Ghee or clarified butter is an unmistakably important condiment of South Asian cuisine. Conventionally ghee has been marketed in poly pouched pillow packs, cartons or tin cans.
These types of packaging are functionally not very user-friendly and are thus losing out on both pace and steam in the modern retail arena. Poly pouches are surface printed and pose a chronic problem of ink smearing during handling in the supply chain. The strength and barrier properties of the poly pouch structure itself are poor let alone the machinability of the laminate/ pouch on the filling lines. End-users often find it difficult to retrieve the product packed in poly-pouched pillow packs, cartons and tins.
To alleviate all these problems, India’s largest multinational flexible packaging materials and Solution Company Uflex Limited has recently launched ‘Profile Pouch for Liquids with Sonically Sealed Spout’ in India and offered it to Paras Dairy for packing its ghee (clarified butter).
The laminate of the pouch engineered at Uflex’s packaging plant at Noida is a three ply structure comprising Isotropic PET/ Isotropic PET/ Co-ex Nylon Polyethylene (PE). Two transparent Isotropic polyester layers provide excellent mechanicals to the laminate that are required to withstand harsh supply chain conditions.
Co-ex Nylon PE is considered to be one of the finest sealant layers imparting superior mechanical strength to the laminate in terms of elongation and impact resistance besides also preventing pin-holes and cracks in the final laminate structure. The Profile Pouch for Liquids with Sonically Sealed Spout conforms with the ASTM International Standards for Measuring the Damage Resistance of a Fibre-Reinforced Polymer Matrix Composite to a Drop-Weight Impact Event.
The three ply structure has been especially engineered to optimise the OTR and WVTR for extending the shelf life of the product packed. O2 is known to spoil the taste of ghee (clarified butter) therefore it is absolutely important to bar oxygen from entering the pouch. Since water is immiscible with ghee, a high barrier against water vapour is not really required for this type of product.
The designed OTR for the ghee pouch is less than 60cm³/m²/day under 0% R.H at 23°C while the WVTR is less than 5gm/m²/day under 90%R.H. at 37.8°C. The conventional poly-pouched pillow packs do not provide adequate barrier from oxygen, making the packed ghee (clarified butter) vulnerable to drastic taste change.
The major differentiator in this pack lies in its dispensing mechanism. Conventionally, spouts are heat seal welded to the pouches often resulting in leakage and polymer degeneration, but in this case at Uflex, sound waves at a very high frequency are generated and passed between the spout surface and the laminate. These high frequency waves vibrate the molecules of both PE layer of the laminate and that of the spout surface enabling a strong leak-proof seal.
The laminate is reverse printed in high definition (HD) using the rotogravure technology eliminating any possibility of ink smearing / bleeding as encountered in the surface printed poly pouched pillow packs. This renders a high finish to the spout pouch with visually stimulating and outstanding aesthetics. A specially designed bottom gusset has been provisioned for allowing the pouch to stand up on the retail shelf tremendously enhancing its visibility in an already inundated supermarket.
To impart infallible brand protection, a 3D holographic stamp (unique to Uflex) is sandwiched between the two transparent Isotropic polyester layers making the pack counterfeit-proof and assuring the end users of a product that upholds utmost standards of quality. The sandwiched holographic stamp is not susceptible to any rupture by scratching or rough handling in the supply chain. It is next to impossible to body-double or reproduce the 3D hologram created by Uflex owing to the technology involved.
Keeping in mind the pouch integrity and functional ease for the end users, Uflex has fitted a Tamper Locked Spout to the pack. The cap is inter-locked with the shoulder of the spout and this lock is broken when the cap is opened for the first time, ensuring an absolutely tamper-proof pouch. The spout has been internally designed to ensure that the entire product is easily accessed by gently squeezing the pouch. This profile pouch has hourglass contours that further facilitate a firm and handy grip for easy handling and pouring the packed product.
Speaking about the latest launch, Mr Jeevaraj Pillai, joint president, packaging and new product development, Uflex Limited said: "This first of its kind Profile Pouch with Sonically Sealed Spout offered to Paras Dairy for packing its Desi Ghee (clarified butter) is currently in the process of reaching the market. Talks are on with some of the popular F&B companies of India for offering similar customised packaging solutions for juices, drinks, milk, dairy products etc.
"Structural alterations to the laminate (depending upon the barrier properties required by the product to be packed) are quite possible. We also plan to supply this packaging solution to the overseas market in the times to come.
"We being a fully integrated end to end global flexible packaging solution provider have also manufactured the Pick-Fill & Seal (PFS) machine required for filling and sealing the product in the pouch. The PFS machine that we have manufactured for Paras Dairy at our Engineering Plant in Noida for packing ghee in the Profile Pouch with Sonically Sealed Spout operates at a speed of 35 pouches/ minute. It is fascinating to note that the already existing filling machines can be slightly modified without prohibitive capital expenditure in order to entertain the Profile Pouches for Liquids with Sonically Sealed Spouts."
Expressing delight upon successfully launching the Profile Pouch for Liquids with Sonically Sealed Spout, Mr Ashok Chaturvedi, chairman and managing director, Uflex Limited said: "I am so pleased to offer this unique packaging solution to Paras in its Golden Jubilee year, making it all the more special.
"Our motto of innovation to create value added differentiation is perfectly exemplified with this offering, which is quite superior and unique in terms of enhanced aesthetics; unparalleled functionality; high-barrier properties and impeccable anti-counterfeiting features."