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Inovation

Quality and Innovation

 

1.1 Harmonised Standards—the Basis for the Optimum Packaging

On March 25, 2015, the company AZ-Pack, JSC implemented a packaging and packaging waste management system supplied to the internal market in accordance with the requirements of the Lithuanian Harmonised Standards.

In cooperation with KTU (Kaunas University of Technology) and with Inočekiai LT, the means provided by MITA (the Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology), we must ensure for our clients our production’s compliance with the latest optimum package requirements entering into force on November 1, 2015.

In the Thermal and Atomic Energy Department, the project packaging supplied to the internal market and packaging waste management system in accordance with the requirements of the Lithuanian Harmonised Standards in the company AZ-Pack, JSC, financed by the European Regional Development Fund’s Economic Growth's action programme Scientific Research and Technological Development for Economic Competitiveness and Growth, implementing measure VP2-1.3-ŪM-05-K Inočekiai LT, has been successfully completed.

The whole project, as well as declarations of compliance by the Harmonised Standards, was prepared following the requirements set forth in the Packaging and Packaging Waste Management Law of the Republic of Lithuania and relevant legal acts. Furthermore, in the course of the project's implementation, various tests have been carried out, which are defined as mandatory by the EU Directive "the Harmonised Standards of the Republic of Lithuania", and other legal acts: vibro-impact, compression, tests determining the packaging mass lowest calorific value, and product packaging puncture resistance tests.

The new requirements indicate that a package will have to be in compliance not only with all European Union packaging and packaging waste directives, but also with the requirements of the Harmonised Standards:

  • the packaging shall have to be optimum—made from a minimum quantity of materials and filled to maximum capacity (RL Standard LST EN 13428:2006);
  • total concentration of heavy metals, such as lead, mercury, and hexavalent chromium, shall not exceed 100 ppm of the packaging weight (RL Standard LST 1655:2002);
  • chemical substances or preparations content in packaging shall have to be decreased down to the smallest sufficient amount (RL Standard LST CEN/TR 13695-2:2004);
  • the possibilities for reusing, composting, the incineration of packaging have been evaluated (RL Standard LST EN 13429:2007/ LST EN 13430:2007/ LST EN 13431:2007/ LST EN 13432:2007).

The clearly defined Harmonised Standards and performed tests allowed to re-evaluate the production offered in the market and the materials used for the production. Based on eight key criteria that allow making a judgement on the quality and distinctness of a product, we can reasonably evaluate whether the packaging is in compliance with the set requirements and the definition of the optimum packaging. The strength, elongation to tear, friction coefficient, haze, transparency, transmission of oxygen and water vapour, carbon dioxide, indicators of the film used for production, justified by scientific research, provide a completely different perception of quality packaging.

Having summarized the tests that were carried out during the implementation of the project Packaging supplied to the internal market and the packaging waste management system in accordance with the requirements of the Lithuanian Harmonised Standards in the company AZ - Pack, JSC, preventive measures when decreasing the raw material costs in the company had also been discussed.


ANNEXES

 

 

1.2. Optimum Vacuum Packaging—TNGK

In cooperation with KTU (Kaunas University of Technology) and MITA (the Agency for Science, Innovation and Technology), we have ensured our clients compliance with the optimum package requirements entering into force on November 1, 2015.

The packaging shall have to be in compliance with not only all the European Union directives concerning packaging and packaging waste, but also with the requirements of the Harmonised Standards:

  • the packaging shall have to be optimum—made from a minimum quantity of materials and filled to maximum capacity (RL Standard LST EN 13428:2006);
  • total concentration of heavy metals, such as lead, cadmium, mercury, and hexavalent chromium, shall not exceed 100 ppm of the packaging weight (RL Standard LST 1655:2002);
  • chemical substances or preparations content in packaging shall have to be decreased down to the smallest sufficient amount (RL Standard LST CEN/TR 13695-2:2004);
  • the possibilities for reusing, composting, the incineration of packaging have been evaluated (RL Standard LST EN 13429:2007/ LST EN 13430:2007/ LST EN 13431:2007/ LST EN 13432:2007).

We have implemented the Harmonised Standards' requirements , which are confirmed by a declaration based on the investigator-driven research. The quality of our products is also confirmed by a certificate by the Scandinavian organization, Normpack. This certificate emphasizes that our vacuum packaging is exceptional not only for its physical and mechanical traits—it is also ranked especially high due to its chemical composition, complying with the strictest EU and Scandinavian market requirements.

The 9-layer vacuum package TNGK, offered by AZ-Pack, JSC, is made of materials from reliable granule suppliers only (such as BASF and ExxonMobil)

The clearly defined Harmonised Standards allowed to re-evaluate the alternative vacuum packagings offered in the market, and the materials used for their production. Based on the key criteria that allows making a judgement on the quality and distinctness of a product, we can reasonably evaluate whether the packaging is in compliance with the set requirements and the definition of the optimum packaging. The strength, transmission of oxygen and water vapor, carbon dioxide, the indicators of the film used for production, justified by scientific research, provide a completely different perception of quality packaging (additional information is provided in the annexes).

For several reasons, our packaging is of higher quality than the alternatives of 60-70 microns offered at the moment by other producers.

1.   ENSURED BARRIER ABILITY. Clients usually tend to choose vacuum packaging of 3 (PA/TIE/PE) or 5 (PA/TIE/PE/TIE/PE) layers, because it is cheaper. However, such a packaging choice imposes the risk of losing its barrier ability during its production, transportation, or sale, as the producers of this kind of packaging only leave a polyamide layer on the outside of a bag, so, the packaging might lose its vacuum properties due to an insignificant scratch. TNGK vacuum packaging structure (PA/TIE/PE/PE/TIE/PA/TIE/PE/PE), thanks to its inner PA layer, ensures that the packaging will not lose its barrier ability traits when scratched.

2. FUSION. Many of the alternative vacuum packaging users face problems when closing vacuum bags, fusing the seam, and its strength, and experience considerable difficulties when vacuuming in a hostile environment (fat, vinegar, other liquids). The metallocene polyethylene (LLDPE) present in the TNGK vacuum packaging ensures a more secure fusion of the packaging, the easy fusion of a bag in a hostile environment, and a lower fusion temperature needed.

 

 

2.3. Good Manufacturing Practice

Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) is the key principles, procedures, and measures intended for the creation of the environment suitable for the production of food products of acceptable quality. Thus, the GMP codes and hygiene requirements indicated in them is the starting point for the production of safe food products.

By the Good Manufacturing Practice certificate No. 15-01, AZ-Pack, JCS confirms that it manufactures plastic packaging, products made of plastic materials, intended for the packaging of goods: plastic bags, disposable dishes suitable for contact with food, following the requirements of the European Parliament and Council Regulation EC (No. 2023/2006), the Hygiene Standard of Lithuania HN 16: 2011, and the Good Manufacturing Practice Rules for the Materials and Products Suitable for Contact with Food (Lithuanian Packaging Association, 2007).

The GMP quality system is intended to ensure that factors able to affect the product quality were under control, and that such control was directed towards the reduction and elimination of the negative quality aspects, and prevention thereof.

 

 

2.4. Normpack Association

 

Paying considerable attention to packaging that would meet expectations, we invest into the research of manufactured and sold packaging, which allows us to justify the key packaging quality indicators, as the top quality of our products is what matters the most!

Today we are happy that our company is a member of Nompak, the Swedish trade and industry association, uniting more than 200 members representing their activities in different production steps, and products in contact with food. Thanks to the research done by the Swedish-based association, compliance with the quality and safety requirements for raw materials used in the international market and final production is ensured.

The quality of AZ-Pack’s production is also justified by the certificates issued by this association, ensuring that the offered production is in compliance with all the highest standards applicable in Europe for the materials used in contact with food, so, consumers choosing a product, a package of which is certified by the Normpack association, can be sure that the package is safe and can be in contact with food, without any negative impact on both the food product and human health.

 

 

2.5. CEN Standard

 

CEN Standard EN 134282004 defines the packaging assessment procedure in order to ensure that the weight and (or) volume of the material comprising of the packaging is minimum, but sufficient to ensure: 

  • the packaging production process;
  • the packaging functionality throughout the whole supply and usage chain: product prepackaging, logistics, warehousing, sales, unpacking;
  • safety and hygiene, in terms of both the product and the user (consumer);
  • the acceptability of the packaged product to the user (consumer).

The basis for this standard is deemed to be the critical area, which can be achieved by decreasing the quantity of material used, i.e., should this quantity be decreased further, it will no longer meet one of the specified criteria. When none of the critical areas is achieved, the quantity of the material should be decreased further.

The AZ-Pack company is in continuous search for innovation in order to be able to offer, following this standard, packaging solutions made of thinner material, but strong enough to meet all the requirements and consumer expectations.