Uflex, India’s largest multinational flexible packaging company, has developed a new structure for Lebanese dry fruit specialist Alrifai, which was seeking to improve the packaging and distribution of pistachio nuts.
Lebanon’s Alrifai, which is a global leader in the dry fruit industry, approached Uflex to assist in developing a more suitable option for pistachios that the brand was selling in pouches manufactured by a European converter. These were turning rancid much before the expiry date, resulting in a market recall of the product. Upon investigation, the R&D team at Uflex diagnosed that pistachios, apart from being hard, have extremely sharp edges that rupture the inner layers of packaging thereby disintegrating the barrier.
After an extensive R&D project lasting over six months, Uflex engineered the quad seal registered gusset pouch with a 3-ply laminate structure comprising PET (with registered matte coating), metalized polyester (with registered window) and nylon-based transparent PE.
The nylon-based transparent PE layer of the laminate exhibits extensive stretch property and imparts puncture and tear resistance to the pouch, making it strong enough to endure the sharp edges of pistachios, as well as contributing to the overall barrier to oxygen and water vapor.
The new pouches also have a brilliant gloss finish on the front and a matte finish with registered gloss on the back, creating a premium look. Certain elements of the imagery on the matte side of the pack have been printed in a registered gloss finish with 3D effect, further adding to the visual appeal according to Anup Sachdeva, joint president, Packaging (global exports) at Uflex. The side gussets have de-metalized windows on either side that allow the consumers to see through the pouch and check the quality of the product packed inside before making a purchase decision.
A D-punch handle within the pouch structure makes it convenient for the consumer to carry the pack, and an integrated press-to-close zipper on the front of the pack allows easy access to the products packed inside.
‘The most interesting part is the fact that even if you retrieve some dry fruits from the pack and then reclose it properly, the barrier to oxygen and water vapor remains pretty much intact for the pouch, thus extending the shelf life of the product,’ commented Sachdeva. ‘Anybody would love to place this aesthetically designed pack in the kitchen cabinet without having to decant the dry-fruits in an airtight container.
‘This packaging is gaining a lot of traction overseas and many international brands have approached us for similar solution for their products too.’
An investment by Uflex Packaging in machinery to handle the growing demand is reported here.