When it comes to the baking industry, there is a long history of different films being used for packaging going back years. Waxed paper was the initial wrapping material of choice for many decades with paraffin wax serving as the exclusive coating material for bleached paper stock of suitable weight. As the years went by other types of films were introduced to the baking industry including cellulose film and plastic polyolefin films. Below we explore some of the films being used in the baking industry today, and the characteristics that make them popular choices.
Cellulose (Cellophane): Plain cellulose is a glossy transparent film that is odorless and tasteless as well as biodegradable. Easy to tear, it also is tough and puncture resistant which is important for the baking industry. The folding properties of cellophane make it suitable for twist-wrapping, but it is not heat sealable. Ideally it is used for foods that do not require a complete moisture or gas barrier like fresh bread and some types of sugary sweets.
Polyethylene: Commonly less expensive than most films, low-density polyethylene is heat sealable, odor free and a material that shrinks when heated. While it is a good moisture barrier, it is a poor odor barrier since it is relatively permeable to oxygen. Generally it is used for bags, coating papers and as a component in laminates. High-density polyethylene is stronger, thicker and less flexible than low-density polyethylene and is often used for bread bags and bulk bun wrappers.
Polypropylene: Used widely to pack baked foods, biscuits, snack foods and dried foods, polypropylene is a clear glossy film with good puncture resistance and a high strength. It stretches and has a moderate barrier to moisture, gases and odors, while not being affected by changes in humidity. In Europe it is used to wrap baguettes and rolls.
Coextruded films: A common choice for baked foods, confectioneries and cereals, coextrusion is the simultaneous extrusion of two or more layers of different polymers to make a single film. Compared to other types of film these have very high barrier properties, and are thinner than laminates and therefore easier to use on filling equipment. A coextrusion typically has 3 layers including an outside layer with high gloss and printability, a middle bulk layer, and an inner layer for heat sealing.
At Cheever Specialty Paper & Film we are experienced with working with the baking industry to find the best films that will meet your needs. Working with well over 100 variations of films and siliconized release films, we are an experienced release liner source that understands the requirements of our customers. Contact us for more information.