ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products

Online client newsletter | March 2019

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Long-term perfection

Steel packaging adds value, quality, and recyclability to Europe’s favourite canned food

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Fish and seafood are precious commodities which can spoil easily unless they are consumed or preserved quickly. Since the 1800s, canning has been the best way to ensure they can be enjoyed at any time of the year. Despite the many preserving techniques available today, canning remains the most popular with consumers – and steel still leads the way. That’s because steel preserves the taste, nutritional properties, and organoleptic qualities of the product over the long term.

The range of can shapes and sizes is almost as diverse as the possible contents

Leading producers of canned seafood rely on steel from ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products. We supply steel for packaging to their canmakers to ensure the success of the brand. One of the oldest producers of canned seafood in Europe is Conserverie la belle-iloise from France.

“We offer a quality product, in steel packaging which can be kept for several years,” explains Catherine Benoit, the packaging procurement manager for Conserverie la belle-iloise. “Canning offers a convenient form of preservation which maintains the sensory and nutritional qualities of the fish.”

Healthy preservation and nutritional value

“The process used to can fish does not involve preservatives, making it very healthy,” notes Juan M. Vieites Baptista de Sousa, secretary general of the Spanish industry association ANFACO-CECOPESCA: “Once the container has been closed, thermal treatment ensures the sterility of the product and preserves its minerals and vitamins.”

A wide variety of fish or shellfish can be preserved in steel packaging

While their popularity with consumers comes down to taste and quality, the practicality of the can is also important notes Cécile Roudaut, marketing and innovation director for Conserverie la belle-iloise: “Cans preserve the qualities of the selected ingredients for a long time. That’s down to the mechanical properties of the tinplate. It provides a barrier which is very robust, safe, and durable.”

Colours and raw steel create eye-catching designs

Along with quality, the can is a strong element in the la belle-iloise brand promise due to its aesthetic appearance says Catherine Benoit: “Our cans feature illustrations to identify the contents. On tinplate, they shine and sparkle, an effect that is less easy to achieve on aluminium.” The la belle-iloise cans are produced by several canmakers, in particular Massilly, a leading canmaker with whom ArcelorMittal has a long-standing product development partnership.

Recyclability a key issue for consumers

Steel packaging makes good sense for consumers due to its infinite recyclability. “Consumers want our products to be good for them and their families, but they also want it to be good for the planet,” says Catherine Benoit. “By using steel, we’re showing that we take our eco-responsibility very seriously.

Conserverie la belle-iloise can designs use colour and the raw steel to create eye-catching products

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