KM creates lidding solutions for three compartment APET packageA global food provider has enlisted the help of KM Packaging Services Ltd. ( to develop a packaging solution for a new pre-prepared meal concept, which comprises raw meat and vegetables in a three compartment APET tray.

Designed to fit in with today’s busy and health conscious consumer lifestyles, this new approach to pre-prepared meals is a direct ‘cook in pan’ option using fresh ingredients. With over four varieties in the new range, the compartments of the trays have a protein, vegetable and a carbohydrate, which all require different packaging atmospheres.

The challenge was to develop a lidding solution to support all sections of the dish. The protein element required an oxygen barrier and the compartment gas flushing to help extend product self-life. The sections of the tray containing vegetables and carbohydrate needed the lidding film to have laser perforated holes bespoke to each compartment, thereby allowing the necessary levels of respiration for each product.

KM Packaging has designed and engineered a radical, high clarity film lidding solution suitable for all three components, which has been developed from a unique blend of polymers able to withstand demanding processing conditions, whilst retaining optimum seal integrity.

With over two decades of experience in developing bespoke lidding solutions, KM Packaging efficiently identified the correct perforation formats, precisely register the perforations and accurately ensure enough tolerance on the surrounding film area.

Dedicated product trial runs were carried out at the food manufacturer’s site to ensure that KM Packaging’s carefully structured lidding film reels would work in sync with the sealing equipment and the selected APET tray.

Renowned for providing high quality, reliable lidding film, this complex lidding film composition from the flexible packaging specialists, delivers incomparable product safety through superior seals.

To be displayed on retailer shelves with just a watch strap sleeve, another vital feature of the lidding film was keeping the film clear through its superior anti-fog characteristics. Highly visible to consumers, the film represents the quality of the product and therefore had to show strength and superior clarity for maximum shelf appeal.

Commenting on this highly intricate project, KM Packaging’s UK and Ireland’s business manager, Alan Lockhart, says, “Although there were many different food types to consider for each meal, we were able to demonstrate our industry knowledge and quickly advise on the technical characteristics of the film including the perforation specifications for each. Knowing the behavior and varying respiratory rates of different fresh produce items proved invaluable to being able to complete the project on time.

“The lidding film material chosen for the range combines sophisticated high barrier sealing for maximum product safety with first-class film clarity. As one of the first lidding solutions of its kind we are proud to report that the performance of the film has far exceeded the expectations of our customer and has had extremely positive feedback from the retailers as well.”