Nuts About High Barrier NatureFlex™ Film

Innovia Films’ high barrier compostable cellulose-based material, NatureFlex™ NK, has been chosen by an Italian producer, New Factor, to wrap its range of organic nuts and dried fruit – Mister Nut Bio.

NatureFlex NK was launched in 2008 and offers not only biodegradability and compostability, but also a moisture barrier approaching that of co-extruded OPP. This means it has the best moisture barrier of any single layer biopolymer film currently available, which has been achieved through Innovia Films’ unique coating technology.

New Factor was founded more than 50 years ago and is still owned today by the Annibali family. From humble beginnings in the agricultural seed sector to an international concern with a multi-million euro turnover, the company has gone from strength to strength and currently employs over 50 people at its plant in Rimini. Markets served by New Factor include Italy, Europe and Russia.

Outlining why New Factor chose NatureFlex to package its Mister Nut Bio range, Dr Fabrizio Pellegrini, plant director, stated: “NatureFlex offers protection for our product, as all good packaging should. At the same time it meets the eco-credentials for this organic range and has fitted into our production line process with minimal adjustment needed.”

The new Mister Nut Bio brand embodies naturalness and quality products resulting from organic farming in Italy, which are certified by Bioagricert (the independent Italian body awarding organic certification to food products).

New Factor collaborated with designer and photographer Marco Morosini for the creation of the pack and point of sale box, and with Innovia Films for the choice of film to be used. The result is a quality product brought to market in a new eye-catching pack comprising biodegradable and compostable NatureFlex film and a biodegradable cardboard label.

NatureFlex was an obvious solution for the packaging in this application as the film begins life as a natural product – wood – and breaks down at the end of its lifecycle in a home compost bin (or industrial compost environment) within a matter of weeks. It also offers advantages for packing and converting such as inherent deadfold and anti-static properties, high gloss and transparency, resistance to grease and oil, good barrier to gases and aromas, print receptive surface and a wide heat-seal range.

NatureFlex films are certified to meet both the European EN13432 and American ASTM D6400 standards for compostable packaging. The wood-pulp is sourced from managed plantations from referenced suppliers operating good forestry principals (FSC or equivalent). NatureFlex films typically have a renewable biobased content of some 95% by weight of material.

“With its excellent barrier properties, NatureFlex NK fills a major gap in the biomaterials market. Now dry, moisture-sensitive foods can also be wrapped using a compostable solution. We anticipate this will open up a host of new opportunities both for NatureFlex on its own, or as part of a laminate solution with other biofilms,” says Andy Sweetman, Innovia Films’ business development and sustainable technology manager.

NatureFlex NK is a transparent, general purpose packaging grade suitable for various applications; e.g. dried foods (biscuits, cereals, crisps, snack bars, etc). The product is also ideal for lamination to other biofilms. NatureFlex NK is available in 20µm, 23µm, 30µm, 45µm thicknesses and can be used for a variety of pack formats – VFFS, flow wrap, twistwrap and overwrap.

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