, high-quality and attractive vacuum skin packs are produced which meet all the requirements in terms of product protection and security, shelf life, transparency, forming quality, and function, as well as sustainability and ease of recycling.
MultiFresh™ packs protect your product perfectly. During the process the upper web of the pack is draped over the product without tension like a second skin, and the consistency of the food product, which generally protrudes above the pack cavity, can either be firm or soft. The upper web first passes through a heating station to activate the film properties, and it is then pre-stretched in the sealing die. The quality, freshness, colour, and texture of the product are presented in a natural way in the pack, and this enhances the high-quality appearance of the product. The vacuum in the pack contributes significantly to extending the shelf life of the product, since the biochemical degradation of the food is slowed down by the removal of atmosphere from the pack. The escape of liquid from the product is also reduced thanks to the allover sealing of the upper web to the lower web or tray. The product is fixed securely to the base of the pack or tray, so that it can not slide around, and it can be presented at the point of sale as either a stand-up pack, a hanging pack, or a conventional horizontal pack. If vacuum skin packs are stored in the freezer, they also provide reliable protection against freezer burn.
MultiFresh™ upper webs are designed for different product shapes and heights, and they are available in various standard thicknesses. Upper webs with increased mechanical properties are generally used for packing products with sharp edges, such as lamb and pork chops or seafood. Films with a soft-peel function are ideal for packing dry products, such as slices of ham, salami, or cheese. Films with a hard-peel function are used for packing those products, from which liquid can escape. MULTIVAC is one of the few suppliers capable of offering special films for particular market requirements, such as a film with a high oxygen permeability, which complies with the FDA regulations and is prescribed in the USA for packing fresh fish.
The MultiFresh™ range of lower webs consists of composite films of different polymers and covers a wide spectrum in terms of their mechanical and barrier properties. The lower webs can be selected from various colours, thicknesses, and easy-peel properties. Metallised versions are also available, and the films can be printed to individual requirements. It is also possible to apply decorative, price or promotional labels to the packs, as well as printing variable product information or production data, which can be changed manually or automatically.
MULTIVAC has also developed an innovative packaging concept with its PaperBoard, which is in tune with the trend for recyclable packaging and also meets the high requirements of the food industry. A wide range of solutions are already available today for producing skin packs on thermoforming packaging machines or traysealers from materials, which are based on paper fibre. The spectrum of material solutions ranges from formable paper through to flat cardboard and board trays. Packaging materials with various grammages and different sealing or barrier layers can be run with a high level of efficiency. The packs can be designed in such a way that the end user is able to separate the cardboard backing from the plastic barrier layer and then put it into the paper recycling. The MULTIVAC range of differentiated materials is complemented by sealing systems which allow mono materials to be run as lower webs - for example for the sealing of skin films to mono APET trays.
The special MultiFresh™ films combine functional benefits with outstanding visual properties. A feature of the packs is their high level of transparency and brilliant shine - which means the packs meet the high expectations of retailers and consumers. The packs give a very good view of the product and offer an indication to the consumer of the quality and nature of the product. Does the product look appetising and fresh? Is it exactly the piece of meat the consumer wants? How many slices of cheese are in the pack? In short: Transparent packs enjoy a high level of credibility and create trust with consumers.
It is not only the material, but also the design of a pack, which has a crucial influence on the security of the pack. Consumer behaviour is also very largely influenced by the design of the pack. An attractive pack appearance and good functionality underline the quality of a brand and help consumers to differentiate between products at the point of sale.
Whereas suitably dimensioned standard trays in different designs and materials are used for producing vacuum skin packs on traysealers, the thermoforming process with material from the roll allows the pack features to be designed more individually. These could for example be with special ribbing or particular radii, and even embossing or similar features in the base of the pack.
When it comes to packing sliced products with a maximum height of 10 mm, MULTIVAC can offer with MultiSkin™ a simple vacuum skin system which operates without upper web heating and is particularly cost-effective. It can be produced on the R 105, R 126, R 145, R 245 and R 535 thermoforming packaging machines. In addition to this, MultiSkin™ packs for product protrusion heights of maximum 20 mm, such as bacon slices, can be produced on the R 265 and R 565 thermoforming packaging machines. The process is also suitable for food products where there is a tendency for juice to escape, or which have increased shelf life requirements. Perimeter sealing along the pack contour provides additional pack security and ensures an attractive appearance is achieved. The pack can also be opened very simply by means of an integrated easy-open corner. A wide spectrum of suitable skin films, including high-gloss and metallised surfaces, are available for the different pack design options.