Canadian Packaging

Tray-Pak hot to trot

Tray-Pak heats up the Hot-to-Go container market with new microwaveable food containers.


July 14, 2015
by Canadian Packaging staff

ATLANTA—Milliken & Company have announced that Tray-Pak Corporation has created new food containers for hot-to-go and heat-at-home applications made from UltraClear polypropylene (PP) clarified with Milliken’s advanced Millad NX 8000 technology.

Tray-Pak, a leader in custom thermoformed plastic packaging, chose UltraClear PP to offer its customers a unique combination of glass-like clarity, microwave/hot fill capability and recyclability—and the option to enhance the containers with Milliken’s ClearTint colorants.

Along with its new 9-inch by 9-inch dome lid container, Tray-Pak hs also developed a 6-inch by 6-inch container and a 7.25-inch by 5.6-inch rectangular container—the first commercially available food containers in North America to feature UltraClear PP.

“Tray-Pak has always brought new material innovations to the market,” says Tray-Pak Corporation marketing manager Ashley Waszkiewicz. “The partnership with Milliken combines our excellent design and engineering capabilities with advanced material technologies that provide clarity similar to polyethylene terephthalate and the heat performance and sustainability of polypropylene. UltraClear PP allows us to create products that meet growing trends, such as the move away from expanded polystyrene in favor of a more easily recycled material. Tray-Pak looks forward to launching the line later this year and plans to continue designing tailor-made products that will use this material technology to target consumer demands for clarity and microwave capability.”

Milliken & Company global product line manager with plastics additives Christina Acevedo adds: “Tray-Pak’s attractive hot food containers are a great and practical example of how readily UltraClear PP can be adapted to the requirements of new applications. “This versatile material checks ‘must-have’ boxes that are important across many packaging sectors, including enhanced shelf appeal, improved sustainability and high performance. These attributes position it favorably against traditional resins and offer many opportunities for material upgrades.”

New Family of Distinctive Products
The 9-inch by 9-inch container comes in several variations, including tinted clear bases that provide a pop of color to enhance the appearance of the contents. The bases can be configured with a single cavity or three cavities, making them suitable for quick-serve restaurants, grocery store hot bars and other take-out food providers. The 6-inch by 6-inch containers, with a single cavity base share a similar design to the 9-inch by 9-inch containers with a domed lid providing inherent stackability. The rectangular containers, also with a single cavity base, have a slightly domed lid. All lids and bases will be available in UltraClear PP and all are microwaveable.

The Millad NX 8000 additive gives PP a clarity boost that overcomes the undesirable cloudy appearance of natural PP in sheet and thermoformed applications. UltraClear PP offers highly attractive transparency, similar to that of polyethylene terephthalate, for meat trays, clamshell containers and lids. UltraClear PP also offers important benefits such as mono-material packaging, easy seal and impact and heat resistance.

Milliken’s ClearTint colorants deliver the brightest, cleanest and most transparent colors in PP. They are precisely designed to enhance the Millad NX 8000 clarifier. The deep, rich shades achievable with ClearTint are unavailable with traditional pigment colors. Milliken’s innovative colorants are U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) compliant and provide freedom from color migration or extraction.

About Tray-Pak Corporation
Since its founding in 1975, Tray-Pak Corporation has grown to become one of North America’s leading sources for tailor-made thermoformed thin-gauge packaging solutions. Specializing in medium-to-high volume runs of consumable goods packaging, Tray-Pak helps companies to manage costs, streamline processes, and get to market faster than their competition. Tray-Pak’s mission is to deliver a superior value to all stakeholders by providing innovative packaging solutions through collaboration, creativity, and continuous improvement. Company information at www.traypak.com.

About Milliken
Milliken is an innovation company that has been exploring, discovering, and creating ways to enhance people’s lives since 1865. Working from our laboratories, application and development centers around the world, our scientists and engineers create coatings, specialty chemicals, and advanced additive and colorant technologies that transform the way we experience products from automotive plastics to children’s art supplies. With expertise across a breadth of disciplines that also includes floor covering and performance materials, the people of Milliken work every day to add true value to people’s lives, improve health and safety, and make this world more sustainable. For more information, visit www.millikenchemical.com or www.milliken.com.

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Machinery