The new technical modifications for the PowerPak Plus thermoforming packaging system allowing it to use paper in its range of packaging solutions


Illustration of a paper-based MAP package that can be produced with GEA’s new PowerPak PLUS packaging machine. (Credit: GEA)

GEA, a Germany-based technology supplier for food processing and a wide range of other industries, has introduced PowerPak Plus thermoforming packaging system that functions with paper to produce more sustainable food packaging.

The firm has made technical modifications for the machine, allowing it to use paper in its range of packaging solutions, including handling protection, vacuum, MAP and shrink packaging.

GEA said that the new packaging option is made from a mouldable paper composite comprising more than 80% paper and a residual amount of plastic for features that deliver barrier properties.

The new option also allows the machine to produce thermoformed packs of around 20mm in height featuring a thin top film to close and seal each pack.

GEA Thermoforming Packaging Systems senior product manager Volker Sassmannshausen said: “While consumers and food retailers are demanding reductions in plastic usage, the food industry must ensure safe packaging from beginning to end of the supply chain.

“Not only must all hygiene and quality standards be met, but also legal requirements which call for a significant reduction in the amount of plastic used in packaging.

“When developing our machines, we always take our cues from what our customers need, so this was an obvious focus area for us.”

Additionally, the packaging machine features a newly-developed multi-zone heating system and sealing capabilities to ensure that fresh foods are safely and hygienically packaged.

GEA noted that the new features of the machine make consumers easier to separate the paper from the plastic for disposal into their respective recycling stream.

Sassmannshausen added: “It’s great to see that we can mould paper-based materials without any difficulty.”

Last year, GEA developed new SmartPacker CX400 D-Zip, a vertical packaging machine designed for pre-packaged food products for retail and foodservice.