Battelle and Mondelez International have co-developed a new technology for reclosable packaging called low-tack adhesive that will offer better usability for consumers and provide a cost-competitive innovation for packaging manufacturers.
“Sometimes simple-looking products have the most elaborate and complex designs, and that is the beauty of LTA,” says Cindy Conner, Battelle senior market manager of consumer, industrial and medical products. “We expect consumers to appreciate how easy LTA is to use and how effectively it reseals packages time and time again. It will also provide manufacturers of all sizes with next-generation technology at a competitive price point.”
“We’ve always been at the forefront of food-packaging innovation, ever since National Biscuit Company developed its ‘in-er-seal’ package patent in 1899,” says Stu Stein, director of open innovation at Mondelez International. “We believe LTA represents the next evolution in reclosable food packaging and can’t wait to see the reaction from consumers when they experience it for the first time.”
Battelle and Mondelez International completed a seven-year process of formulation, analysis and testing in order to perfect the synthetic blend that makes LTA effective and compatible with a variety of manufacturing processes. Unlike traditional pressure sensitive adhesives, LTA is not messy or tacky. It does not collect dust, crumbs or other product pieces that render traditional adhesives ineffective. It is also less expensive and easier to manufacture than other reclosable packaging solutions, such as zippers.
Consumers can create an effective and consistent seal that maintains performance through repeated cycles of opening and reclosing by pushing two pieces of LTA together. Additionally, products employing LTA do not require precise alignment to reclose a package, unlike the tongue-and-groove model of a zipper seal.
Reclosable food packaging is a significant market opportunity for LTA. The adhesive can be employed in a wide range of food packaging such as snacks, cereal, salads, produce, lunch meats, as well as custom applications. Other consumer packaging applications are equally extensive, including pet food, facial tissue packs, makeup containers, trash bags and personal care products, among others.
“When we began the LTA development project, the notion of an adhesive that would not stick to itself seemed counterintuitive,” says Battelle researcher Jeff Boyce. “Seven years later, we have developed a game-changing adhesive that offers tremendous convenience for consumers and practical applications across all types of packaging.”