The Instone Group, based in Durango, Colorado, is an entrepreneurial company with the flexibility and creativity to pursue new ventures. In 1999, Dr. Joe Bowden began developing a new type of compostable material to replace paper, plastic and Styrofoam trays and packaging in food services industries. A new company, called New Ice, Inc., was created to focus efforts on completing the development and marketing of the new class of compostable products, called Verdepack.
Verdepack products have an impermeable surface and are stable until it is snapped or broken. Once the surface is broken, the product quickly breaks down and composts. The environmental benefits are obvious since virtually every food product sold today is packaged in a disposable container.
Explained Bowden, “The people who package tray-ready products want to know, can you toss it onto a conveyor and can you bang it around without breaking it?
“We wanted a machine that was not locked into specific tests. We were testing stuff that had never been tested before, so we’re basically developing the methodologies for testing these things as we’re going.” After considering several machines New Ice chose ADMET with its eXpert 5600 line of machines equipped with the eP2 Digital Controller.
“We like the ADMET machine because it allows us to custom-develop tests,” explained Bowden. “We thought [the ADMET machine] was very good because we could plot ten replicates on the same graph. It was more difficult to do that with other machines that we looked at.” A majority of the tests have been devised by us taking advantage of the versatility of the ADMET machine and our specialized jigs.