Nano technology, the technology on which micro packaging is based upon, has witnessed significant innovative breakthroughs since the early 2000s. Active packaging, intelligent packaging, nano bar codes are some of the inventions which gave rise to the development of micro packaging concept.The formation of a resistant layer of few millimeters thick by utilizing nano-particles is called as micro packaging. The isolation, flexibility, and cost efficiency offered by this technique makes it an attractive packaging method. Micro packaging can be used in beverages, food, and pharmaceutical sectors.
Micro-perforated food packaging is used for perishable food products, aiming to extend shelf life and improve moisture retention of the products. This is employed in various applications, including fruits and vegetables, bakery and confectionery, ready-to-eat meals, and meat and seafood packaging. Leading players in the market have capitalized on their prominent position and have been investing in long-term supply agreements with key food makers.
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The advent of new drug delivery systems and the development of new biochemical compounds, have generated the need for improved protection against factors such as moisture, light, oxygen and mechanical forces. Micro packaging includes addition of certain nanoparticles into shaped objects and films so as to render them light, fire-resistivity and strength in terms of mechanical and thermal performance, as well as less permeable to gases.
The major drivers are the advantages of food, beverages, and pharmaceuticals lasting longer, coupled with remaining free from any contamination. The major challenges are leaching of nano-particles into the food stream. Investment in R&D is required to examine effects of nano-particles on human health. Also, expensive manufacturing technology and lack of technical know-how has hindered the market growth.
North America and the Western Europe regions are expected to lead the global micro packaging market, owing to intense efforts on R&D by major companies and a technologically advanced healthcare sector. Japan and Eastern Europe are expected to have high penetration of micro packaging technology over the forecast period. The APEJ micro packaging market is expected to gain traction, with the gradual incorporation of new technology in the packaging industry.
Major market players in this market include Bayer AG, Tetra Pak International S.A., Avery Dennison Corporation, Bemis Company, Inc., and Amcor Limited.
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