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Barrier Films for Food Packaging Solutions

August 1, 2022|BY: Rob Helmke

Barrier Film on a Salad
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Barrier films are an integral part of food packaging solutions, especially in thin plastic-based products. Because the overall success of food packaging depends on the effectiveness of barrier films, it’s critical to select the right type of film for your specific application. In order to do so, several variables should be considered.

First, it’s important to consider the oxygen transfer rate (OTR), a measurement of the amount of oxygen that a film allows to pass through it. In most food packaging applications, the less oxygen the better, so high barrier films are a popular choice.

Other important factors include film gauge, clarity, and barrier level, as well as the type of food product being packaged and whether other features — such as UV protection or odor prevention — may be required. You’ll also want to consider the necessary converting process to determine the how the film trims, and edges bond.

High Barrier Films for Food Packaging

There is a wide range of high barrier films available, each offering unique benefits for various types of food products.
The highly flexible ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH) barrier film, for instance, is ideal for fish, poultry, and meat packaging, and can be used as a substrate or as independent packaging material.

Polyester (PET), a high-performing film is used as a laminating substrate. It provides an excellent oxygen barrier, durability, and heat resistance. When laminated onto certain other materials, it also provides a strong water barrier and UV protection.

Coating PET film with a soft saran laminate creates KPET, a laminate for use on other films. It has strong gas, moisture, and vapor properties, making it ideal for use in flexible food packaging for dry goods, very odiferous goods, and goods that are sensitive to absorbing other odors.

Finally, polypropylene — a clear, high barrier flexible film for food packaging — features good moisture barrier and high OTR.
These films represent only a small number of the many high barrier films available. Various combinations of these options also exist.

The Case for High Barrier Films

Versatile and reliable, high barrier films within the food packaging industry are rapidly growing in popularity.

The global Food Packaging Film Market is expected to grow at 6.2% CAGR from 2019 to 2028. It is expected to reach above USD $194.27 billion by 2028 from USD $125.23 billion in 2019.

Additional Food Packaging Resources

Plastic Ingenuity has been offering high-quality packaging solutions, including high barrier films for food packaging, for more than 50 years! Our Wisconsin based facilities in Cross Plains and Mazomanie are Cross ISO 9001 and SQF Level Three certified.

Learn more about barrier films by downloading our eBook, Oxygen and Water Barrier Technology.