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Title:
A PACKAGING MATERIAL AND A POUCHED PRODUCT FOR ORAL USE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/244892
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates to a packaging material for use in a pouched product for oral use in order to enclose a filling material. The packaging material is a saliva-permeable nonwoven material comprising fibres. The packaging material is a wetlaid nonwoven material, or, alternatively, the fibres are carded and the nonwoven material is hydroentangled, or, alternatively, the fibres are carded and the packaging material has a basis weight ≤ 30 g/m2. 50%-100% of the fibres are cellulose-based staple fibres, and 0%- 50% of the fibres are thermoplastic fibres, with % numbers being based on total weight of fibres at 21°C and 50% RH. The packaging material further comprising at least 10% of a binder, taken as a wt% of a total weight of the packaging material. The present invention also relates to a pouched product for oral use comprising such a packaging material. The present invention further relates to a method for manufacturing of a packaging material for a pouched product for oral use.

Inventors:
ELFSTRAND ANDREAS (SE)
BODIN CRISTIAN (SE)
Application Number:
PCT/EP2021/063799
Publication Date:
December 09, 2021
Filing Date:
May 25, 2021
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
SWEDISH MATCH NORTH EUROPE AB (SE)
International Classes:
B65D65/46; A24B13/00; B65D85/804; D04H1/425; D04H1/4258; D04H1/485; D04H1/488; D04H1/49; D04H1/541; D04H1/542; D04H1/544; D04H1/55; D21H13/08; D21H13/24; D21H17/34; D21H25/04; D21H27/10
Domestic Patent References:
WO2007126361A12007-11-08
WO2008133563A12008-11-06
WO2012069505A12012-05-31
WO2017093486A12017-06-08
WO2012134380A12012-10-04
Foreign References:
EP3192380A12017-07-19
EP3223636A12017-10-04
US20160073689A12016-03-17
US20140242309A12014-08-28
US20160157515A12016-06-09
US4703765A1987-11-03
US6135120A2000-10-24
EP1803443A22007-07-04
EP3192380A12017-07-19
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
VALEA AB (SE)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A packaging material for use in a pouched product for oral use in order to enclose a filling material, said packaging material being a saliva-permeable wetlaid nonwoven material comprising fibres, 50%-100% of said fibres being cellulose-based staple fibres, and

0%-50% of said fibres being thermoplastic fibres, with % numbers being based on total weight of fibres at 21 °C and 50% RH, said packaging material further comprising at least 10% of a binder, taken as a wt% of a total weight of said packaging material.

2. A packaging material for use in a pouched product for oral use in order to enclose a filling material, said packaging material being a saliva-permeable nonwoven material comprising fibres, which are carded, said nonwoven material being hydroentangled, 50%-100% of said fibres being cellulose-based staple fibres, and

0%-50% of said fibres being thermoplastic fibres, with % numbers being based on total weight of fibres at 21 °C and 50% RH, said packaging material further comprising at least 10% of a binder, taken as a wt% of a total weight of said packaging material.

3. A packaging material for use in a pouched product for oral use in order to enclose a filling material, said packaging material being a saliva-permeable nonwoven material comprising fibres, which are carded,

50%-100% of said fibres being cellulose-based staple fibres, and 0%-50% of said fibres being thermoplastic fibres, with % numbers being based on total weight of fibres at 21 °C and 50% RH, said packaging material further comprising at least 10% of a binder, taken as a wt% of a total weight of said packaging material, said packaging material having a basis weight £ 30 g/m2.

4. The packaging material according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein 55%- 99% of said fibres are cellulose-based staple fibres, preferably 58%-95%, more preferably 65%-85%, most preferably 70%-80%, with % numbers being based on total weight of fibres at 21 °C and 50% RH.

5. The packaging material according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein 1%- 45% of said fibres are thermoplastic fibres, preferably 5%-42%, more preferably 15%-35%, most preferably 20%-30%, with % numbers being based on total weight of fibres at 21°C and 50% RH.

6. The packaging material according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said fibres consist of said cellulose-based staple fibres and said thermoplastic fibres.

7. The packaging material according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said packaging material consists of said cellulose-based staple fibres, said thermoplastic fibres and said binder.

8. The packaging material according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said packaging material has a basis weight ³ 25 g/m2, preferably ³ 27 g/m2, more prefer- ably ³ 29 g/m2.

9. The packaging material according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said cellulose-based staple fibres are natural cellulose fibres or man-made cellulose- based fibres, e.g. regenerated cellulose fibres, such as rayon, lyocell or viscose.

10. The packaging material according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said cellulose-based staple fibres have a linear density £ 3.3 decitex, preferably £ 1.7 decitex, more preferably £ 1.3 decitex, most preferably £ 1.1 decitex. 11. The packaging material according to claim 1 , or any one of claims 4-10 when dependent on claim 1, wherein said cellulose-based staple fibres have a length within the range of 2-15 mm, preferably within the range of 3-12 mm, more preferably within the range of 5-8 mm. 12. The packaging material according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said thermoplastic fibres are one or more of PP, PLA, PET, PP/PE, PLA/co-PLA.

13. The packaging material according to claim 1, or any one of claims 4-12 when dependent on claim 1, wherein said thermoplastic fibres have a length within the range of 2-15 mm, preferably within the range of 3-12 mm, more preferably within the range of 5-8 mm.

14. The packaging material according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said thermoplastic fibres have a linear density £ 4.4 decitex, preferably £ 2.2 decitex, more preferably £ 1.7 decitex, most preferably £ 1.3 decitex.

15. The packaging material according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said thermoplastic fibres have a melting point within the range of 110-260°C, preferably within the range of 130-170°C, preferably within the range of 140-165°C.

16. The packaging material according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said binder constitutes 20%-60% of a total weight of said packaging material, preferably 25%-55% of a total weight of said packaging material, more preferably 30%-50% of a total weight of said packaging material, most preferably 35%-45% of a total weight of said packaging material.

17. A pouched product for oral use, said pouched product comprising a filling material and a saliva-permeable pouch, said pouch enclosing a portion of said filling material, said pouch comprising or consisting of a packaging material according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said packaging material is sealed with at least one seal to enclose said portion.

18. The pouched product according to claim 17, wherein said thermoplastic fibres are at least partially melted, preferably substantially melted, in said seal.

19. The pouched product according to claim 17 or 18, wherein said pouched product is a pouched nicotine-containing product for oral use, a pouched tobacco product for oral use and/or a pouched nicotine-free product for oral use. 20. A method for manufacturing of a packaging material for use in a pouched product for oral use in order to enclose a filling material, said packaging material being a saliva-permeable nonwoven material comprising fibres, 50%-100% of said fibres being cellulose-based staple fibres, and 0%-50% of said fibres being thermoplastic fibres, with % numbers being based on total weight of fibres at 21 °C and 50% RH, said method comprising providing said fibres, wet-laying said fibres and bonding said fibres by providing a binder, such that said packaging material comprises at least 10% of said binder, taken as a wt% of a total weight of said packaging material, said method further comprising an optional step of hydroentangling said fibres, preferably said hydroentangling being performed before providing said binder.

A method for manufacturing of a packaging material for use in a pouched product for oral use in order to enclose a filling material, said packaging material being a saliva-permeable nonwoven material comprising fibres, 50%-100% of said fibres being cellulose-based staple fibres, and 0%-50% of said fibres being thermoplastic fibres, with % numbers being based on total weight of fibres at 21 °C and 50% RH, said method comprising providing said fibres, carding said fibres, hydroentangling said fibres and bonding said fibres by providing a binder, such that said packaging material comprises at least 10% of said binder, taken as a wt% of a total weight of said packaging material, preferably said hydroentangling being performed before providing said binder.

A method for manufacturing of a packaging material for use in a pouched product for oral use in order to enclose a filling material, said packaging material being a saliva-permeable nonwoven material comprising fibres, 50%-100% of said fibres being cellulose-based staple fibres, and 0%-50% of said fibres being thermoplastic fibres, with % numbers being based on total weight of fibres at 21 °C and 50% RH, said method comprising providing said fibres, in an amount such that said packag ing material has a basis weight £ 30 g/m2, carding said fibres and bonding said fibres by providing a binder, such that said packaging material comprises at least 10% of said binder, taken as a wt% of a total weight of said packaging material, said method further comprising an optional step of hydroentangling said fibres, preferably said hydroentangling being performed before providing said binder.

Description:
A PACKAGING MATERIAL AND A POUCHED PRODUCT FOR ORAL USE

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to a packaging material for use in a pouched product for oral use in order to enclose a filling material. The present invention also relates to a pouched product for oral use comprising such a packaging material. The present invention further relates to a method for manufacturing of a packaging material for a pouched product for oral use.

BACKGROUND

Smokeless tobacco products for oral use are made from tobacco leaves, such as lamina and stem of the tobacco leaf. The material from roots and stalks are normally not utilized for production of smokeless tobacco compositions for oral use. Smokeless tobacco for oral use includes chewing tobacco, dry snuff and moist (wet) snuff.

There are two types of moist snuff, the American type and the Scandinavian type. The Scandinavian type of moist snuff is also called snus. American-type moist snuff is commonly produced through a fermentation process of moisturized ground or cut tobacco. Scandinavian-type moist snuff (snus) is commonly produced by using a heat-treatment process (pasteurization) instead of fermentation. Both processes reduce the bitterness of unprocessed tobacco and also soften the texture of the tobacco being the primary reasons why not unprocessed tobacco is used for the production of moist snuff. The heat- treatment is also carried out in order to degrade, destroy or denature at least a portion of the microorganisms within the tobacco preparation.

Both the American-type and the Scandinavian-type of moist snuff for oral use are avail able in loose form or portion-packed in a saliva-permeable, porous wrapper material forming a pouch. Pouched moist snuff, including snus, is typically used by the consumer by placing the pouch between the upper or lower gum and the lip and retaining it there for a limited period of time. The pouch material holds the tobacco in place while allowing saliva to pass into the tobacco and allowing flavours and nicotine to diffuse from the tobacco material into the consumer’s mouth. The pouch material used in pouched products for oral use, also called the packaging material, is a saliva-permeable nonwoven. Nonwovens are fabrics that are neither woven nor knitted.

According to known technology, several different methods may be used to bond together the fibres in the web, also called web consolidation. The different types of bonding methods may be classified as mechanical bonding, e.g. needle punching, stitch bonding, hydro-entanglement, as chemical bonding, e.g. saturation bonding, spray bonding, foam bonding, powder bonding, print bonding and as thermal bonding, e.g. point-bonding in a hot calendar. More than one bonding method may be used to consolidate the nonwoven. In chemical bonding, a binder, also called a bonding agent or an adhesive, is combined with the fibres. This type of nonwoven is generally called chemically bonded or adhesive bonded nonwoven.

Pouched products for oral use may be post-moisturized after pouch formation or not post- moisturized after pouch formation. Pouched products for oral use which are not post- moisturized is herein referred to as non-post-moisturized. Post-moisturized pouched products may be produced by spraying water on the pouched product before packaging the pouched products in cans. The moisture content of the final pouched product comprising moist or semi-dry snuff is normally within the range of from 25 to 55% w/w based on the weight of the pouched product (i.e. the total weight of the filling material and the pouch material).

There are also pouched products for oral use, which do not contain any tobacco material. Instead, the pouched product may comprise non-tobacco plant material and/or a filler.

Addition of a small amount of tobacco to the pouched product provides a low tobacco pouched product. Thus, in addition to a small amount of tobacco the pouched product comprises non-tobacco plant material and/or a filler.

Examples of nicotine-free pouched products for oral use and the manufacture thereof are provided in WO 2007/126361 and WO 2008/133563. This type of non-tobacco pouched product for oral use may be provided in loose form or portion-packed in a saliva-perme able, porous wrapper material forming a pouch.

For pouched products with no or low tobacco content, to which nicotine is added, the nicotine of the filling material may be synthetic nicotine and/or nicotine extract from tobacco plants. Further, the nicotine may be present in the form of nicotine base and/or a nicotine salt. The nicotine salt may be free, i.e. it is mixed with the other components of the product without combining chemically with said components. Additionally or alterna tively, the nicotine salt may combine chemically with one or more components of the filling material. For instance, the nicotine salt may combine with alginate particles or cellulose.

The term pouched product for oral use as used herein relates to the usage of the product. The pouched product is configured to fit comfortably and discreetly in a user’s mouth between the upper and lower gum and the lip. Hence, a pouched product for oral use, as the term is used herein, may be a product with tobacco or without tobacco.

The pouched product for oral use as described herein may be dry, semi-dry or moist. Generally, dry pouched products for oral use have a moisture content of less than 10 wt% and moist pouched products for oral use have a moisture content of above 40 wt%. Semi dry pouched products for oral use have a moisture content between 10 wt% and 40 wt%.

The pouched product for oral use may be flavourized by mixing the flavour in the filling material during manufacturing. Additionally or alternatively, the flavour may be added to the pouched product after it has been manufactured.

Pouched products may be produced by measuring portions of the filling material and inserting the portions into a nonwoven tube.

US 4,703,765 discloses a device for packaging precise amounts of finely divided tobacco products, such as snuff tobacco or the like, in a tubular packaging material into which snuff portions are injected via a fill tube. Downstream from the tube, welding means are positioned for transverse sealing of the packaging material, and also cutting means for severing the packaging material in the area of the transverse seal to thus form discrete or individual portion packages.

Pouched products may alternatively be produced by placing portions of filling material on a nonwoven web using a pouch packer machine in accordance with the device disclosed in US 6,135,120.

The individual portions are sealed and cut apart thereby forming rectangular “pillow shaped” (or any other desired form) pouched products. Generally, each final pouched product includes parallel transverse seals at opposite ends and a longitudinal seal orthogonal to the transverse seals. The seals must be of sufficient strength to preserve the integrity of the pouched product during use while not disturbing the consumer’s experience. The pouched products are normally sized and configured to fit comfortably and discreetly in a user’s mouth between the upper and lower gum and the lip.

For a packaging material for a pouched product there is typically a trade-off between strength and comfort when placed in the buccal cavity of the user. The packaging material forms the outside of the pouched product and is hence in contact with the buccal cavity, typically between the teeth and gum. The strength of the packaging material should desirably be high enough to handle the packaging material during manufacturing of the packaging material itself, during manufacturing of the pouched product and for the pouched product in use in the buccal cavity. Thereby, it is important that the seals of the pouched product are strong enough. Yet the packaging material should desirably be flexible enough to be comfortable when the pouched product is placed in the buccal cavity of the user. Commonly used packaging material may often suffer from having a seal strength of the pouched product being less than desirable, especially when exposed to aggressive flavours comprised in the filling material, e.g. the smokeless tobacco composition or non-tobacco composition, enclosed by the packaging material in the pouched product.

If manufacturing a pouched product wherein the saliva-permeable pouch encloses a filling material comprising a particulate non-tobacco material and a nicotine source, the require ments on the packaging material is higher in order to avoid leakage than it would be for a pouched product with a filling material comprising tobacco, since the individual elements, e.g. particles, of the filling material are smaller and thus more easily could go through the packaging material, i.e. could leak.

Leakage, if any, can cause problems in various way. Leakage during manufacturing of the product may lead to that the quality of the seals go down, thus decreasing the seal strength, since particles of the filling material end up in the seal. Further, there may be a build-up of remnants in the production machine. These may fall down back on the manu facturing line, e.g. ending up on the outside of the products or in the seals. In addition, the remnants are negative for the working environment, since they e.g. may spread in the air.

In addition, leakage may occur during later handling of the pouched products, when they have been placed in the containers, also called cans. For example, the containers may be shaken during transport and when carried by the user. There is then a risk that filling material may leak out from the pouches into the can.

The object of the present invention is to overcome or at least mitigate some of the problems associated with the prior art.

DEFINITIONS

By "tobacco" is meant any part, e.g. leaves, stems, and stalks, of any member of the genus Nicotiana. The tobacco may be whole, shredded, threshed, cut, ground, cured, aged, fermented, or treated in any other way, e.g. granulated or encapsulated.

The term “tobacco snuff composition” is used herein for a finely divided tobacco material such as a ground tobacco material or cut tobacco. In addition to the tobacco material, the tobacco snuff composition may further comprise at least one of the following: water, salt (e.g. sodium chloride, potassium chloride, magnesium chloride, and any combina tions thereof), pH adjuster, flavouring agent, cooling agent, heating agent, sweetening agent, colorant, humectant (e.g. propylene glycol or glycerol), antioxidant, preservative (e.g. potassium sorbate), binder, disintegration aid. In an example, the smokeless snuff composition comprises or consists of finely divided tobacco material, salt such as sodium chloride, and a pH adjuster. The tobacco snuff composition may be dry or moist. The tobacco snuff composition may be used between the teeth and gum.

A “non-tobacco composition” is a composition which does not contain any tobacco material, and which may be used in a similar way or in the same way as a tobacco snuff composition. Instead of tobacco, the non-tobacco composition may contain non-tobacco plant fibres and/or a filling material. Also processed fibres such as Microcrystalline Cellulose fibres may be used. The filling material may be present in the form of particles. For instance, the filling material may be a particulate filling material such as particles of microcrystalline cellulose. The non-tobacco composition may contain nicotine, i.e. it may be a nicotine-containing non-tobacco composition. Alternatively, the non-tobacco composition may contain no nicotine or substantially no nicotine, i.e. it may be a nicotine- free non-tobacco composition. As used herein, the expression “substantially no nicotine” intends an amount of nicotine of 1 percent by weight or less based on the total dry weight of the composition. "Oral" and "oral use" is in all contexts used herein as a description for use in the oral cavity, such as buccal placement. The product is then intended for placement within the oral cavity, such as between the gum and the upper or lower lip, such that the product as a whole is contained in the oral cavity. The product is not intended to be swallowed.

As used herein “pouched product”, “pouched product for oral use” or “oral pouched product” may refer to a portion of filling material, e.g. smokeless tobacco composition or non-tobacco composition, packed in a saliva-permeable pouch material intended for oral use, such as by buccal placement in the oral cavity. The pouched product may alternatively be referred to as a portion-packed (pouched) product for oral use. The term “portion” then refers to an amount of the filling material being appropriate for a portion- packed product.

As used herein, the term “moisture content” refers to the total amount of oven volatile ingredients, such as water and other oven volatiles (e.g. propylene glycol) in the prepa ration, composition or product referred to. The moisture content is given herein as percent by weight (wt%) of the total weight of the preparation, composition or product referred to. Some fibrous materials may exhibit hygroscopic properties. Hygroscopic materials main tain equilibrium moisture content depending on the ambient moisture and temperature. The moisture content as referred to herein may be determined by using a method based on literature references Federal Register/ vol.74, no. 4/712-719/ Wednesday, January 7, 2009/Notices ’’Total moisture determination” and AOAC (Association of Official Analytical Chernies), Official Methods of Analysis 966.02: “Moisture in Tobacco” (1990), Fifth Ed., K. Helrich (ed). In this method, the moisture content is determined gravimetrically by taking 2.5±0.25 g sample and weighing the sample at ambient conditions, herein defined as being at a temperature of 22 °C and a relative humidity (RH) of 60%, before evaporation of moisture and after completion of dehydration. Mettler Toledo's Moisture Analyzer HB43, a balance with halogen heating technology, is used (instead of an oven and a balance as in the mentioned literature references) in the values given herein. The sample is heated to 105°C (instead of 99.5±0.5°C as in the mentioned literature references). The measurement is stopped when the weight change is less than 1 mg during a 90 seconds time frame. The moisture content as weight percent of the sample is then calculated automatically by the Moisture Analyzer HB43.

“Flavour” or “flavouring agent” is used herein for a substance used to influence the aroma and/or taste of the pouched product, including, but not limited to, essential oils, single flavour compounds, compounded flavourings, and extracts. As used herein “% w/w”, “w/w %”, “wt%”, “weight %” or “% by weight” refers to the weight percent of the ingredient referred to of the total weight of the preparation, composition or product referred to.

As used herein, reference to “dry weight percent”, “% by weight, based on dry weight” and the like refers to the weight percent of the ingredient referred to on the basis of the total weight of the dry ingredients, i.e. all ingredients of the preparation, composition or product referred to excluding the moisture content.

As used herein, reference to “wet weight percent”, “% by weight, based on wet weight” and the like refers to the weight percent of the ingredient referred to on the basis of the total weight of the ingredients, i.e. all ingredients of the preparation, composition or product referred to including the moisture content. Thus, “% by weight, based on total weight” as used herein is the same as “% by weight, based on wet weight”.

As used herein the terms “pouched nicotine product for oral use” or “oral pouched nicotine product” refer to a portion of nicotine-containing filling material packed in a saliva-perme able pouch material intended for oral use. Two examples of oral pouched nicotine products are oral pouched nicotine non-tobacco products and oral pouched low tobacco nicotine products.

As used herein the terms “oral pouched nicotine non-tobacco product”, “oral pouched tobacco-free nicotine product” or “oral pouched nicotine product free from tobacco” refer to a portion of nicotine-containing filling material packed in a saliva-permeable pouch material intended for oral use wherein no tobacco is included in said product.

As used herein the term “oral pouched low tobacco nicotine product” refers to a portion of nicotine-containing filling material packed in a saliva-permeable pouch material intended for oral use wherein an amount of tobacco material within the range of from about 0.1% to about 10% by weight or from about 0.1% to about 5% by weight, based on the total weight of the filling material, is included in said product.

As used herein, the term “non-particulate” refers to a component which is not in particu late form. For instance, the flavouring agent described herein may be a non-particulate flavouring agent such as a liquid, an oil or a mixture thereof.

As used herein, the term “particulate non-tobacco material” refers to a non-tobacco material comprising particles. The particles may have an average particle size within the range of from 50 to 500 pm. Exemplary icrocrystalline celluloses are described in EP1803443A2 as being highly crystalline particulate cellulose containing crystallite aggregates obtained by removing amorphous (fibrous cellulose) regions of a purified cellulose source material by hydrolytic degradation, typically with a strong mineral acid such as hydrogen chloride. The acid hydrolysis process produces a microcrystalline cellulose of predominantly coarse particulate aggregate, typically having a mean size range of about 15 to 250 pm. Such microcrystalline celluloses are suitable to be used as a filling material in the product described herein.

MEASUREMENT METHODS Seal strength - general

Seal strength may be tested either in a dry state or a wet state of the sample. The samples may be taken from a production machine making pouched products. Such products usually have one longitudinal seal, forming a tubular structure, and a transverse seal at either end of the product. Alternatively, the seals may be prepared in lab-scale. In that case, a strip of the material is folded and welded to itself, in the way described in EP 3 192 380 A1, paragraph [0136]

The seal strengths are then measured with the method described in EP 3 192 380 A1, paragraph [0137] or with the CORESTA method for seal strength described herein. For both methods, the first transverse seal made for the pouched product, i.e. the seal initially subjected to the filling material is measured.

Seal strength - CORESTA method

CORESTA is an abbreviation for Cooperation Centre for Scientific Research Relative to Tobacco. The CORESTA method for seal strength comprises:

1. Remove all material from the pouch and cut a sample to 10 mm ± 1 mm for the longitudinal seal sample and as close to the edges as possible for the transverse seal sample. Record widths on form for each transverse seal sample prepared as pouch format may vary. Prepared sample width shall be consistent. The first transverse seal made for the pouch, i.e. the seal initially subject to the filling material is the one to be measured.

2. Condition samples at 22°C ± 1°C and 60% ± 3%RH for 24 hours prior to testing (not necessary for wet measurements).

3. Jaw separation to be set at 15 mm ± 0.1 mm. Record separation on form. 4. Pull speed to be set at 20 mm/min and record speed on form.

5. Use a recommended pre-load of 0.1 N whenever possible.

6. Measure the average load if possible for transverse seal values (if not record the max load) and the maximum load for longitudinal seals. Record values on form.

7. For wet measurements: Dip sample in demineralized water for 60 minutes prior to testing the transverse or longitudinal seals. Record values on form.

Air permeability

Air permeability is measured according to the test method WSP070.1.R3(12) specified by EDANA, i.e. the European Disposables and Nonwovens Association.

Pore area

The pore area, also denoted pore size, of the packaging material is measured using a Microscope Zeiss Stemi 2000-C, AxioCam ERc5s with associated software Zen Core. A regular black and white image is taken of the nonwoven (3cmx3cm) using x1.6. In the Zen Core software an image analysis is done using automatic measurement and an in-house pore area method. In the pore area method, a coloured segmentation is done in the RGB histogram (0-255) to detect the voids of the fibres. The red threshold is set to 0-99, the green to 0-107 and the blue to 0-136 to avoid oversaturation. The area of voids is calculated as well as the radius of each void. The pore area can then be calculated using standard formulas.

Leakage of powder through packaging material

The leakage of a powder through the packaging material is evaluated by sieving. The packaging material is cut as a sheet having a size of 346 cm 2 and is fixed between two sieving screens. The aperture of the screens is large enough to enable the powder to pass the screens, 2 mm and 1.5 mm, respectively. The sieving screens are connected to a bottom plate. 40 g of powder is added to the top screen. The sieve stack is connected to a lid and sieved at 5 minutes and 238 rpm using a Retch horizontal sieve shaker AS 400 control. The bottom plate is thereafter weighed giving the amount of ZYN powder sieved through the packaging material. The powder is the filling material used for the commer cially available product “ZYN Citrus Mini dry”, sold by Swedish Match. The ingredients are: fillers (E965, E460, E414), acidity regulators (E 500), stabilizers (E 463), nicotine bitartrate, flavourings, sweeteners (E 950). Accordingly the powder is a filling material, which is used for the product “ZYN Citrus Mini dry”. The powder thus comprises i.a. a particulate non-tobacco material and a nicotine source.

Leakage of powder from product

The leakage of powder from product is measured for portion-packed pouched products comprising a portion of a filling material and saliva-permeable pouch made of the packaging material described herein. The weight of the product is about 400 mg. The leakage is evaluated by tumbling. The filling material of the tested products is the same as in the above-mentioned product “ZYN Citrus Mini dry”, sold by Swedish Match. A can containing 17 products are placed onto a sieving screen. The sieving screen is connected to a lid and a bottom plate. The can is then tumbled for 2 minutes at 300 rpm using a Retch horizontal sieve shaker AS 400 control. After tumbling the products are gently removed from the can with a pair of tweezers and the can with the powder is weighed.

The empty can weight is subtracted, giving the powder weight. Three repetitive cans are done for each material evaluated.

DISCLOSURE

The object of the present disclosure is to overcome or ameliorate at least one of the disadvantages of the prior art, or to provide a useful alternative.

The object above may be achieved by the subject-matter of any one of claims 1 , 2, 3, 17, 20, 21 and/or 22. Embodiments are set forth in the appended dependent claims and in the description.

The present invention relates to a packaging material for use in a pouched product for oral use in order to enclose a filling material.

The packaging material is a saliva-permeable wetlaid nonwoven material comprising fibres. Alternatively, the packaging material is a saliva-permeable nonwoven material comprising fibres, which are carded, the nonwoven material being hydroentangled. Alternatively, the packaging material is a saliva-permeable nonwoven material comprising fibres, which are carded, wherein the packaging material has a basis weight £ 30 g/m 2 .

For the packaging material described herein, which are also mentioned above in different alternatives, 50%-100% of the fibres are cellulose-based staple fibres, and 0%-50% of the fibres are thermoplastic fibres, with % numbers being based on total weight of fibres at 21 °C and 50% RH. The packaging material further comprises at least 10% of a binder, taken as a wt% of a total weight of the packaging material.

By utilizing a packing material as described herein, it is possible to manufacture a pouched product for oral use having appropriate strength both for the packaging material and the seals and which yet is flexible enough to be comfortable when the pouched product is placed in the buccal cavity of the user.

The pouched product may a be pouched nicotine-containing product for oral use, a pouched tobacco product for oral use and/or a pouched nicotine-free product for oral use.

The pouched products may be positioned randomly in a container or in a pattern, for instance as described in WO 2012/069505. The container may be a user container for pouched products for oral use typically comprising in the range of 10-30 products, such as in the range of 20-25 products. The user container as disclosed herein is a consumer package having a shape and a size adapted for conveniently carrying the consumer package in a pocket or in a handbag and may be used for packaging any known type of pouched product for oral use.

By utilizing the packaging material according to the invention, it is possible to make sufficiently strong seals, also for seals being made with ultrasonic sealing, which typically are much narrower than seals made with heat-sealing. The seal strength is further high enough to also be sufficiently strong if the product comprises one or more aggressive flavours.

Commonly used packaging materials may often suffer from having a seal strength of the pouched product being less than desirable. Some flavours, comprised in the filling material, e.g. the smokeless tobacco composition or non-tobacco composition material, enclosed by the packaging material in the pouched product, are known to be able to have a potentially negative impact on the seal strength, especially over time, for pouched products made with known technology, which may lead to seal rupture upon storage of the products. In particular, impaired seal strength is a problem for moist pouched products. The strength of the packaging material as described herein and the strength of the seals may be adapted to resist such flavours better than commonly used packaging materials for pouched products. In addition, the leakage of the filling material through the packaging material is held at an acceptable level for packaging materials and pouched products for oral use according to the invention. Moreover, characteristics of the packaging material, such as air perme ability and/or median pore size may be selected to be within desired levels.

The binder may be of the commonly used types for packaging materials for pouched products. The binder may e.g. be classified as an emulsion of one or several vinyl polymers/co-polymers formed by polymerization of any of the following monomers, e.g. vinyl acetate, ethylene/vinyl acetate copolymer, acrylic acid, methyl acrylate, butyl acrylate, ethylene/vinyl acetate copolymer, ethylacrylate. Such binders are known to the skilled person, e.g. from chapter 10 of the textbook “Introduction to Nonwovens Tech nology”, Subhash K. Batra, Behnam Pourdeyhimi, 2012, ISBN No 978-1-60595-037-2.

If the packaging material according to the invention is a saliva-permeable wetlaid nonwoven material, as described in the first alternative, the nonwoven material may in addition be hydroentangled. It may then be preferable to perform the hydroentangling step before providing the binder.

If the packaging material according to the invention is a saliva-permeable nonwoven material comprising carded fibres, as described in the second alternative, disclosing that the nonwoven material is hydroentangled, it may be preferable to perform the hydro- entangling step before providing the binder.

Of all the fibres of the packaging material according to the invention, the cellulose-based fibres preferably may make up 55%-99% of the fibre weight, preferably 58%-95%, more preferably 65%-85%, most preferably 70%-80%, with % numbers being based on total weight of fibres at 21 °C and 50% RH. It is also feasible to only use cellulose-based fibres, i.e. to completely dispense with the thermoplastic fibres.

Of all the fibres of the packaging material according to the invention, the thermoplastic fibres may make up 1%-45% of the fibre weight, preferably 5%-42%, more preferably 15%-35%, most preferably 20%-30%, with % numbers being based on total weight of fibres at 21 °C and 50% RH. It is also feasible to completely dispense with the thermo plastic fibres. The fibres of the packaging material according to the invention may consist of the cellu lose-based staple fibres and the thermoplastic fibres. It would also be feasible to add further fibres.

The packaging material may consist of the cellulose-based staple fibres, the thermoplastic fibres and the binder.

The basis weight of the packaging material, also known as the grammage, may be ³ 25 g/m 2 , more preferably ³ 27 g/m 2 , most preferably ³ 29 g/m 2 . An upper limit for the basis weight of the packaging material may be 45 g/m 2 , 42 g/m 2 or 40 g/m 2 . For the packaging material according to the invention comprising carded fibres but the nonwoven material not being hydroentangled, as described in the third alternative above, the packaging material has a basis weight £ 30 g/m 2 .

The cellulose-based fibres may be natural cellulose fibres or a man-made cellulose-based fibres, e.g. regenerated cellulose fibres, such as rayon, lyocell or viscose. Tencel is a brand name for lyocell.

The cellulose-based fibres are known to be soft, relatively inelastic and/or moisture absorbent. Thereby the packaging material may be given desired mechanical properties, such that the packaging material is easy to handle during manufacturing of the packaging material itself and/or during manufacturing of the pouched product and yet comfortable when the pouched product is placed in the buccal cavity of the user. Further, these fibres are hydrophilic, which is advantageous when used for a pouched product.

Man-made fibres are fibres whose chemical composition, structure, and properties are significantly modified during the manufacturing process. They are made of polymers. Man-made fibres are to be distinguished from natural fibres. Natural fibres also consist of polymers but they emerge from the manufacturing process in a relatively unaltered state.

Some man-made fibres are derived from naturally occurring polymers, e.g. rayon, lyocell or viscose, which are derived from cellulose fibres. However, the cellulose is acquired in a radically altered state as compared to the raw material source, e.g. wood, and is further modified in order to be regenerated into man-made cellulose-based fibres. Such fibres, e.g. the rayon, lyocell or viscose, are known as regenerated cellulose fibres. Another group of man-made fibres, which is much larger, is synthetic fibres. Synthetic fibres are made of polymers that do not occur naturally but instead are produced entirely in e.g. a chemical plant or laboratory.

The cellulose-based staple fibres may have a linear density £ 3.3 decitex, preferably £ 1.7 decitex, more preferably £ 1.3 decitex, most preferably £ 0.9 decitex.

If the packaging material according to the invention is a saliva-permeable wetlaid nonwoven material, as described in the first alternative, the cellulose-based staple fibres may have a length within the range of 2-15 mm, preferably within the range of 3-12 mm, more preferably in the range of 5-8 mm.

If the packaging material according to the invention comprises carded fibres, as described in the second and third alternatives, the cellulose-based staple fibres may have a length within the range of 30-80 mm, preferably within the range of 38-60 mm. Commonly used lengths are 38, 40, 60 and 80 mm.

The thermoplastic fibres may be one or more of PP, PLA, PET, PP/PE, PLA/co-PLA, wherein PP denotes polypropylene, PLA denotes polylactic acid, PET denotes polyethylene terephthalate and PE denotes polyethene. PP/PE is a bicomponent fibre, e.g. a sheath/core bi-component fibres with PP in the core and PE in the sheath. PLA/co- PLA is a bicomponent fibre, e.g. a sheath/core bi-component fibres with PLA in the core and coPLA in the sheath

The thermoplastic fibres may have the same or a different length as compared to the cellulose-based fibres. When two or more thermoplastic fibres are used, they may have the same or different lengths.

If the packaging material according to the invention is a saliva-permeable wetlaid nonwoven material, as described in the first alternative, the thermoplastic fibres may have a length within the range of 2-15 mm, preferably within the range of 3-12 mm, more preferably in the range of 5-8 mm. If the packaging material according to the invention comprises carded fibres, as described in the second and third alternatives, the thermoplastic fibres may have a length within the range of 30-80 mm, preferably within the range of 38-60 mm. Commonly used lengths are 38, 40, 60 and 80 mm.

The thermoplastic fibres may have a linear density £ 4.4 decitex, preferably £ 2.2 decitex, more preferably £ 1.7 decitex, most preferably £ 1.3 decitex.

The thermoplastic fibres may have a melting point within the range of 110-260°C, preferably within the range of 130-170°C, preferably within the range of 140-165°C.

Hence, these fibres will at least partially melt, preferably substantially melt, in the seal, thus contributing to a sufficient seal strength.

The binder may constitute 20%-60% of a total weight of the packaging material, preferably 25%-55% of a total weight of the packaging material, more preferably 30%-50% of a total weight of the packaging material, most preferably 35%-45% of a total weight of the packaging material.

The packaging material may have a dry seal strength of at least 0.2 N/mm, preferably at least 0.25 N/mm, more preferably at least 0.3 N/mm, most preferably at least 0.35 N/mm, assuming the seal being made by ultrasonic welding. These levels have been found to deliver sufficient seal strength for the product. The dry seal strength values may be determined with the CORESTA method for seal strength, as disclosed in further detail elsewhere herein.

The packaging material may have an air permeability £ 4000 l/m 2 /s, preferably £ 3500 l/m 2 /s, more preferably £ 3000 l/m 2 /s, when measured according to the test method WSP070.1.R3(12) specified by EDANA, i.e. the European Disposables and Nonwovens Association. The air permeability is associated with the porosity of the packaging material and hence also associated with its tendency to leak filling material.

The packaging material may have a median pore size £ 300 pm 2 , preferably £ 250 pm 2 , more preferably £ 200 pm 2 , most preferably £ 150 pm 2 . The mean pore size of the packaging material is associated with its tendency to leak filling material. The packaging material may have a powder leakage £ 400 mg, preferably £ 200 mg, more preferably £ 100 mg, most preferably £ 50 mg or even £ 20 mg, as measured with the method for leakage of powder through the packaging material as described herein.

The present invention also relates to a pouched product for oral use. The pouched product comprises a filling material and a saliva-permeable pouch. The pouch encloses a portion of the filling material, which is intended to make up a portion of a suitable size for the user. The pouch comprises or consists of a packaging material as described herein, wherein the packaging material is sealed with at least one seal to enclose the portion.

Thereby it is ascertained that the seal has an appropriate seal strength for a product to be used in the buccal cavity. The advantages described above for the packaging material are applicable for the pouched product as well.

There are two main ways of sealing the packaging material: heat-sealing and ultrasonic welding, but the packaging material as described herein is advantageous for both. How ever, other methods may also be used. A suitable method and apparatus for ultrasonic welding is disclosed in WO 2017/093486 A1 relating to a sealing device for sealing a packaging material enclosing a portion of a filling material to provide portion-packed pouched products. The document further relates to an arrangement for manufacturing of portion-packed pouched products, which arrangement comprises such a sealing device. The document also relates to a method for portion-packing of a pouched product.

The thermoplastic fibres may be at least partially melted, preferably substantially melted, in the seal.

The pouched product may a be pouched nicotine-containing product for oral use, a pouched tobacco product for oral use and/or a pouched nicotine-free product for oral use.

When tested as a product with the measurement method as described herein, the pouched product may have a powder leakage £ 100 mg, preferably £ 50 mg, more preferably £ 25 mg, most preferably £ 10 mg or £ 2 mg as measured with the method for leakage of powder from product as described herein. An example of an pouched product for oral use, also referred to as an oral pouched product, comprises a filling material and a saliva-permeable pouch of a packaging material enclosing the filling material, the filling material comprising:

- a particulate non-tobacco material,

- a nicotine source,

- water in an amount within the range of from 1 wt% to 45 wt% based on the total weight of the filling material, and

- a pH adjusting agent, e.g. comprising Na 2 CC> 3 , K 2 CO 3 , NaHCCh and/or KHCO 3 .

The pouched product may be free from tobacco, i.e. an oral pouched nicotine non tobacco product.

Alternatively, the oral pouched product may comprise a low amount of tobacco material thereby providing an oral pouched low tobacco nicotine product. The amount of tobacco material of the oral pouched low tobacco nicotine product may be within the range of from about 0.1% to about 10% by weight such as from about 0.1% to about 5% by weight, such as from about 0.1 wt% to about 1 wt%, based on the total weight of the filling material.

The presence of this small amount of tobacco will not impact the pH of the product to be substantially different from that exhibited by the oral pouched tobacco free products described herein.

The tobacco material may be provided in a form as described herein.

Further, the tobacco material may be a purified tobacco material, such as a bleached tobacco material or a tobacco extract.

The tobacco material described herein may comprise one, two or more particulate non tobacco materials.

The amount of water of the filling material of the pouched product described herein may be present in an amount within the range of from about 0.5 wt% to about 12 wt% such as from about 0.5 wt% to about 5 wt%, such as about 3 wt%, based on the total weight of the filling material. When the amount of water is within the range of from about 0.5 wt % to about 12 wt% or from about 0.5 wt% to about 3 wt% as described herein, the the pouched product may be considered dry, i.e. a dry pouched product.

Alternatively, the water content of the filling material of the pouched product described herein may be within the range of from about 20 wt% to about 50 wt%, such as from 20 wt% to 45 wt%, based on the total weight of the filling material. When the amount of water is within the range of from about 20 wt% to about 45 wt% as described herein the pouched product may be considered moist, i.e. a moist the pouched product.

The filling material of the pouched product described herein may comprise particulate non-tobacco material within the range of from about 30 wt% to about 90 wt%, such as from about 30 wt% to about 85 wt%, such as from about 30 wt% to about 80 wt%, such as from about 60 wt% to about 90 wt%, based on the total weight of the filling material.

The particulate non-tobacco material may be water-insoluble, water-soluble or a combination thereof.

The particulate non-tobacco material may comprise or consist of a sugar alcohol such as maltitol, and/or of cellulose such as microcrystalline cellulose and/or powdered cellulose. For instance, the particulate non-tobacco material may comprise maltitol and/or micro crystalline cellulose.

Additionally or alternatively, the filling material of the pouched product described herein may comprise one or more water-insoluble fibres selected from the group consisting of maize fibres, oat fibres, tomato fibres, barley fibres, rye fibres, sugar beet fibres, buck wheat fibres, wheat fibres, pea fibres, potato fibres, apple fibres, cocoa fibres, bamboo fibres, citrus fibres, and any combination thereof. In an example, the water-insoluble fibres may form part of the non-tobacco particulate material.

The filling material may comprise one, two or more nicotine sources.

The filling material of the pouched product as described herein may comprise within the range of from about 1.0 % to about 10 % by weight of the nicotine source, based on the total weight of the filling material.

The nicotine source may be a nicotine salt and/or nicotine base. The nicotine source such as nicotine base may be bound to an ion exchange resin, such as polacrilex, e.g. via a salt bridge. Alternatively or additionally, the ion exchange resin may function as a solid support for the nicotine source such as nicotine base.

Nicotine base, such as in the form of an oily liquid, may be synthetically produced or extracted from tobacco.

The nicotine source may be a nicotine salt such as a nicotine salt selected from the group consisting of nicotine hydrochloride, nicotine dihydrochloride, nicotine monotartrate, nicotine bitartrate, nicotine bitartrate dihydrate, nicotine sulphate, nicotine zinc chloride monohydrate and nicotine salicylate, and any combination thereof. In particular, the filling material may comprise nicotine bitartrate and/or nicotine bitartrate di hydrate.

The amount of nicotine source such as nicotine salt and/or nicotine base per pouched product may be within the range from about 0.1 mg to about 20 mg of nicotine calculated as nicotine base, such as about 0.5 mg, about 1.0 mg, about 1.5 mg, about 2.0 mg, about 2.5 mg, about 3.0 mg, about 3.5 mg, about 4.0 mg, about 4.5 mg, about 5.0 mg, about 6.0 mg, about 7.0 mg, about 8.0 mg, about 9.0 mg, about 10 mg, about 12 mg, about 14 mg, about 16 mg, about 18 mg, or about 20 mg of nicotine.

The nicotine salt of the filling material in the pouched product as disclosed herein may be a nicotine salt present in solid form and/or dissolved form.

The nicotine source as disclosed herein may be adsorbed or non-adsorbed onto the particulate non-tobacco material as disclosed herein. It will be appreciated that the expression “adsorbed onto” means that the nicotine source adheres to an outer surface of the non-tobacco particulate material. When the nicotine source is adsorbed onto the non tobacco particulate material it adheres to the outer surface of said non-tobacco particulate material without substantially penetrating into any void(s) of said non-tobacco particulate material.

Alternatively or additionally, the nicotine source as disclosed herein may be absorbed into and/or adsorbed onto the tobacco material described herein.

The filling material of the pouched product described herein may further comprise a flavouring agent. The filling material may comprise one, two or more flavouring agents.

For example the flavouring agent may be a non-encapsulated agent. Additionally or alternatively, the flavouring agent may be encapsulated. The non- encapsulated flavouring agent and the encapsulated flavouring agent may be the same or different. As used herein, an encapsulated flavouring agent is a flavouring agent contained within a capsule. Accordingly, a non-encapsulated flavouring agent is not contained within a capsule.

The flavouring agent of the filling material in the pouched product as disclosed herein may be a hydrophobic flavouring agent.

The flavouring agent of the filling material of the pouched product described herein may be an oil, a liquid, a lyophilized material, a spray-dried material, or a mixture thereof. In an example, the flavouring agent(s) is/are an oil and/or a liquid. The filling material of the pouched product described herein may comprise within the range of from about 0.5 % to about 3 % by weight of the flavouring agent, based on the total weight of the filling material.

The filling material of the pouched product described may comprise a humectant such as polypropylene glycol.

In the pouched product as described herein, the particulate non-tobacco material, the nicotine source, the water, the pH adjusting agent, optionally the tobacco material, optionally the flavouring agent and optionally the humectant may be homogeneously mixed.

WO 2012/134380 discloses a pouch containing nicotine in free salt form, i.e. a pouched nicotine-containing non-tobacco product for oral use. The product comprises a powder of at least one free nicotine salt, at least one pH adjusting agent and at least one filler, and a water insoluble pouch, wherein said pouch is permeable for saliva and therein dissolved parts of the powder. Such a powder is suitable to be used as a filling material in the product described herein.

The pouched product as disclosed herein is intended for use in the oral cavity, such as by buccal placement (e.g. by placing the pouched product between the upper or lower gum and the lip or cheek), and may therefore be referred to as portion-packed (pouched) product for oral use. The pouched product is sized and configured to fit comfortably and discreetly in a user’s mouth between the upper or lower gum and the lip or cheek.

The pouched product as disclosed herein may have an oblong shape, such as a substantially rectangular shape (as seen from above when the product is placed on a planar surface). In such case, the longitudinal direction of the product corresponds to the length of the substantially rectangular product and the transverse direction of the product corresponds to the width of the substantially rectangular product.

The total weight of the pouched product (including filling material and packaging material) may be within the range of from about 0.3 to about 1.5 g.

The filling material of the pouched product described herein may be provided as a powder or granulate. Thus, the filling material enclosed by the saliva-permeable pouch of the packaging material may be provided in a non-compressed form.

The pouched (i.e. portion-packed) products may be positioned randomly in a container or in a pattern, for instance as described in WO 2012/069505. Alternatively or additionally, each pouched product may be placed in a sachet. The present invention further relates to a method for manufacturing of a packaging material for a pouched product for oral use, the packaging material being a saliva- permeable nonwoven material comprising fibres, 50%-100% of the fibres being cellulose- based staple fibres, and 0%-50% of the fibres being thermoplastic fibres, with % numbers being based on total weight of fibres at 21 °C and 50% RH. The packaging material further comprising at least 10% of the binder, taken as a wt% of a total weight of the packaging material.

The method comprises providing the fibres, wet-laying the fibres and bonding the fibres by providing the binder. The method may further comprise an optional step of hydroentang- ling the fibres, preferably the hydroentangling being performed before providing the binder.

An alternative method comprises providing the fibres, carding the fibres, hydroentangling the fibres and bonding the fibres by providing the binder, preferably the hydroentangling being performed before providing the binder.

Another alternative method comprises providing the fibres, in an amount such that the packaging material has a basis weight £ 30 g/m 2 , carding the fibres and bonding the fibres by providing the binder. The method may further comprise an optional step of hydro entangling the fibres, preferably the hydroentangling being performed before providing the binder.

The methods described herein are useful to manufacture packaging material as described herein. The packaging material is typically manufactured as a web of packaging material.

Further modifications of the invention within the scope of the appended claims are feasible. As such, the present invention should not be considered as limited by the embodiments and figures described herein. Rather, the full scope of the invention should be determined by the appended claims, with reference to the description and drawings.