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Greencore 'revolutionises' chilled ready meals

Related tags: Ready meals, Polyethylene terephthalate, Food

Greencore Prepared Meals claims to have revolutionised chilled ready meals with the development of retorted meals with peelable film. The firm makes retorted chilled meals for customers such as Weight Watchers and retailer own-label.

Retorting involves cooking meals after they have been sealed in pack. Its many advantages include offering a shelf-life up to three times that of a regular chilled meal. However, the disadvantage was that the film was welded to a crystalline polyethylene terephthalate (CPET) tray resulting in a poor presentation and requiring the consumer to open with a sharp implement.

To face this challenge, Neil Rockliff, Greencore Prepared Meals’ innovation and insight controller has collaborated for the past two years with packaging specialist Sealed Air Cryovac to develop a new easily peelable film.

Trials have proved successful and the firm is rolling out the new peelable film across all retort meals.

“Overcoming this became a key focus for Greencore and took extensive trials and refinement to achieve,”​ says Rockliff.

“This is a major step forward in the manufacture of retorted ready meals. It now gives the consumer a better experience, and it also gives the retailer an opportunity to extend the shelf-life of ready meals while utilising a packaging format that is familiar to consumers. This can only be a good thing considering the rising importance of sustainability and reducing food waste.”

Contact: Sealed Air Cryovac

Related topics: Chilled foods, Packaging equipment

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