UPM Shelf Life Guard monitors Wigren’s modified atmosphere packaging

(UPM, Helsinki, February 25, 2008) – Finnish food manufacturer Yrjö Wigren will begin using UPM Shelf Life Guard in specific consumer packaging this spring. UPM Shelf Life Guard has so far been successfully tested in Wigren products at the Stockmann department store in Tampere and in Tampere University Hospital in Finland.

UPM Shelf Life Guard is a packaging label that indicates if the protective package is intact. When the label colour changes from transparent to blue, the consumer is informed that air has replaced the modified atmosphere gases within the package due to a breach or leak.

The colour change is based on the indicator’s red-ox dye reacting with oxygen between the labelling layers. UPM Shelf Life Guard is attached to the inside of the packaging so that it can be viewed through the package’s transparent outer shell.

The food industry uses modified atmosphere packaging for fresh meat, cutlets, coffee, cheeses, produce and fresh fruit. The advantages of modified atmosphere packaging are even product quality, product appearance, improved taste and nutritional values, and longer shelf-life.

Controlled or modified atmosphere packaging is a commonly used packaging format in the food industry. Air may cause the quality of a food product to deteriorate. It may result in the growth of unwanted bacterial activity, loss of colour and aroma, unsavoury odours and loss of nutritional value.

For more information and product pictures, visit www.shelflifeguard.com.

For further information, please contact:
Timo Äijälä, UPM, Venture Manager, Smart Labels, tel. +358 40 760 6210
Managing Director Juha Salonen, Yrjö Wigren Oy, tel. +358 3 312 372 00


UPM in brief
UPM is one of the world’s leading forest products groups. The Group's sales in 2007 were EUR 10 billion, and it has about 26,000 employees. UPM's main products include printing papers, label materials and wood products. The company has production facilities in 14 countries, and its main markets are Europe and North America. UPM shares are traded on the Helsinki Stock Exchange and the company has an ADR programme on the OTC market in the USA. www.upm-kymmene.com

UPM works together with its customers to develop innovative product and service solutions. UPM's Corporate Venturing department focuses on the development and commercialisation of new business ideas, like intelligent packaging products for the food industry. Venturing projects have created the RFID business, electronic paper and wood plastic composite.

Yrjö Wigren in brief
Established in 1917, Yrjö Wigren Oy is one of Finland’s oldest meat processing companies. The family company employs 80 persons. In addition to a meat processing plant, the company owns two luncheon restaurants and a shop in the local market hall. The company's operations have spread from the Tampere region to the rest of Finland.