Plastazote sets the seal on Parmigiano-Reggiano

27 July 2020

Plastazote is a range of lightweight, crosslinked polyethylene block foams from the AZOTE brand family, with densities from 15 to 70kg/m3 featuring in the low-density (LD) range. It offers inherent purity for food packaging thanks to Zotefoams’ unique foam manufacturing process, which uses only temperature, pressure and nitrogen borrowed from the atmosphere. The result is materials of unequalled purity: with no chemical blowing agents used in its manufacture, Plastazote is inherently low odour, while outgassing in use is eliminated.

Prompted by updates to EU 10/2011, in 2017 one of Italy’s leading packaging supplier sought out a new sterile and compliant alternative to the rubber traditionally used to seal Parmigiano Reggiano. This 100% natural hard, dry cheese has protected designation of origin (PDO), with the production of milk, its processing into cheese, minimum maturation and packaging taking place exclusively in the provinces of Parma, Reggio Emilia, Modena, Bologna and Mantua. Safeguarding the quality, purity and PDO status of the cheese is the responsibility of the Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano-Reggiano and the need to safeguard its unique characteristics as it is exported all over the world means that packaging also plays a key role.

Zotefoams’ Plastazote LD foams were selected due to their purity and compliance with food contact regulations – including the USA Food and Drug Administration’s regulations as well as EU 10/2011. As a closed cell material, Plastazote does not absorb or transmit water or water vapour, reducing the risk of bacteria and contamination, and with over 40% of the 3.7 million ‘wheels’ produced in 2018 exported1, its lightweight properties promise significant savings in logistics costs.

AZOTE Business Development Manager at Zotefoams, Alex Giordano, comments, “Plastazote’s compliance with food contact regulations is significant as, now more than ever, preserving food and protecting it from environmental contamination is critical. The reputation of the Consorzio del Parmigiano-Reggiano for maintaining quality and purity is second to none and the fact that Plastazote meets and exceeds these exacting standards serves to underline that it is an excellent choice for food contact applications.

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