Designed with next-generation absorbent technology, SeaWell Seafood Trays that can extend a products’ market reach made their world debut this month.
A first-in-the-world of anything is usually deserving of attention, and more so when it features patent-pending technology that increases food safety.
CSP Technologies, Inc. company Maxwell Chase, which specializes in extending freshness and enhancing food safety with its unique packaging solutions, introduced the SeaWell Seafood Trays at Seafood Expo North America in Boston, March 11-13. Available in a signature blue color and a variety of sizes for various capacities, SeaWell is a first-of-its-kind active packaging solution that significantly extends the shelf life of fresh seafood in many cases by up to 50% or greater.
The patent-pending SeaWell seafood trays feature integrated absorbent technology incorporated into wells at the bottom of the trays to absorb excess fluids. This innovative technology reduces exposure to fluids and lessens potential damage to seafood products. The packaging system increases freshness and visual appeal, absorbs odors, and enhances safety. The trays are made of recyclable polypropylene.
“Quite simply, the new SeaWell seafood trays have the potential to revolutionize the seafood industry,” says Neal Watson, Maxwell Chase general manager. “They represent a game-changing technological breakthrough offering superior product protection for customers’ high-value seafood products. The result is extended market reach, enhanced brand recognition and improved consumer experiences.”
Watson tells Packaging Digest that the SeaWell packaging system can be used in both retail and food service markets for a variety of seafood.
“Different size systems are being developed to support the various market and product needs,” he says. “We currently offer half- and quarter-size steam tray and are developing a one sixth and filet sizes. We are vertically integrated and can provide custom sizes, colors and tray functions when needed by a customer.”
How does the technology work, does it soak up excess liquid like a sponge?
“SeaWell does not act like a sponge,” Watson responds. “The technology works to create the optimum environment for the contents. The key to creating the optimum environment is to work with the customer to develop the system that works for their species, their process and their customer’s needs. The system is engineered to resolve issues with shelf life, product integrity and presentation to the customer in a retail or food service setting and can be applied to fresh and frozen items.”
Works for frozen seafood and other meats
The shelf life of frozen seafood also is extended; products can be packed frozen and then thawed in the same package maintaining product integrity, with resulting fluids absorbed in the tray’s wells – invisible to consumers, who enjoy a pristine product. Whether fresh or frozen, a key benefit is that geographic markets for seafood processors can be expanded.
Customer collaboration is a key part of the development process.
“Each SeaWell packaging system is different for each customer and species type,” Watson explains, “so we strive to develop a collaborative partnership with our customers. We will test their product in our food R&D labs and develop ‘real’ data to support a packaging system that aligns with their specific product needs. We then work together to develop a proposal and timeline for implementation.”
Notably, it is applicable to other meats. “The packaging system can be applicable to other protein products outside of seafood,” Watson says. “We are currently testing other types of protein products in our food R&D labs.”
When asked about costs, he says that “we customize packaging systems based on customer and product requirements. Therefore, costs cannot be determined until we partner with a customer to develop their specific packaging system. The system is designed to add value to the customer’s products and brands. The evaluation occurs at the customer’s facility in order to fully develop the system for maximum value.”
Automation-friendly for high-speed production environments, the trays offer clear visibility of the packed product, promoting the exchange of authentic product and representing a "case-to-cook" solution for easy execution in industrial kitchens.
The company is working with customers who are each in a different stage of commercialization, according to Watson.
You’ll find the latest cobots, a dedicated 3D Printing Zone, hundreds of exhibitors and a 3-day packaging conference at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center during EastPack 2018 (June 12-14; New York City).