Regulatory agencies that monitor food and beverage production require the use of food-grade materials at any point that the material may contact food. Packaging is no exception to these rules, leading to the development of food-safe plastics for use in packaging consumable products. Food-grade plastics follow stringent, government-monitored manufacturing processes to ensure they are safe for food contact.
Numerous plastics are approved for food contact, leading to their use as food packaging. This article will discuss the types of food-grade plastics used in the packaging sector.
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)
PET is relatively ubiquitous, used in soft drink and single-use water bottles, as well as food-grade containers, bakery trays, snack packs, produce containers, and more. PET resin won’t degrade upon food contact, which makes it a popular choice for food packaging. Some of the other beneficial properties of PET include lightweight, high impact resistance, and corrosion resistance.
Crystallizable Polyethylene Terephthalate (CPET)
CPET has undergone a process to make it more resistant to cracking when it experiences impacts at low temperatures, which is a common drawback of some standard PET plastic containers. CPET is more flexible and can withstand higher temperatures, making it appropriate for producing plastic food trays used with conventional oven, microwavable dinners, oven-proof plastic wrap, microwaveable storage containers, and more. CPET is also commonly used for ready-to-eat meals as well.
Polypropylene is an ideal food-safe plastic for production processes that require high heat. It can be found in products ranging from prescription bottles to garden tools and automotive products. While fairly stiff, polypropylene is not as brittle as other common food packaging plastics. Food items that utilize polypropylene for packaging include yogurt, cream cheese/sour cream containers, ready-to-eat meals and VSP containers. Polypropylene has gained popularity for microwavable containers thanks to its high melting point.
There are many types of plastic films with vastly different qualities based upon the material from which they are made. Some of the most common structures include lidding film, shrink wrap, VSP film, stand-up pouches, and specialty bags. In general, plastic film has many benefits. It is typically lightweight and resistant to contamination. Most plastic films can be printed on, helping to improve brand recognition and aesthetics. Here are some of the most common plastics used to make plastic films:
Low-density polyethylene (LDPE)
LDPE is the most inexpensive material for plastic films. It is flexible, soft, transparent, glossy, and features high resistances to moisture, tearing, and chemicals. It is most commonly found in plastic bags but is also widely used for squeezable food bottles, bread and frozen food packaging, and flexible lids.
Linear Low-Density Polyethylene (LLDPE)
LLDPE is similar to LDPE, but it features higher tensile and impact strengths and improved heat-sealing qualities. LLDPE the highest flexibility of the polyethylene sheeting varieties. In the food and beverage industries, it is largely used in bottle caps and shrink wraps.
Ultra Low-Density Polyethylene (ULDPE)
ULDPE is a soft thermoplastic that has superior low-temperature flexibility and flex crack resistance. ULDPE has high optical clarity and is tear-resistant. It is used for cheese, meat, and coffee packaging.
Medium-density polyethylene (MDPE)
MDPE is not as commonly used as the other forms of polyethylene flexible plastic sheeting. However, it is stronger and more resistant to tears, punctures, and chemicals than LDPE and is oxygen permeable. MDPE is used for packaging baked goods, heavy-duty produce bags, wash bottles, and dispensing bottles.
High-density polyethylene (HDPE)
HDPE is the most widely used polyethylene film for food packaging. It is semi-translucent and highly solvent-resistant. HDPE is the least flexible and strongest of the polyethylene films, making it perfect for applications where it needs to hold its shape. HDPE is found in bottles for storing water, juice, or milk; margarine and butter tubs; cereal box liners; and retail and grocery bags.
Most PP is not transparent like PET, but translucent, letting in light, but not being able to clearly see through it. Polypropylene has high optical clarity high gloss, good tensile strength, and low cost. It also possesses good barrier properties and a high melting point, making it ideal for items that need high temperature sterilization, such as baby bottles. It is commonly used for salad dressing bottles, yogurt containers, margarine tubs, and microwavable kitchenware.
PC is a long-lasting, transparent, heat-resistant, and robust thermoplastic. It has superior impact resistance and optical clarity. PC is used for sterile medical packaging and to protect contents from scratches, chemicals, and weathering. It is also used in commercial reusable water bottles and sterilizable baby bottles.
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
PVC is an inexpensive and highly versatile thermoplastic. It can be formulated as rigid or flexible, has high impact strength, good dimensional stability, is oxygen permeable, and operates as a barrier to oil and grease. PVC is used in tubing for food and beverage applications, as well as blister packaging for breath mints or gum.
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)
PET is a high-performance, clear thermoplastic useful for making films. PET film features high tensile strength, low moisture absorption, and excellent dimensional stability throughout a wide range of temperatures. It is used for plastic bottles for carbonated drinks, bags, snack food wrappers, bottles, jars, and tubs. Biaxially-oriented polyethylene terephthalate (BOPET) is a related material made from stretched PET to create polyester film. BOPET is commonly used as faux-foil packaging and protective film on microwavable meals.
Polyvinylidene Chloride (PVDC)
PVDC is a synthetic thermoplastic that creates an outstanding oxygen and moisture barrier. It also resists heat, chemicals, oil, and grease. It is used most often in food and medicine packaging to extend shelf life.
Most commonly known by the popular name nylon, polyamide is strong, has a high melting point, creates a good oxygen barrier, and does not dissolve or absorb grease, oil, or acidic foods. The material also features good scratch, puncture, and flex-crack resistances. This material is used in microwave and conventional cooking applications.
Plastic Food Packaging from Point Five Packaging
As an industry leader in food packaging, Point Five Packaging offers an expansive portfolio of food-safe plastic packaging for use with virtually any type of food or beverage product. We pride ourselves on our extensive network of suppliers and our advanced packaging equipment portfolio. We employ a variety of veterans to the food industry who can suggest design optimizations and help our customers identify the optimal material for their needs.
To see how we can help you create ideal food-safe plastic packaging solutions for your food products, please contact us or request a quote for more information.
Since 2010, Point Five Packaging has been a premier supplier of MAP equipment and packaging materials. In particular, we specialize in providing the most advanced packaging technology for customers in the food retail and ready meal industries, including vacuum skin packaging (VSP). Although VSP has been available for some time, technological advancement has made it a more viable and versatile process than ever before. With new packaging methods and modern materials, VSP is becoming one of the most common packaging options for the food and retail sectors
What Is Vacuum Skin Packaging?
Vacuum skin packaging works by combining a high barrier film with a pre-made tray. The VSP film encapsulates the food product and becomes like a second skin, eliminating almost all package atmosphere. The high-barrier flexible film is softened using heat and the pull from the vacuum inside the sealing chamber, which allows it to conform to the shape of the rigid tray or laminated paperboard sheet. The ultimate goal of vacuum skin packaging is to create an attractive package that allows the consumer to view the product in its entirety. The goal of VSP is to extend the product’s shelf life.
Vacuum Skin Packaging vs. Traditional Top Sealing
Vacuum skin packaging uses state-of-the-art plastic materials which are specially engineered to create a more attractive and reliably sealed package. Unlike traditionally top sealed trays, there is little to no air in a VSP product, which reduces the potential for microbial growth and can extend the shelf life even further than MAP. It also holds food in place for better presentation on store shelves and during shipping.
Vacuum Skin Packaging Advantages and Benefits
With the number of packaging options on the market, it can be difficult to choose the best option for your product. The experts at Point Five Packaging have the knowledge and experience necessary to help you select the ideal solution.
Our cutting-edge vacuum skin packaging services offer numerous advantages, including:
- Fresh Flavors: The vacuum sealing process removes almost all atmosphere from the package, thereby ensuring food ingredients remain fresh and fragrant.
- Optimal Presentation: VSP products are neat, compact, and more attractive to customers than standard top-seal packages. This technology also ensures colors and flavors stay vivid and fresh before the product is consumed.
- Simple Process: The VSP process uses specialized equipment that is user-friendly and efficient.
- Reduced Waste: VSP reduces waste on two fronts. First, in the case of using film and paperboard, the packaging process is highly efficient and may be able to use less material compared to traditional packaging methods. Second, VSP-stored products are less likely to be damaged, contaminated, or expire, which helps companies reduce product loss. Plus, when using VSP, like MAP, you don’t have to use any preservatives/additives.
Point Five Packaging’s Advanced Material Offerings
Point Five Packaging uses state-of-the-art packaging for VSP with the following features:
- Skin Film: Our quality skin film and high-barrier films are durable and flexible enough to package products of various shapes and sizes
- CPET Trays: Crystalline polyethylene terephthalate (CPET) trays are durable, heat-resistant, and microwave-safe, making them ideal for ready-to-eat VSP packaging.
- PP Skin Trays: Polypropylene (PP) skin trays are more flexible than CPET trays and are usually used for packaging fresh and pre-cooked foods.
- Paperboard: Laminated paperboard is increasing in popularity with VSP applications as it allows for better merchandising and presentation. Also, it reduces the amount of plastic used in the process. It is especially popular for cheeses, fish, and other meats.
Vacuum Skin Packaging Machines and Applications
Point Five’s vacuum skin packaging machines are available in a variety of designs and configurations to satisfy numerous applications, from packaging meat products to seafood, poultry, ready-to-eat foods, just to name a few examples.
Our comprehensive line of VSP machines include:
A fully automated, customizable vacuum-sealing system available with up to three sealing stations for creating as many as 150 trays per minute. Different products can be processed at each sealing station, making this system exceptionally versatile.
Fully automated or partially manual, this sealing system can produce up to 60 sealed trays, 32 MAP trays, or 28 skin trays per minute. Retailers can customize it to provide full turnkey operations.
This semi-automatic system with a manual turntable allows for precise control. The P5-RM can process up to 28 sealed, 16 MAP, or 12 VSP trays every minute.
This compact tray sealing machine is ideal for small- and medium-production volumes, or as a backup for large-scale operations. It can produce traditional top sealed, MAP, and VSP packages.
One of the smallest models in our portfolio, the P5-T is our tabletop sealer, capable of producing everything from tray and cup sealing to VSP. It is ideal for re-work applications and small-scale retail or lab operations.
Vacuum Skin Packaging from Point Five Packaging
At Point Five Packaging, our innovative vacuum-skin pack-rigid solutions enhance the visual appeal of your products and protect your products against degradation and contaminants. We pride ourselves on providing the best packaging equipment and materials in the industry and are committed to continuous improvement. To learn more about our vacuum skin packaging equipment and services, contact our experts today or request a quote.
Produced by PMMI Media Group, PACK EXPO Connects is a virtual event like no other. Live chats, live product demos and enhanced lead generation are just a few of many items offered to maximize opportunities for industry connections.
Connect with new and current customers during the year’s most exciting week for packaging – the launch of PACK EXPO Connects on November 9th!
This November 9-13, 2020, the Point Five Packaging team will be attending the first virtual PACK EXPO!
At this online event, we will be holding eight live product demonstrations online covering topics like:
- Semi-automated packaging system tips
- Cost savings and budget advice
- Food production power-ups
- and more!
Make sure to check out our schedule of events page to see a list of each topic and what time each demonstration will be taking place.
Register for Pack Expo here for useful information on food packaging systems, or feel free to Contact Us directly for more information about our packaging products and services.
With the growing demand for fresh and healthy food options amongst consumers, suppliers are in need of a way to meet this demand. Traditionally, preservatives and other chemicals have been added to foods to increase the shelf life of products. However, customers have become more conscious of these chemicals and the possible effects on their bodies. This is where modified atmosphere packaging comes into play.
Some of the advantages of using MAP over other packaging technologies include:
- Longer shelf-lives for products
- Better product quality
- Greater product availability
- Reduced need for preservatives
- Smaller amounts of product and package waste
Request For Quote
What Is Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP)?
Many of the spoiling issues that occur to perishable food and beverage products—e.g., discoloration, flavor or textural changes, and microbial growth—can be attributed to the presence of oxygen. Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP)—also known as reduced oxygen packaging—is designed to increase the shelf life of these goods by modifying the internal packaging conditions to promote greater product stability and longevity.
Using this technology, a mixture of pure oxygen, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen is introduced into the packaging process. This mixture extends the shelf life of fresh products and helps to maintain the visual appeal, texture, and nutritional benefits of the food.
How Does Modified Atmosphere Packaging Protect Food?
In contrast to other packaging methods, MAP protects perishables from both external and internal factors that promote product damage or degradation. The modification of the internal environment can occur either passively or actively. Passive MAP operations use specially selected packaging materials that encourage the natural development of the desired environmental conditions through the respiration of the contained products and the diffusion of gases into and out of the packaging. Microperforated top seal film is an example of this method. Active MAP operations replace the existing gas composition with a more desirable mixture (usually consisting of pure oxygen, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen). Both methods mitigate product spoilage without the addition of preservatives or other chemicals.
Many consumable goods benefit from MAP, including:
- Bakery: With proper packaging involving vacuum sealing or Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP), bakery items like sandwiches, cakes, and desserts can be preserved for anywhere from two-and-a-half weeks to seven months
- Dairy: Milk and its derived products spoil easily without proper packaging. They must be protected from oxidation through MAP and perfect sealing.
- Meat: Raw meat and processed meat products lose color and flavor as they spoil. More importantly, spoilage may lead to food poisoning through bacterial contamination. It is important to use cutting-edge MAP to preserve meat products.
- Produce: Proper packing with MAP extends the shelf life of fruits and vegetables. It also preserves their freshness and nutritional value.
- Snacks: Various types and shapes of packaging are necessary for snacks. Thermoformed containers, cups, and trays sealed with film are great for packaging snacks.
Point Five Packaging’s MAP Packaging Machines & Materials
Point Five Packaging is a full-service food packaging and modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) system supplier. We offer the following packaging systems:
Tray sealers ensure products are fully protected from external contaminants. Compared to manual sealing methods, they reduce the amount of time and labor needed to complete sealing operations.
Vacuum chambers allow for the formation of airtight seals. In doing so, they help maintain product freshness, prevent freezer burn, improve product flavor, and/or reduce storage requirements.
High Barrier Films
High barrier films help to retain the flavor, texture, and appearance of a variety of foods including meat, poultry, seafood, fresh fruits and vegetables, and more. These films are both oven and microwave safe, have a high and low gas barrier, and are perfect for prepared food that is roasted, steamed, boiled, or cooked in the packaging. They are high-clarity and possess anti-fog characteristics so the food inside stays visible to consumers.
For additional information about our packaging systems, visit our Packaging Systems page.
Why Use a MAP System?
You should consider a MAP system for your products because of the cost savings and consumer benefits. With selling fresh foods comes the risk of spoilage and any product the spoils cannot be sold. A MAP system extends the shelf life of your products. Second, once customers know that your products do not contain preservatives or other chemicals, they will be more likely to purchase from you.
The initial investment into a MAP system will easily be recouped through less spoiled product and more sales due to extended shelf life and an increase in purchases from conscious buyers.
Modified Atmosphere Packaging Systems (MAP) significantly extend product shelf-life while maintaining appearance, texture and freshness without the use of a vacuum.
P5-A Fully Automated Packaging System
The P5-A fully automatic seal system is ideal for any food production and packaging environment. Configurable for manual feed or fully automatic production, the P5-A can produce vacuum-gas flushed MAP containers, vacuum skin packs (VSP) and seal-only trays. In full automatic mode, the P5-A can be tailored to customers’ needs and customized with lane dividers, extended infeeds with integrated automatic tray denesters, filling and depositing systems, lid applicators lane merging systems. All the components allow for a turnkey “complete line” to meet the requirements of today’s food industry.
The P5-A is capable of production rates of up to 60 sealed trays per minute, 32 MAP trays and 28 skin trays. An optional seal head storage cart ensures that tooling can be changed over in less than 5 minutes. The user-friendly touch screen display allows easy for simple and quick product set up and storage of up to 99 product recipes and language selection including English, Spanish and French. Film sealing, MAP and vacuum skin packing can all be achieved on the same seal head.
Specifications Download Brochure
P5-RM Semi-Automatic Packaging System
Step it up a notch with the P5-RM from Point Five Packaging. This semi-automatic tray seal system is capable of producing vacuum, MAP (vacuum gas), vacuum skin packing (VSP) and sealing of pre-formed trays and cups. The manual turntable operation considerably cuts cycle times and optimizes output. It allows the operator to load and unload trays at one station while the machine is performing a seal operation at the other. When ready, the operator will rotate the table and the cycle begins again.
The P5-RM is fitted with easy to load film rack and automatic film advance. An optional print registered film operation and an automatic tray lifter for easier loading/unloading. The P5-RM can run up to 16 MAP trays, 28 sealed trays and 12 vacuum skin pack trays per minute. Quick change seal heads can be changed out in less than 2 minutes. A user-friendly touch screen display allows easy product set-up, storage of up to 99 product recipes and multiple language selection including English, Spanish and French.
Specifications Download Brochure
P5-M Semi-Automatic Packaging System
The P5-M seal system combines a robust design with compact footprint to deliver the ultimate entry level to tray and cup sealing, modified atmosphere, vacuum-gas or vacuum skin packaging. A stainless steel sanitary construction ensures the P5-M is at home in any food packaging environment. The P5-M is ideal for small and medium packers and is a handy addition and backup system for large producers as well. Versatile and compact with an attractive price tag, the P5-M is well suited for R&D labs in academic, medical, agricultural and food packaging research centers.
Specifications Download Brochure
P5-T Semi-Automatic Packaging System
The P5-T table top seal system is the perfect solution for sealing trays and cups and also creating vacuum-gas sealed modified atmosphere (MAP) and/or vacuum skin packs (VSP) with a minimal investment. Ideal for any entry level or production re-work operations, the P5-T is also well suited for retail or laboratory environments. A user friendly, color touch screen with multiple product recipes, an easy to load film rack and automatic scrap film rewind and a quick change seal heads are all standard features of this handy system.
Specifications Download Brochure
P5-4ZA Automatic Packaging System
The P5-4ZA series is a fully automated tray and cup seal system capable of producing vacuum-gas MAP packs, vacuum skin packs (VSP) and/or no MAP sealed trays and cups. The P5-4ZA can be equipped with up to 3 sealing stations to achieve production rates of up to 150 trays per minute (no MAP). Customers can also choose to run different products at each seal station and significantly reduce their change over time. Seal head changeover can be accomplished in under 5 minutes with an optional ergonomically efficient seal head storage cart.
The P5-4ZA can be customized for your specific packaging line layout and integrated with a variety of options and components to create a fully turnkey packaging line. Point Five Packaging will assist you by conceptualizing, designing and developing infeed and outfeed conveyor lines, tray denesters, fillers and depositors, markers/printing machines, aligning devices, etc. The userfriendly color touch screen display allows easy product set up and change over and can store up to 99 product programs. Operators may also choose between English, Spanish and French screen translations.
Specifications Download Brochure
MAP Solutions from Point Five Packaging
Modified atmosphere packaging is an effective and efficient method of prolonging the shelf life of perishable goods. If you need a MAP solution, turn to the experts at Point Five Packaging. We offer a range of fully and semi-automated MAP equipment to meet a variety of product and production specifications. To learn more about our systems, packaging materials, or receive assistance choosing one for your needs, contact us or request a quote today.
1. Alternative Butters, Spreads, Flours, and Syrups
Wheat and soy have been a staple in the food industry for many years. More recently, and especially in 2020, alternatives are on the rise. You’ll see watermelon butter, banana flour, and pomegranate syrup on the market soon. To help fill your jars or pouches, we offer pneumatic fillers for liquid products and vibratory weigher scales for dry products. See some of our products here.
2. Fresh Snacking
Consumers want to be more health-conscious while maintaining the convenience of on-the-go eating. Enter snack packs in the refrigeration section with fresh ingredients like fruit, veggies, and eggs. At Point Five, we can provide the whole system – the packaging and machine line. Check out a few of the container shapes we can provide you here.
3. Flexible Packaging
Worldwide there is an increase in the use of flexible packaging formats like pouches. They are more affordable, light weight, and use less materials than other formats of packaging. Because of this, they offer a more sustainable packaging solution. If you’re wondering how to package or seal your dry, flowable products or even cannabis products, Point Five can assist. We can help small to large pouch sealing operations with our tabletop or fully automatic band sealers. Contact us or request a quote for more information.
4. Meal Kits and Ready Meals
Convenience continues to be king in 2020. The ease provided by home delivery meal kits and ready meals is too good to give up. Although they have already been utilized for several years, their use will rise this coming year. To facilitate a longer shelf life and less food waste, we offer numerous packaging and machinery options. From ethylene absorbing bags for produce, to vacuum skin trays, to MAP machinery, we at Point Five are ready to help you successfully step into 2020.
Vacuum Skin Packaging (VSP) is becoming a go-to solution for extending the shelf life of food products. Fresh and processed meat, poultry, seafood, ready-to-eat meals, fresh produce, and cheeses are best suited for this application. Point Five Packaging are at the forefront of this food packaging technology as experts in tray sealing machinery and packaging materials. In conjunction with a product line that is fully VSP enabled, we have now developed the first CPET tray suitable for vacuum skin packaging.
To create a VSP package, specially formulated top seal film is used to encapsulate the product like a second skin. This secures the food product in the tray or paper board package but doesn’t affect the product’s shape.
There are many advantages of skin packaging for consumers, manufacturers and retailers. One of the main including keeping the product held in place. This creates an attractive package that can be displayed vertically, improving how the product is viewed and reducing shelf space required. When product is shipped for home delivery, you can be sure it will arrive secure, intact, and without a mess. Because VSP acts as a protective layer, the shelf life of perishable foods is significantly extended. This reduces food waste and packaging materials. Also, the need of preservatives is greatly reduced or even unnecessary which creates healthier options for consumers.
Both the tray and the film used to seal the product are microwave and oven safe. The CPET trays are perfect for ready meals in both retail and home delivery applications. This option is 100% recyclable and cost effective.
Consumers are becoming more alert to sustainable packaging solutions in the market. VSP is emerging as a solution to meet these demands.
Point Five’s semi-automatic rotary tray sealer, the P5-RM, is capable of creating modified atmosphere packaging. It can also make vacuum skin packages in the same machine. The P5-RM has the possibility of producing up to 1000 packages per hour, making it ideal for medium-sized food operations. Following packaging solutions for food products in Europe, the P5-RM is now able to seal VSP trays and paperboards. These applications are ideal for cheeses, meats, and ready meals.
The P5-RM can easily be paired with filling systems, such as our P5-VPF series. This brings an aspect of automation into your food packaging line that increases product output and reduces labor.
Be sure to check out the P5-RM webpage for more details and specifications as well as our other tray sealing systems.
Compostable Trays Made of Wheat
Today’s market has grown to be very environmentally aware. Companies have begun to provide green packaging alternatives to fill this need-gap in the marketplace. With all the changes in the packaging world, a slew of new terms are out there – from compostable to biodegradable to bioplastic. It’s hard to keep them all straight and understand the nuances between them. More than that, for the average consumer it can be confusing to understand which is the most Eco-friendly options. This article explores these terms and hopes to shed light on current Eco-conscious opportunities.
“Biodegradable” and “Compostable”
Compostable Trays, Made of Wheat
If you hark back to high school geometry, you may remember that while every square is a rectangle, not every rectangle is a square. This concept is very similar to the differences between the terms “biodegradable” and “compostable. While everything that is compostable is biodegradable, not everything that is biodegradable is compostable.
Most compost facilities require decomposition between 90 and 180 days. For packaging to be classified as compostable, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) has dictated three criteria to be met:
- Biodegrade – the packaging component must break down into carbon dioxide, water, and biomass at the same rate consistent with known compostable materials, such as paper (cellulose)
- Disintegrate – decomposition occurs, such that the packaging is not visually distinguishable in the compost
- Eco-Toxicity – the biodegradation does not produce any toxic materials and can support plant growth
Technically, many items can be considered biodegradable because there is no time requirement. For example, an apple core will biodegrade in 1 – 2 months, but it takes an aluminum can 80-200 years to biodegrade in a landfill. Unlike compostable plastics, there is no universal definition or certification for the marketing claim “biodegradable”. However, the biggest difference between these two terms is the ambiguous decomposition time. Therefore, it is better to focus on the more specific term of compostability.
Bioplastics are plastics in which all or part of the carbon makeup is derived from renewable feed stocks, like corn or cellulose. Like the terms biodegradable and compostable, biobased plastic does not equal biodegradable. It’s possible for 100% biobased plastics to be non-biodegradable and 100% fossil-based plastics to be biodegradable. Yet, compared to their more conventional counterparts, biobased plastics save fossil resources by being annually replenished.
Recycle Everything Possible!
Space in landfills is becoming more scarce as municipal solid waste (MSW) generation increases. Containers and packaging make up the largest portion of MSW – almost 30%, or 72 million tons. Of the materials that are routinely disposed of in landfills, 70% could be recycled. Recycling these products, like plastic, metals, and paper, can not only reduce the amount of waste disposed in landfills, but preserve our limited sources of nonrenewable raw materials.
It’s key to properly dispose of biodegradable, compostable, and all other recyclable materials as this can have huge benefits for the environment. From taking less time to break down to being made from completely renewable resources to decreasing carbon emissions, these packaging structures offer today’s consumers an opportunity to be more Eco-conscious and businesses to provide the right solutions for their customers and the planet.
Ready to eat meals, although present in the food market for some years, are continuing to be on the rise. According to a study by Market Research Future, this portion of the food sector is expected to grow 6% by 2022. More and more millennials, Generation Z, and families with young children are taking advantage of the convenience prepared meals provides. A trend in ready to eat meals is minimal food additives and preservatives. Consumers are also becoming more health conscious and are looking for meals with minimal or no preparation.
Current food technologies such as Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) and Vacuum Skin Packaging (VSP) support these trends by extending ready meal shelf life. These technologies are scalable and easily integrated into any operation size, large or small. In this way, ready to eat meals can offer consumers fresher and healthier options while still providing convenience.
Produce shelf life is determined by many factors – temperature, moisture, oxygen levels, and sensitivity to ethylene. Packaging these products presents an issue when they are covered as trapped ethylene increases deterioration rate and lowers the shelf life of produce. This is a prevalent difficulty in the prepared meal-kit sector which uses a variety of vegetables for their dishes. It is necessary for the produce to last through a varying distribution system as well as keep longer for the kits sold in stores.
One solution to extend the life of produce is found in Green Bags. The packaging contains an ethylene absorbing technology which takes in the gasses naturally generated by the produce. This reduction yields a longer shelf life especially when the products are stored in the corresponding recommended temperature range for the specific food.
In a rudimentary experiment, Point Five tested to see how well the bags measured up to expectations. A variety of vegetables were purchased from a local grocery store and packed in three formats: original packaging, microwavable bags, and Green Bags. The bags were kept for 21 days at refrigeration temperatures. Overall, the produce stored in the Green Bags were preserved better than those stored in both the original packaging and the microwavable bags.
The spinach in the Green Bags, showed on the right, did show signs of wilting; however, there was less moisture build-up and reduced deterioration overall.
The radishes stored in the Green Bags showed little to no deterioration over the three weeks.
The broccoli in the original packaging were slightly discolored, but the samples stored in the Green Bags were still bright green.
The green beans kept in the Green Bags had the best overall results with little to no color, texture, or aroma changes.
Green Bags are offered in roll stock, custom sizes and colors, and in stock sizes. For more information or to request a quote, contact us today.