June’s top stories: UK’s plain tobacco packaging plan, Crown’s food cans report

1 July 2014 (Last Updated July 1st, 2014 18:30)

UK's proposal on introducing plain cigarette packaging, scientific review calls for consistent best-before labelling, Hebrew University launched new technology to prevent food packaging contamination. Packaging Gateway wraps-up the key headlines from June 2014.

June’s top stories: UK’s plain tobacco packaging plan, Crown’s food cans report

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UK Government urged to implement plain tobacco packaging

Cigarette

Around 600 clinicians and several leaders in public health signed a letter submitted to the UK Government urging the acceleration of the introduction of plain cigarette packaging.

The letter criticised the delay in introducing the plain packaging, even after Public Health minister Jane Ellison's pledge in April to push ahead with the initiative.

British Thoracic Society consultant chest physician and chair of a specialist lung disease advisory group Dr Nicholas Hopkins, Bath and John Ashton professor of public health Anna Gilmore, and UK Faculty of Public Health president are among those who signed the letter.

New Zealand to adopt health star rating food labelling system

The Government of New Zealand will implement a new star rating scale from ½ to five stars on all packaged food products to help shoppers make healthy food choices.

The number of stars is determined by an algorithm that considers the food product's overall nutritional value, with more stars indicating better value.

The Ministry for Primary Industries supported the health star rating system along with the New Zealand Front of Pack Labelling advisory group, which consists of food safety officials, public health representatives, consumer groups, and representatives from the food industry.

Crown's report highlights environmental benefits of steel food cans

Cans

Packaging products supplier Crown announced in its 2013 Sustainability Report that more than 1.3 million tonnes of tinplate steel were recycled in 2012.

The new report highlights the environmental benefits of steel food cans, further focuses on steel's sustainability profile and says that a package made of recycled steel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 75% compared with a steel package.

According to the Steel Recycling Institute, each tonne of recycled steel saves 2,500lb of iron ore, 1,400lb of coal and 120lb of limestone.

Paper calls for consistent best-before labelling

A new scientific review paper argued that changes in date labelling on food products leads to confusion and misunderstanding in the marketplace with regards to the way the dates relate to the quality and safety of food.

According to the review paper in July's Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, different regulatory date labelling frameworks detract from limited regulatory resources, causing financial loss and considerably contributing to food waste.

The authors say that the date-marking system should be uniform to better inform and educate the consumer, and provide clear and simple directions on food quality and safety. They also called for revisiting this issue among regulatory agencies.

Hebrew University researcher develops technology to prevent food packaging contamination

Research

A researcher from Israel's Hebrew University of Jerusalem developed a new technology to attack bacterial biofilms that adhere to food produce and packaging.

The researcher, Michael Brandwein, focused specifically on corrugated cardboard boxes and incorporated a molecule synthesised at the Hebrew University, called TZD, into anti-biofilm food packaging. In testing conducted at the Biofilm Research Laboratory, the molecule successfully interfered with biofilm formation by bacteria and fungi and also prevented biofilms in recycled water systems.

Corrugated cardboard boxes are used to transport the vast majority of fresh agricultural produce. Brandwein successfully incorporated the technology into industry specific acrylic polymers that can coat the corrugated cardboard.

Ingredient labels found to be important driver of meat purchases

New research from Kemin Industries found that the majority of US grocery shoppers check ingredient labels before purchasing meat products.

The research investigates the way that certain preservatives found in processed meats can influence the purchase decisions of consumers.

When making purchase decisions, 86% of consumers read the ingredient label always or sometimes and 34% always read the label.

M&S to trial laser technology for fruit labeling

British multinational retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) announced it would trial a new laser 'tattooing' technology from Spain-based Laser Food to replace traditional sticky labels on supermarket fruit.

The retail chain will use the technology to mark logos and use-by dates on the fruit's skin without causing any damage to the product inside. A laser reads a coloured liquid that can mark images and text onto the skin of the fruit directly. It also works on soft fruits such as tomatoes.

Initially, the company will trial the technology on oranges in various branches in the next few months. M&S plans to extend the technology to other foods if the trial with orange is successful.

Barilla selects Dassault's 3DEXPERIENCE platform to accelerate labelling creation

Barilla Technology

Italian food company Barilla selected the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform from Dassault Systèmes to digitally streamline the creation of product labelling across its worldwide operations.

Dassault's 'Perfect Package' provides a labelling solution and secures digital access to the company's up-to-date product information. This accelerates label design and approval while improving quality and lowering label creation costs.

The company's platform has artwork and labelling capabilities, enabling Barilla to streamline label design and approval, cut down artwork design time, and enhance regulatory compliance.