The meat, poultry, and fish packaging industries depend on high-quality materials and machines to ensure their products maintain shelf life and freshness. The leading meat packaging designs also offer features that benefit the consumer. Modern packaging should allow consumers to refrigerate, freeze, microwave, or oven-heat food in its packaging.
At Point Five Packaging, we deliver innovative solutions to meat, poultry and fish packing plants. We use materials which fit a wide variety of applications with advanced packaging technologies. Additionally, our packaging is safe to use in the oven and microwave for convenient heating options.
Technology & Considerations for Meat, Poultry, & Fish Packaging
With modern customers demanding healthier foods, they value meat, chicken, and seafood packaging methods that preserve food without additional chemicals and preservatives. The food packaging industry must utilize highly developed technologies to keep perishable foods stored longer while maintaining freshness, taste, scent, and consistency.
Oxygen causes foods to decay by creating an environment conducive to microorganism growth. Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) is a technology that replaces the oxygen in packaging with an inert gas mixture. The removal of oxygen and its replacement with gases such as nitrogen and carbon dioxide make the environment less hospitable to microorganisms to extend the shelf-life of the product. Also, MAP will not alter the taste, smell, or appearance of the product.
The meat is packaged in its new atmosphere using a vacuum tray sealer. This protects the product from external factors that can alter its taste, appearance, and overall freshness. It also keeps the gas atmosphere contained and prevents oxygen from entering the package.
Vacuum Skin Packaging (VSP) is another popular protein packaging technology to preserve the freshness of meat, poultry, and fish. Instead of replacing air with gas, VSP simply removes the air from the packaging. The food product is placed on a pre-formed plastic tray or pre-made, laminated paperboard sheet and sealed in a protective film barrier. Removing the air before sealing the package creates an environment of minimal oxidation and microbial growth while accentuating the product.
The durable film and rigid tray or board keep the product intact during transportation. The film is transparent, allowing customers to see the food inside. VSP prevents oxidation and locks in the nutrition of the food. The shelf life of MAP and VSP products increases when combined with appropriate freezing, refrigeration, heat sterilization, or dehydration processes.
Food Packaging Materials for Meat, Poultry & Fish Packaging
When packaging meat, poultry, and fish, there are several types of meat packaging materials that fit the needed application and help preserve freshness of the product. Many of these packaging solutions are transparent, allowing customers to evaluate the product in the retail store. At Point Five Packaging, we use the following materials for our highly developed MAP and VSP methods:
- Crystallized polyethylene terephthalate (CPET). Ideal for packaging ready meals, soup, pasta and meat, CPET forms a tray or container that is safe for oven and microwave heating or freezing and allows consumers to see the product inside with a transparent lid. It extends shelf life and can preserve freshness when combined with MAP sealing.
- Polypropylene (PP). Suitable for meat, seafood, and heat-and-eat meals, these containers withstand various temperatures, making them perfect for deep-freezing and microwave reheating by consumers. Again, shelf life extension is one of the benefits of containers made from PP. These containers are sealable using MAP to prolong freshness.
- Polyethylene terephthalate (PETE). Containers composed of this can take on a wide range of forms to store various fridge-stable products. This packaging is suitable for MAP applications for meat, poultry, and fish.
- Flat VSP Paperboards. This packaging format is most common for fresh meats and seafood utilizing VSP technology. Flat VSP paperboards advertise the product to its best advantage.
- Aluminum. This is an optimal material for ready meal trays for foods such as pies, pizza and pasta. Aluminum packaging can be frozen and heated in an oven, grill or microwave in specific cases.
- Film. Point Five Packaging offers seal-only, MAP and VSP lidding films, forming and non-forming, and bags and pouches. These materials offer high product visibility and extended food shelf life. Our films can be frozen, roasted, steamed, boiled, oven-heated, or microwaved to fit any application. It can have a high or low gas barrier, and certain films can be fog resistant.
Food Packaging Machines for Meat, Poultry & Fish Packaging
Machines can package meat, poultry and fish more efficiently and effectively than hand packing. At Point Five Packaging, we specialize in machinery for tray sealing, MAP, and VSP applications which can be custom-made for your operation. We can quickly produce machinery for our clients’ needs using our rapid concept-to-market capabilities. In addition, we offer ancillary equipment, such as sleeving systems, label applicators, and date/lot code systems, to enhance the production and output of our clients.
Tray sealers apply a plastic lidding film to a product in a tray or cup for a hermetic seal. They work well with MAP and VSP technologies. Tray sealers are ideal for packaging ready-made, frozen or fresh foods to prevent damage, contamination, spoilage, and product degradation. The machines are suitable for high production volumes and can operate faster than when the process is done manually.
Vacuum chambers are ideal for packaging meat products in an inexpensive method. They remove the air from the packaging to preserve the product and improve its shelf life. Vacuum packaging for meat products also prevents contamination and protects the food during storage and distribution. Many B2B customers use this method as it is cost effective and because the package is usually not branded.
A useful ancillary piece of equipment is a sleeve system. A sleever helps to eliminate the laborious and time-consuming manual sleeving process. Compared to manual sleeve packaging, sleeve systems can package much larger volumes of products in a short amount of time and can be integrated with tray sealing equipment. The automated sleeving machine also reduces waste while maintaining a high level of consistency and accuracy.
Meat, Poultry & Fish Packaging Supplies From Point Five Packaging
Modified Atmospheric Packaging and Vacuum Skin Packaging are leading technologies for the preservation and packaging of meat, poultry and fish. They provide long-lasting freshness, appearance, and taste retention without the use of chemicals and preservatives to protect the product from contamination and spoilage during storage and transport.
At Point Five Packaging, we combine these state-of-the-art technologies with high-quality materials that offer product protection and an appealing appearance for distribution and sale to consumers. Our packaging offers temperature stability for deep-freezing, oven cooking, and microwave heating products in the package. We produce a variety of advanced and customizable packing machines suitable for use with MAP and VSP technologies.
View our catalog of materials and learn more about the technology that makes our food packaging systems the ideal solution for efficiently packing your meat, poultry and fish products. Contact us or request information to learn more about our capabilities today.