Perfecting the Plastic Package

The 19th annual DuPont Awards find innovation the world over. The awards honor not just the packaging but also the technology and processes, equipment and converters that create the end-use packages. Nominations are accepted from both packaged goods marketers and from companies directly involved in the creation of the packages. Take a look at this year's winners.

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Ankur Lo Sodium Salt
Flex Industries Ltd. (India)

With two side gussets and one bottom gusset, the product stands out on the shelf. The side gusset is made transparent so the consumer can see the product before purchase. The pouch is made from five different webs - the front and back and the two side gussets are registered. The format can be adjusted for products such as rice, snack foods, etc.



Martinelli panel-less round apple juice bottle
Graham Packaging Co., Martinelli Co., VBS/Cryotech International Inc.

This new technical development breaks the paradigm for hot-fill beverage products in two ways. It eliminates the need for conventional vacuum panels and supporting rib structures. And it is the first successful attempt at employing liquid nitrogen to purge the container headspace and pressurize a hot fill beverage container.



Healthy Fx film
Healthy Fx (Canada), Wavequick Technologies Ltd. (Taiwan)

This five-layer film expands when heated to allow built-up pressure and steam to escape through multiple micro pores in one layer of the film's composition. The film is airtight and will go direct from the freezer or refrigerator into the microwave without having to vent or slit the packing material. This one time use material acts like a pressure cooker that cooks faster and naturally retains more minerals, vitamins and moisture in the food product.



Color-changing disposable coffee lid
Smart Lid Systems (Australia)

This disposable coffee cup lid is manufactured with color-changing additives, which react with heat. It's brown in its "cold" state but becomes red when it comes in contact with steam or hot liquids. The result is a visual warning to customers that their drink is hot, proof that the lid has been correctly applied and a branding or advertising medium on the top of the lid - which can appear or disappear with heat change.



Tetra Wedge Aseptic Microwaveable 200 S
Tetra Pak Inc., Culinary Concepts Inc.

The low-acid, microwavable carton in a unique wedge shape - a variation of the Diamond Award winner -- holds and heats either sweet or savory sauces in microwave ovens. It's sturdier and easier to handle and pour from than stand-up plastic pouches typically used to heat ready-made sauces. The package provides brand owners the ability to offer high product quality and taste, protected ingredients, shelf stability and no need for preservatives. The core innovation uses PET film coated with a plasma deposition of SiOx embedded in a paper laminate. "It is one of the most sustainable packages on the market with over 75 percent of content made with renewable materials," judges wrote.

Special Citations

Snickers dual logo bar
Bemis Flexible Packaging, Masterfoods USA

UPCs are printed in the transverse direction and print copy is located within view, from all angles on the Snickers bar wrap. The development of these technologies was a two-year process involving multiple trials both on press and on the packaging line. Enormous amounts of data were collected to validate the consistency of transverse direction-printed UPCs. All of the effort resulted in a package that met the brand's need but did not compromise UPC integrity or packaging line speed. The ability to increase branding "real estate" on a package will be significant to brand managers across the industry.



Nestle Pleasures box
Seufert Transparente Verpackungen GmbH, Folienwerk Wolfen GmbH (both of Germany)

The new material and shape for the Nestle box includes transparent packaging for the chocolates to better attract consumers. The upper seal is designed in such a way that it consists of four identical latches ensuring effortless packing and removal of its high-quality contents.

DuPont sponsors the competition in cooperation with Campden and Chorleywood Food Research Assn. in Gloucestershire, England, and the Washington-based Food Products Assn.

Entries are evaluated on degree of innovation, breadth of application, significance or impact on industry or consumers, marketing innovation of the packaged product and impact of the packaging on consumer or industry buying decisions.

Entries are judged by an international panel of qualified experts representing food processing and packaging industries, graphics experts, equipment suppliers, academia, the trade press and governmental, environmental and trade organizations.

Since it inception in 1986, the competition has given 185 awards among more than 900 entries from more than 40 countries.

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