US – Switzerland-based company, Sukano has partnered with natural-based chemicals manufacturer Emery Oleochemicals to jointly developed PET antifogging compound for direct food contact PET packaging.

Designed for rigid and oriented Coex films, the material contains Sukano’s co-polyester compound in one cap layer of a film extrusion line A/B structure and PET as a core layer.

Fogging occurs when small water droplets develop on the surface of films, often seen in packaging for fruit, vegetables, and meat.

These can affect the visual appeal of a product, causing consumers to avoid products still within their shelf lives, and can sometimes damage sensitive packaging or the product itself.

Although antifogging agents currently exist, using a homogenous, transparent wet layer within the packaging to prevent the formation of droplets, the additives are applied to standard polyolefins or flexible vinyl meat wrap films and are incompatible with PET.

Applying them adds another step to the production of films, and solution-based coatings can cease to be effective when the surface is washed.

Sukano and Emery Oleochemicals’ new compound is thought to negate the need for this extra coating.

Utilizing PET is also said to improve the recyclability and gas barrier performance of the packaging.

As a replacement material, it claims to maintain the transparency of other plastic packaging while providing durability, effectiveness in various ratios, and no requirement to invest in additional machinery for its manufacture.

The compound additive was reportedly tested in the form of PET lidding film applications, clam shells, and thermoformed lids and trays.

These were then shredded, ground washed, and submitted to additional heating conditions to emulate the journey of a PET tray through the recycling stream.

“At a very early stage, we understood that to be successful in producing effective antifogging agents for PET we must find a strong masterbatch specialist partner,” said Dr. Christian Mueller, global technical market manager at Emery Oleochemicals´ Green Polymer Additives.

“Antifogging for PET is a very challenging application in polymer additives, and Sukano is one of the most renowned companies when it comes to developing functional additive masterbatches and compounds.

“Sukano’s significant experience creating state-of-the-art masterbatches and compounds for PET applications made them an ideal fit for this joint development project.”

Meanwhile, Cosmo Films released a similar product in 2020, designing a BOPP-based antifog film for large packs and pouches containing fresh food.

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