The terms Vegetable Parchment and Greaseproof date back to the dawn of the paper industry and the terms are frequently misused and interposed – yet their method of manufacture could not be more different. The confusion is not surprising given that the qualities are often indistinguishable in appearance and may even be used interchangeably in the end-use application.
In the release paper industry, both Vegetable Parchment and Greaseproof papers have been widely used for food processing and baking applications, where grease resistance and food contact approval is required.
The manufacture of Vegetable Parchment is a unique process where a basis, conventional cellulose fibre paper is saturated with concentrated sulphuric acid before being neutralised and dried.
The sulphuric acid used in the parchmentising process effectively removes all the impurities to leave a chemically pure cellulose paper. The purity is defined by international standards which specify the limits on residual trace elements. In addition, the strength of the sulphuric acid is sufficient to partially soften and melt together the cellulose fibres to produce a closed surface which is resistant to the penetration of grease and oils.
The removal of the impurities also enhances the temperature resistance properties of the paper, making it particularly suitable for high temperature end-use applications.
In contrast, Greaseproof papers are produced by mechanical rather than chemical means. However, the term “greaseproof” has become obscure and misused over the years and is used to describe a wide range of generally lightweight commodity packaging papers.
A conventional Greaseproof paper uses highly refined and fibrillated pulp to produce a closed surface with low porosity. In many cases, the paper is then calendered to improve the surface smoothness and grease resistance.
Vegetable Parchment and many Greaseproof papers are ideal substrate for silicone coating on one or both sides. For most food and bakery applications, the products are supplied with a food contact approved release coating on both sides.
In practise, siliconised Vegetable Parchment generally offers superior release performance and is therefore favoured for more demanding applications. If the customers’ process permits the re-use of the release liner, then Vegetable Parchment may well offer an advantage over Greaseproof paper, which would more than offset the higher manufacturing cost associated with the parchmentising process.
Our greaseproof and vegetable parchment is most commonly used for the following applications:
If you’d like to discuss a bespoke solution for your food and beverage release liner requirements, get in touch with our friendly team today.