In an important step on the journey to replacing plastics in UK ready meal packaging, Camden BRi laboratory has certified an all-natural compostable food tray for high temperature migration, meaning it is safe and highly effective for ready meal cooking up to 240°C.

Hampshire packaging manufacturer KCC is increasing production capacity for its riji line of food trays after achieving the certification.

Compostable packs made from natural materials such as sugar cane waste, are widely used for ‘dry’ foods such as fruit and vegetables, but they are unsuitable for ready meals because the natural materials are porous and need coating.

Many food manufacturers are trying new ideas to rid the ready meal industry of plastic and plastic content, but none – until riji –  has been 100% natural and able to withstand temperatures required for high temperature oven and microwave cooking.

KCC Packaging MD Kevin Clarke commented, “It has been a long journey to achieve the first 240°C ‘safe in oven and microwave’ migration certificate and it is something that we are really pleased to announce. Brand owners, ready meal manufactures and retailers are all asking for this, and we are now ready to roll with increased manufacturing capacity.”

Now we have the certification and advantage of being able to crisp meals up at higher temperatures, we expect artisan vegan producers to be the first to launch ready meals in the new riji trays in the first half of 2021.