PACK4SENSE Sensitive food packaging in Paper-based trays and cups by Syntegon

Moisture Barrier food packaging

Syntegon has created paper-based trays and cups for sensitive food products in an EIT-funded project. 

With associates from industry and research, i.e., the Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging in Dresden, Colruyt Group, Strauss Group, and the University of Reading, Syntegon is executing “PACK4SENSE” EIT project (Paper packaging for SENSitive foods) to create a sustainable packaging concept. 

EIT Food, the world’s most extensive and significant dynamic innovation community, is sponsored by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union.

Easy Recyclability – PACK4SENSE

The project aims to pack even moisture and OTR-sensitive products in more sustainable materials. Syntegon employs a particular paper, which is incredibly stretchable and tearproof because of long cellulose fibers, thus allowing the production of sealed trays and cups with a deep of up to 30 mm.

95 % mono-material

A recyclable barrier layer composed of 95 percent mono-materials delivers optimal product safety. The paper, the barrier layer, and the cover film can easily be divided, fully utilizing its recyclability.

This sustainability benefit, however, also has challenges for packaging manufactories. On the one hand, customers should detach all parts for waste sorting. Contrary, paper, and film must not unintentionally be separated. To prevent this from occurring, the TPU paper forming, filling and sealing machine from Syntegon forms paper and barrier layer in a standard process by thermoforming and pressing method. 

“PACK4SENSE” project having the paper-based trays, we have further developed our previous paper packagings like the shaped paper pods – structured paper trays for the packaging of cosmetics and confectionery,” explains Matthias Klauser, project manager and sustainability expert at Syntegon.

TPU – German Packaging Award

The TPU got the German Packaging Award in 2020 and is Syntegon’s flagship machine for paper pressing. For the PACK4SENSE trays and cups, the paper runs from the roll into the feeder – the barrier layer directed for sealing is applied and joined to the paper without any further conversion step. 


Alternatively, factories can use a converter to connect paper and a protective layer of mono-material without heating. A forming station presses the materials into shape before the trays are filled and sealed. 

Further using an exceptionally stretchable paper that can withstand wrinkling during the forming process, it is essential to preserve the separability of the materials: a specially adapted geometry of the forming tools decrease the tension on the materials during the manufacturing process.

Syntegon is continuously working on further developing its paper-forming technology. 

PACK4SENSE, Syntegon

EIT Food allows the corporation to work closely with essential partners and test outcomes with consumers and food manufacturers. This collaboration makes it feasible to develop prototypes and solutions that complete product requirements and optimize the sustainability of packaging phase by phase.

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Vihaan Nagal

संवेष्टन अभियान्ता | Packaging Engineer | Verpackung Ingenieur *Free time blogger *Believe in packaging reform (say naa to orthodox packaging) My life lies between degradable and non-degradable material.

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