The edible oil sector grew at 25% to cross the USD 20 billion mark in 2017 making it the largest packaged food segment with over 30% share of the USD 65 billion packaged foods market in India.
Because of the increasing awareness of food safety and healthy lifestyle practices, Indian consumers are shifting from traditional “loose oil” sold at local grocery stores, to packaged oils. This trend has led to the packaged segment of edible oils to grow at 2.5 times the rate of overall edible oil consumption in India.
The use of coextruded flexible pouches in edible oil packaging has made it possible for organized brand owners to penetrate rural markets with smaller SKUs and refillable pouch packaging that takes up less storage. This has allowed manufacturers to pass on price reductions to consumers when compared to the traditional oil packaging of tin cans.
Typically these pouches are a 5-7 layer coextruded film that is a combination of PE, tie-layer, nylon or EVOH. Nylon’s incorporation in the structure provides puncture resistance & moderate oxygen barrier. However, the presence of nylon or EVOH prevents this structure from easily being recycled. Michelman, well known as an innovator in the development of barrier and functional coatings, has successfully developed a water-based coating solution that eliminates the need for nylon or EVOH, but still provides oxygen barrier for freshness.
Oxygen barrier plays a very important role in preventing the oil from going rancid and in extending the shelf life of the oil. Our coating can be optimized to match or exceed existing oxygen barrier values to improve product shelf life and reduce chances of rancidity. Elimination of nylon/EVOH will make this a mono-material structure that is easily recyclable and compliant with the impending Plastic Waste Management Rules.
Michelman is working with and supporting leading edible oil brands in India by conducting trials and tests at its recently inaugurated state-of-the-art packaging incubator, Michelman Innovation Centre for Coatings (MICC).