Nylon makes a quality seafood packaging solution

One of our overseas agents has been working on a project to retail top quality microwaveable fish. The parameters, as I understood it, were durable film, a high barrier to extend the shelf-life of the seafood in the pack as long as possible, a nice product to handle, the ability to draw a vacuum - again to extend the shelf-life - and a stunning tasting meal once cooked.

Now, Sirane has a few options for seafood, including our steam-cooking bags for oven or microwave, which are available as a heat-seal version for shipping into store. But for this product we suggested nylon. Nylon might not be the first packaging solution that jumps to mind for seafood, but it is very effective. It can be flow-wrapped, heat-sealed, has excellent clarity, has a good gas barrier and it suitable for vacuum packing. It can be cooked in a microwave or in an oven at up to 210 degrees.

Its use as a material is well established for cooking meat and poultry for example, for creating roasting bags for whole chickens or small ready-to-oven meat packs. Nylon is also well-established as the best material for slow-cooker liners, pan-liners etc, and is in all honesty an incredibly versatile material.  

Seafood is a less traditional market for nylon - but, by drawing a vacuum, and using nylon (Siralon 21 blend), they were able to achieve 10/11 days shelf-life on a a marinated piece of fish, which is enough time for it to be shipped into store and sold as a ready meal. 

The agent in question just shared a promo video with me of the two products they are launching with (unfortunately I cannot share until September) but it looks fantastic. The product packaging looks great, the fish looks beautiful when it is cooked and very appetising. As a concept, it looks a winner. And for the consumer, it is incredibly simple, they merely pierce the top and cook. 

Supermarkets tend to offer fresh food at the seafood counter (we've talked in recent weeks about steam-cooking bags for oven and microwave and their potential use on fresh seafood counter for added value sales), or ready meals. Seafood ready meals tend to be thin on the ground due to shelf-life issues. Here is a product that has a foot in both camps.... I wish them well.


Ugly fruits coming to a Swedish store near you...

So, the news that attracted my attention today was from Sweden. I think it would not be doing Sweden a disservice to say that it very rarely makes the news. It's not bankrupt, it's not got asylum seekers jumping aboard moving trucks, it's not involved in the Ashes, it just seems to get on with things. Probably in Sweden a Volvo breaking down is front-page stuff.

In fact, I am actually writing, while desperately trying to think of a news story that I remember reading that originated in Sweden and did not involve Sven Goran Erikkson and/or Ulrika Jonsson. And I can't. Anyway, we digress. Where were we, oh yes. News. Sweden. Ugly fruits...

So a supermarket in Sweden, Coop, has committed to selling 'ugly fruit and vegetables'. Now, as all good cryptic crossword lovers will know, there is an 'ugli fruit'. but know, it is not a typo and a story about the exotic fruit aisle, it is a commitment to start selling 'contorted carrots and twisted turnips'. 

According to the story, between 15 and 30% of all fruit and vegetables is wasted before it even reaches the shelves, basically because it is rejected as the supermarkets think that we, the consumer, will not want the weird-looking potato or the abnormally-large aubergine. So the Coop has launched the It's the Inside That Counts campaign, in which said freaky fruits will be packaged and labelled up and sold at a slight discount as opposed to their more aesthetically pleasing soil-mates.

Now, anything that reduces food waste has got to be a good thing, and I for one think this is a great idea. I just just see myself down the supermarket with the children. 'Go and get a big of carrots"... "no, the strange ones, the weirder the better'. After all, they'll taste the same.

So a huge pat on the back for Coop from me for this venture, it will be interesting to see how it pans out and whether the Swedish public take to it.


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