Biscuits, bakery, cakes
Selecting paperboard for packaging:
- Bake-in-tray products
- Cones and wafers
- Cake boxes for fresh cakes
- Bakery mix
The market of bakery products includes a wide range of sweet and savoury items which are consumed freshly baked or intended for a longer shelf life. Products pre-packed for home-baking are also included. Biscuits, bakery and cakes are all packed attractively and appetisingly. All the products contain flour, butter or vegetable fat, together with flavourings and other ingredients which enhance aroma and flavour. They are sensitive to changes in flavour, and they require moisture protection to retain freshness and texture.
The most self-evident purpose of the packaging is to keep the products safe and fresh. Depending on the type of product, appropriate features and barriers against physical damage, moisture and flavour change are incorporated. Durability and strength and, overall, an attractive and hygienic appeal, are vital criteria when choosing paperboard for bakery products. Last, but not least, the paperboard should provide the basis for eye-catching graphics.
Choice of paperboard
Biscuits, bakery and cakes are mainly purchased from the shelf, often by impulse. Their identity is often familiar, as are the qualities of the brand. The main promotional aspects of the packages are an overall attractive shelf appeal, together with product identity and brand image. The visual impact makes the product stand out from competition. A clear and durable graphical presentation is required to display the product distinctly. The graphical design and the functional shape create an image of the product and expectations on behalf of the consumer. Also it is vital to achieve a clear presentation of printed information about the ingredients. Another promotional requirement may be a tear-strip for easy opening.
Important promotional characteristics of the paperboard are whiteness, smoothness and surface finish. The hygienic appeal and the graphical presentation calls for pure virgin fibres. A high print quality is required, with good contrast between the surface and the print, to achieve a good presentation of sharp half-tone illustrations, together with clear printing of text. Some times bold, strong colours in large solid areas are used to emphasise the brand identity.
These products require protection from various kinds of physical hazards during distribution, storage and handling at the point of sale. The preservation of flavour, aroma and moisture is vital. This is usually provided by barrier coated plastic films. Paperboard laminated with greaseproof paper or glassine is fat resistant and suitable for direct contact with cakes and biscuits. When the package is used as storage container it has to withstand repeated opening and closing without deteriorating in function or appearance.
Important protective characteristics of the paperboard are compression strength, toughness and folding endurance. Good creasing and gluing properties ensure a strong carton. A smooth surface provides for ease of handling, good rub and abrasion resistance, thereby preserving the graphical presentation. The use of virgin fibres provides for durable creases on closure flaps, and, together with approved coatings and additives, also assists preservation of aroma and flavour. Product safety, where the product is packed in contact with, or in close proximity to the paperboard, is achieved by the use of pure virgin fibres and coatings and is validated by meeting internationally accepted standards of safety, e.g. BGVV approval and EU-Directives.
Printing and conversion
To obtain efficiency in printing and conversion a flat, stable and dust free paperboard is required. Good absorption and drying properties, as well as good cutting, creasing and gluing properties are important. Thus a high print quality is ensured, whilst process stoppages and material waste are minimised.
Biscuits, bakery and cakes are packed on horizontal machines using side seam glued cartons. The packaging machines require low creasing resistance and low carton opening force. Small biscuits may be packed loose on vertical machines prior to cartonning, or directly into lined cartons. Hinge lid and separate lid and base cartons are corner glued for hand erection on the packaging line.
Cake mixes are usually top loaded into erected cartons which are hand loaded and then closed by hot melt adhesion. Tapered bake-in-tray packs are machine erected from flat blanks. After filling, the paperboard lid is applied to the tray by heat sealing - a special double perforated perimeter feature is used to facilitate lid removal without tearing. Bake-in-tray packs may also be pressure formed and lidded.