Properties of Barrier Packaging

News 24 Nov 2021

Barrier Packaging

In its simplest form, barrier packaging refers to coatings which are put on substrates (such as paper-based packaging) to protect items inside the packaging materials. The function of a barrier can help to:

  • Keep undesirable moisture & oxygen out
  • Keep desirable flavours and aromas in
  • Prevent moisture, oxygen and gasses from within the film into the packaged goods
  • Maximise the product shelf life & preserve products

What are the 2 key types of barriers in packaging & how are they tested?

Oxygen Transmission Rate (OTR) – this refers to the steady rate at which oxygen permeates through a film at specified conditions of temperature and relative humidity. This is typically tested by using a sample which creates a membrane between two chambers, both are flushed with gas and then oxygen is passed through the outer chamber. Sensors are then utilised to detect the amount of oxygen which permeates through the sample with measurements taken over the course of several hours.

Moisture Vapor Transmission Rate (MVTR) – this is the measure of water vapor through a substance. This is tested in a similar environment, whereby a sample is mounted between two chambers, one at a known relative humidity and the other swept by a dry gas. Any water vapour which permeates through the sample is swept away by the dry gas steam into an infra-red sensor which is used to measure the MVTR over time.

Importance of OTR and MVTR

The oxygen transmission rate and moisture vapor transmission rates both have a huge impact on the items contained in your packaging. For instance, in the food industry you must account for the effects oxygen and MVTR can have on the produce which will be consumed. For example, oxidative degradation can affect the delicate colour, flavour, and microbial stability of a variety of foods such as tea, nuts, chocolate, cheese, meat and gourmet snacks.

Our Barrier Packaging Solution

So, you’re looking for barrier packaging? You need to explore our EcoPack solution, a sustainable and translucent alternative to avoidable plastic packaging, which provides a single sided coated heat-seal and moisture barrier FSC Certified paper. This solution offers hugely impressive barrier properties, including a MVTR of 54.5 and OTR of 1.39. Furthermore, if you’re looking to enhance your sustainability credentials you can also benefit from using a product which is certified by TÜV Austria for home composting, industrial composting and biodegradable performance. If you would like to learn more about EcoPack then speak to our team about your unique packaging requirements.

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