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Seaweed: Super-film, Super-packaging & Super-food.

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The Vapour permeability of films and packaging is critical to preservation and in the real world is often present at high humidity. Seaweed, for example, is a superfood in its own right and is used to make editable films for food products and the natural, biodegradable films needed in food packaging, however seaweed’s vapour permeability needs to be individually optimised for each specific application. Vapour permeability, often at high humidity, is the critical property when it comes to food’s preservation and shelf life.

Unlike most other systems Versaperm’s vapour permeability equipment is designed to work at all humidities without damaging the sensor. Users can see how well different edible and packaging films, coatings and application methods perform. It measures vapour flow not just for water vapour but also for all of the other important vapours – such as oxygen, CO2 and even complex gaseous mixtures. The equipment can optionally do this at (and beyond) real cooking and cooled store temperatures and along temperature variation profiles that mimic baking or cold storage.

The equipment is used in both product development and quality control environments. Results are quick, simple to produce and accurate in the Parts Per Million (PPM) to Parts Per Billion ranges.

Biodegradable packaging and edible barriers with the correct vapour permeability protect against contamination, maintain aromas and can even create modified atmosphere areas actually within a product. The Versaperm equipment can additionally be used for general MAP and packaging – leading, once again, to improved product freshness, quality and shelf life.

Each edible barrier reacts differently to liquids and vapours – especially under the heat of baking or cooling. Seaweed’s proteins, polysaccharides lipids, essential oils, and emulsifiers can offer excellent mechanical, hydrophobic and structural properties. However their vapour permeability needs to be checked and often adjusted using extra ingredients or multi-layer films.

As well as manufacturing the instruments that can measure the vapour permeability of seaweed-based films, Versaperm offers both a laboratory testing service and a consultancy for companies that only need to test samples on an irregular basis.