Milliken additives driving better clarity in hot and cold food packaging for one of Egypt’s leading packaging thermoformers, ShadyPack

February 17, 2020 by Samer Kesrouani

When Cairo based Shadypack wanted to find the best material, and most suitable additives, to enable the company to deliver superior and attractive food packaging that was top-rated for food safety, it turned to Milliken. And, within Milliken, the quest lead ShadyPack to NX® UltraClear™ PP, made exclusively with the pioneering Millad® NX® 8000 clarifying agent, and a Milliken anti-fogging agent.

Millad NX 8000 has removed the transparency obstacle for polypropylene (PP), and the resulting NX UltraClear PP resin is a lightweight, crystal-clear replacement for alternative materials, while enabling more mono-material applications.

Many bottles and containers today rely on multilayer constructions using a variety of materials to deliver the required end result. Such packaging may yield the necessary performance but can be bad for the environment – in effect, multi-material packaging can often make a product more difficult to recycle. With NX UltraClear PP, in many applications, polypropylene can be used not only in the bottles but also in the caps and labels, offering a viable, recycling-friendly, mono-material solution that doesn’t require adhesives or glues. PP clarified with Millad NX 8000 can be used in injection molded, blow molded and thermoformed products.

Resins containing Millad NX 8000 also offer new opportunities to enhance the sustainability and productivity of injection molding processes. Firstly, Millad NX 8000 not only transforms lightweight polypropylene into a crystal-clear alternative to glass, but boosts PP sustainability by enabling converters to process the material at a lower temperature - up to 40°C lower than traditional clarifiers. These cooler temperatures reduce energy demands and associated CO2 emissions, enabling more sustainable packaging solutions. It also offers excellent solubility in PP with a high melt flow rate (MFR), meeting the growing demand for high MFR grades to support faster production.

Recently it became the only PP clarifying agent to receive Critical Guidance Recognition from the US Association of Plastic Recyclers, validating that the additive is compatible with plastic packaging recycling.

ShadyPack has been one of Egypt’s leading packaging thermoformers since its founding in 1975 dedicated to creating innovating packaging solutions that protect human health in both the food and pharmaceutical industries. It was one of the first companies in Egypt to specialize in plastic thermoforming.

The fast-growing company, which plans to double its staff to nearly 600 within the next two years, is using Millad NX 8000 and the Milliken anti-fogging agent in a variety of applications, from meat and rice packaging to soup bowls and lids. Both additives have earned approvals from the European Food Safety Authority.

In addition to offering superior stiffness and impact resistance, NX UltraClear PP’s excellent heat resistance makes it suitable for hot fill and for microwaves. This, plus good cold-temperature performance, fulfills food packaging’s “fridge to microwave” concept.

Fogging, meanwhile, is a term used to describe the formation of small water droplets on the surface of transparent film. It most commonly occurs when there is a temperature differential between the inside and outside of an enclosed atmosphere. Milliken’s anti-fogging additive reduces the surface tension of the packaging, resulting in a thin, continuous, transparent layer of surface water. This allows ShadyPack to take full advantage of the material’s properties, making it ideal for point-of-sale displays.

This collaboration between Milliken and ShadyPack is just one of a growing number of partnerships across the plastics value chain helping to create better packaging that is also better for the environment. At Milliken we are proud to share our quality and reduce, reuse, recycle ethos with our customers and partners and will continue to work with companies like ShadyPack to enhance plastics for sustainable growth and a safer future.