08 Oct 2019 --- Palsgaard has developed new anti-fog coating technology coined Einar 1122 for industrial packaging to keep food looking fresh and desirable for purchase at low temperatures. This initiative is a move to address food waste through the company’s participation in the United Nation’s (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Accelerator Programme. As consumers are quick to reject products with blemishes or questionable packaging, this initiative aims to address sustainability goals to end world hunger and champion sustainable consumption and production, says the company.
“To our knowledge, we’re the world’s only commercial source of emulsifiers produced in completely CO2-neutral factories. This commitment to reducing our carbon emissions was one of the main reasons we were invited to take part in the UN’s SDG Accelerator,” Christina Normann Christensen, Product & Application Manager, Non-Food at Palsgaard, tells PackagingInsights. Palsgaard is best known as a provider of high-performing emulsifiers and stabilizers for the food industry. However, it also offers food-grade additives for a wide range of polymer applications.
Click to EnlargeThe UN Sustainable Development Goals aims to tackle global social, environmental and economic challenges.“A lot of resources have already been invested in producing, packaging and transporting fresh vegetables. Einar 1122 keeps the product looking fresh and appealing which helps reduce the amount of the number of discarded products. Additionally, Einar 1122 is produced with sustainably sourced raw materials and in CO2 neutral production facilities which helps promote responsible consumption and production,” she explains.
Einar 1122 is an anti-fog coating for industrial food packaging. Efficient anti-fog properties are essential in many packaging solutions but can be hard to achieve in challenging polymer applications such as biaxially-oriented polypropylene (BOPP) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). When applied to the film or sheets, Einar 1122 makes the plastic surface more hydrophilic, which makes the water spread into a thin transparent water layer instead of discrete droplets.
Sourced from sustainably produced vegetable oil, this anti-fog technology is plant-based and food-grade, just like all of Palsgaard’s solutions for the polymer industry. This makes it completely safe, overcoming growing consumer concerns about harmful additives in polymer products.
R&D challenges The R&D researchers at Palsgaard had to guarantee product efficacy and durability, Christensen notes. “It had to deliver consistent performance in applications that demand uncompromising quality, such as stretched polyolefin, polyester films and sheets for thermoforming, while comparing well with competing products.”
Anti-fog agents prevent the condensation of water in the form of small droplets on a surface that resembles fog. Such technology is often used on transparent glass or plastic surfaces, ideal for the plastic packaging industry. The treatments work by minimizing surface tension, resulting in a non-scattering film of water instead of single droplets.
Strong sustainability credentials “Most food companies say sustainability is important to them, but at Palsgaard we’ve taken real action to prove it,” Christensen affirms. In 2010, the company set itself the goal of achieving complete carbon-neutral production within ten years. Palsgaard reached this goal two years ahead of schedule last year, resulting in reduced net carbon emissions from over 12 metric tons in 2010, to zero in 2018. Over that period, it also achieved CO2 reductions totaling more than 56 metric tons.
In the future, Christensen notes that Palsgaard is planning a range of new green initiatives, including a new solar energy park at their headquarters in Juelsminde, Denmark.
Click to EnlargePalsgaard's facility in Denmark has become entirely CO2-neutral.Funded by the Danish Industry Foundation, the SDG Accelerator Programme focalizes integrating sustainability into innovation and business strategy to strengthen business performance and value creation. The SDGs themselves consist of 17 goals and 169 targets that balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental dimensions. As the goals are often interconnected, the key to success on one will involve tackling issues more commonly associated with another.
Palsgaard will be exhibiting at K 2019, a global fair for the plastics and rubber industry, taking place from October 16-23 in Dusseldorf, Germany, later this month. The company will also be showcasing a range of other food-grade solutions for the polymer industry, including antistatic additives, mold release solutions and dispersing aids.
Improved sustainability action Other companies in the food sector are striving to design their packaging more in alignment with SDGs. Last year, Kellogg’s launched several new packaging measures, most notably, a solution to allow people to recycle Pringles cans and the introduction of recycle-ready cereal pouches.
Additionally, FrieslandCampina’s long-keeping chocolate milk brand, Chocomel, is packaged in a cardboard liter pack made up of 80 percent raw plant material from Tetra Pak. Also in line with SDG 12, the company aims to only use agricultural raw materials and paper packaging by 2020, from entirely sustainably managed sources.