ITC-PSPD: WrapWell, 100 Percent Food Grade OBA-free Paper from Virgin Fibres

The recent offering from ITC-PSPD is another feather added in specialty paper cap, befitting a wide variety of applications in the food industry.

ITC 2ITC’s Paperboards and Specialty Papers business caters to a wide spectrum of packaging, graphic, communication, writing, printing and specialty paper requirements through its four world-class manufacturing units. Having pioneered many specialty applications, ITC’s Paperboards and Specialty Papers business enjoys market leadership in the value-added paperboards segment, and also has a significant share of the Indian fine papers market. It is the largest exporter of coated boards from India.

The specialty product range includes liquid packaging, barrier coated carton boards, food grade packaging board, biodegradable barrier boards, cupstock, cast coated boards, antifungal coated boards, etc.

The latest product from the PSPD stable, WrapWell Paper, is a 100 percent food grade and OBA-free paper made from virgin fibres and is suitable for a wide variety of applications in the food industry. The special coating on one side prevents permeation of oil and grease and also accounts for easy-release of food.

Paper Mart recently had a conversation with Mr. Pijush Kumar Chatterjee, DGM – Marketing, who heads the Specialty Paper vertical of ITC PSPD to know more about this recent launch, what makes a paper specialty paper, and trends of specialty paper usage in coming times. Excerpts:

Over the years, ITC has developed several products and variants to meet specific industry and customer needs. This has resulted in an enriched range of products offering superior solutions to a wide cross-section of customers. Kindly elaborate?

ITC – Paperboards and Specialty Papers Division (ITC-PSPD) is amongst the leading names in the business worldwide. Our innovative solutions to meet a diverse cross-section of packaging and communication needs have helped us carve a unique niche for ourselves. In the endeavour to move up the value chain, our portfolio of products and services has consistently grown over the years. Today, our products and pool of knowledge-based services are much sought-after by discerning customers, both in India and internationally, for sustaining and improving their competitiveness.

In the sphere of specialty papers, our wide range of products includes thin printing grades suitable for voluminous publications like religious books and also pharma inserts/outserts; décor paper for the laminates industry; cigarette tissue and components; specialty papers for niche applications like insulating paper, anti-rust tissue for blades, match tissue, oil and grease resistant paper for food packaging, shoe-wrap paper; etc

What is the specialty of this new product WrapWell Paper in your stable? Tell us about its various applications.

WrapWell Paper is a 100 percent food grade and OBA-free paper made from virgin fibres. The special coating on one side prevents permeation of oil and grease and also accounts for easy-release of food. WrapWell is

“WrapWell is microwaveable and ovenable. Its high strength pro-perties coupled with excellent glueability make it the ideal choice for food packaging”

microwaveable and ovenable. Its high strength properties coupled with excellent glueability make it the ideal choice for food packaging. It offers superior printability in all printing machines. WrapWell can be easily recycled, without any need for additional treatment, making it an eco-friendly option. It can also be offered with FSC certification.

WrapWell comes in a range of 28-60 GSM. It has 2 variants: KIT Value of 1-3 and KIT Value of 6-8.

WrapWell is suitable for a wide variety of applications in the Food Industry. It can be used as baking paper; cupcake/pastry liner; Sandwich, burger and other fast food wrap; pizza box liner, mithai liner; etc

What is the thinking process behind the new product development at ITC? In fact, what process has gone in developing this new 100 percent food grade and OBA-free paper?

At ITC PSPD, the search for newer segments and opportunities for paper and paperboards is a continuous process. According to an industry report, India’s fast food industry is expected to grow to USD 4.61 billion by 2020, more than double its value of USD 2.11 billion in 2014. Considering the growth projection of Quick Service Centres (QSRs) and bakery foods by various market research wings, demand for food grade wrapping paper is expected to grow. Add to that the increasing emphasis on food safety regulations, we expect higher market conversion to food grade papers from non-food grade ones. The health-conscious young Indians will definitely demand this.

Are there more such products under development which might come in the daylight soon? Is ITC going to undergo some kind of plant expansion, technology updation, or machinery overhaul for its specialty paper division?

As mentioned earlier, ITC PSPD is constantly evolving in response to consumer needs. We are continuously looking for new avenues in the printing and packaging industry to develop the ideal substrates for various applications. Technological upgradation is therefore inevitable to maintain our leadership status. Some of the new products that we have recently launched include – Indoluxx (metallized polyester board); Grease-Resistant Board; Indobarr Sandwich Board and Indokroma (coloured board).

As far as specialty paper is concerned, how would you rate the Indian paper industry in coming up with new solutions in contrast with other global companies?

On a scale of 1 to 10, Indian paper industry can be given a rating of about 5 as far as new product development is concerned in contrast to global companies.

Who else in India are experimenting with specialty paper solutions and what is total capacity in specialty paper in India?

Total production capacity in specialty paper in India is expected to be close to 0.6 million tonnes per annum. Other than ITC-PSPD and Pudumjee, hardly any company in India is experimenting in the specialty paper domain.

A lot of specialty paper is being imported in India. Do you agree that this would poise some challenges to the domestic players in terms of price and quality? Do some opportunities lie their too?

Import of specialty paper at low prices is a concern for Indian manufacturers. In addition, rupee devaluation has put extra pressure as most of the raw materials and chemicals used in the manufacture of specialty papers are imported. Continuous innovation of new value added products is the way to enrich the product mix and sustain business.

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