Aluminium has long been a common material used in the food industry, as well as in other sectors such as construction and transport. However, some years ago a major competitor of aluminium packaging emerged – metallised packaging, or metallised PET.
Today we are going to explain its advantages and disadvantages in detail, and present its main applications in the food industry.
PROPERTIES OF ALUMINIUM AND METALLISED PACKAGING
The primary property of both materials is the high barrier they provide, but let’s look at all their features in more detail.
Aluminium foil is a very thin, flexible sheet that has traditionally been used to cover things. However, foil is easily damaged, so using it in combination with other materials like plastic has improved its properties and increased its functions. So, what are the most important features of aluminium packaging?
- Protection from oxygen and light for long periods of time.
- Very light material.
- Impermeable: it is waterproof and greaseproof.
- Toughness: it is hard to break.
- Easily recycled.
- Easy to use.
- Easy to print.
Metallised PET is different from aluminium packaging in that the plastic film is only sprayed with aluminium, it is not its main component. This ensures a good barrier and makes it a more cost-effective alternative.
Its other features include:
- Visual appeal: film sprayed with aluminium has a special metallic sheen that makes it highly attractive.
MAIN FOOD USES OF BOTH MATERIALS
Within the range of flexible laminates, high-barrier laminates with aluminium, and high-barrier laminates with a metallised film can have different uses.
HIGH BARRIER WITH ALUMINIUM
The properties of this material mean it has many applications in the food sector. At SP Group we have different solutions, including:
- PET ALU PP: a triple flexible film commonly used in Doypack pouches that contain pickled products, such as olives. It allows all printing techniques and is suitable for heat sterilisation processes.
- OPP ALU PE: due to its mechanical, elastic and thermal properties, it is the perfect packaging for coffee.
- PET ALU PE: sachets of olive oil and sauces, and pouches of coffee and spices are the ideal foods for this laminate that boasts a high barrier against oxygen, aroma, light and moisture.
- PET ALU OPA PP: this is a quadruple film designed for heat sterilisation, making it perfect for cured meats, sauces, custards and purées. It is also impact-resistant and is suitable for packaging liquids.
- OPA ALU PP: the ideal lamination to use as a top film for trays of roast vegetables, as it is both tear and heat resistant.
HIGH BARRIER WITH METALLISED FILM
There has been an exponential increase in the use of this film, especially with food products that need to preserve taste and freshness.
- OPP MET PP: with a better barrier than transparent materials, this lamination is perfect for snack packets. However, it is not recommended for stand-up pouches.
- MET PE: with a good barrier against gases and water vapour, this material is ideal for snack packets and sauce sachets, and as a film for cheese slices, foie and smoked salmon.
- MET PE PEL: this attractive peelable laminate is commonly used for snacks and processed meat products, such as cured sausages, or as a top film for trays of sliced meats or cheeses.
- PAPEL MET: this is a special double flexible film for heat sealing in both cold and hot-fill processes. It is principally used for yoghurt and dessert lids.
Of course, we should also point out that SP Group’s metallised packaging solution produced for Nomen recently won a coveted award in the Best Awards – Gold in the Best Branding, Packaging category.
EASY TO RECYCLE
The sustainability of our materials and the options for their recycling are always of prime concern at SP Group, so it is good to know that aluminium is 100% recyclable, and it can be recycled indefinitely without losing its properties.If you would like to find out more about SP Group’s options for your product, visit our webpage or contact us, our customer service department will be happy to help.