ITC Packaging and Verstraete IML have designed in-mould label (IML) for Spanish food producer Dulcesol’s Naturcrem creamy soup, which provides oxygen barrier to eliminate soup coming into contact with oxygen and increases its shelf life.

While designing the packaging, the companies also catered to Dulcesol’s request for both storage and aesthetic visibility when on the shelf.

“The packaging must tie in with this perfectly, by being visually attractive and maximally guaranteeing the quality of the soup.”

Dulcesol Group marketing director Paco Olaso said: “The packaging must tie in with this perfectly, by being visually attractive and maximally guaranteeing the quality of the soup.

“That’s why we contacted our long-term partners at ITC Packaging; we know that their packaging comes with added value. Together, we ultimately developed an attractive packaging with an IML oxygen-barrier label from Verstraete, which extends the products’ shelf life without requiring refrigeration.

“In addition to that, the look is impeccable; the pentagonal base and round, open top makes the packaging an innovative format in all respects within the ready-to-eat creamy soups segment.”

The presence of the oxygen barrier in the packaging ensures that Naturcrem soups have a shelf life of up to one year without the need for refrigeration.

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ITC Packaging account manager Óscar Alcaide said: “The challenge here was to develop individual packaging that is microwave-safe and has an oxygen barrier, given that the product is 100% natural and doesn’t contain any preservatives.

“IML was the answer because it not only met all of those requirements, but the packaging can also have a 360° decorative, non-removable IML label.”

Another requirement of the design was that the label has to withstand the heat and humidity involved in the pasteurisation process.

This was achieved by using a combination of specific inks, a special lacquer, and a pasteurisation-resistant oxygen barrier film.