According to Michelman's Shailesh Nema, there has been an increasing awareness about food safety and healthy lifestyle practices, which has led to Indian consumers 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 by 2.5 times the rate of overall edible oil consumption in India.
"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," said Nema.
Typically, five- to seven-layer extruded film coupled with PE, tie-layer, nylon or EVOH is used for edible oil packaging.
Nema said, "Nylon or EVOH provide puncture resistance and medium oxygen barrier but it hinders the recycling process."
Michelman has developed a water-based coating solution that eliminates the need for nylon or EVOH but 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.
Nema said, “Our coating can be optimised to match or exceed existing oxygen barrier values to improve product shelf life and reduce chances of rancidity. Elimination of nylon or 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 edible oil brands in India by conducting trials and tests at its recently inaugurated packaging incubator, MichelmanInnovation Centre for Coatings (MICC).