Are Clear Cans the Innovation that Traditional Food Packaging Needs?
The Klear Can from Milacron might prove to be the “fresh approach” New Scientist is looking for in the battle to bring innovation to the storied history of canned goods. On Oct. 26, 2015, Milacron announced that it passed critical food safety tests for its Klear Can concept, an alternative to the metal can that first appeared in the 1800s.
The can, which according to the company website is made of a “three layer plastic construction” of polypropylene and ethylene-vinyl alcohol (PP-EVOH-PP), has a shelf life of two to five years. The new design was approved for retortability and double seam integrity, allowing the design to be fitted with traditional metal can ends. Manufacturers can use colored plastic, in-mold labels or standard labeling with the Klear Can design.
The new concept was deemed safe in terms of leakage, requiring a two-step sealing process. A first operation seaming roll is used to roll "the end curl material which is lined with a flexible compound onto the flange material of the container," while the second operation roll "irons out the resultant double seam formed between the end material and compound and the body material producing a hermetically sound seal."
The clear packaging is still undergoing market testing. Vegetable-filled Klear Cans are being consumer tested in Belgium in an isolated environment.
More information can be found in the company's press release.