The objective of freezing a commodity is to preserve and prolong its life. Fruits, vegetables, fish, and several other food items are very seasonal in nature. Frozen foods keep well at or below –18 degrees Celsius. Any upward temperature fluctuations may result in the activation of microbial, enzymatic, and oxidative activities which may either degrade the food value or render the product unfit for human consumption altogether.
Food products that are stored in freezers and other very cold environments require adequate packaging to avoid spoilage. While bacteria can’t develop and contaminate foods in such environments, exposure to the cold can cause ice to accumulate. This can affect the quality of the foods, ruining their taste and texture during preparation. Fortunately, quality frozen food packaging can help you avoid these situations.
1. Packaging of frozen foods
The primary and most important goal of packaging is to protect products from physical, chemical, and biological hazards. It also performs many other functions such as:
- Makes product handling and transportation easier
- Helps store inventory easier
- Bring information to customers
- Improving product form and attracting consumers
- Help with brand propaganda and advertising
Frozen food packaging needs to have good air barrier properties, as the air inside the cold storage is dry and has low humidity. If food is packaged in poor quality packaging, air can enter and exit the packaging and continue to absorb moisture from the product. Eventually, the product loses its deliciousness and becomes dry and fibrous.
However, the packaging of frozen food cannot change the inherent quality of the product inside it. Packaging can only preserve the condition of the product, it cannot change or make the product better.
2. Packaging properties of frozen foods
Frozen food packaging must have the following characteristics:
- Can withstand cold storage temperatures during food storage. Some materials become brittle and fragile at low temperatures.
- Should be made from food-safe materials and should not secrete its ingredients into the food.
- Should have the strong mechanical strength to hold the product and protect it from physical rigors of handling, transport, loading, unloading, and the pressures of the shelf.
- Should be impervious to gases and air.
- No water vapor permeability. Vapor permeable materials should not be used with foods with high moisture otherwise the product becomes dehydrated very quickly.
- Fragrance permeability – the packaging material must also be able to keep the aromatics in the food from evaporating or oxidizing.
- Bacterial permeability – the packaging should protect the food from external microbiological entry and the packaging material itself should not be the medium for their growth.
- Ability to preserve – food is sure to be properly sealed in its packaging. Therefore the packing material should have good sealing properties.
- Printability – must be printable, as it should convey the information to the customer and help promote the brand.
- Aseptic – frozen food packaging must be safe, not allow it to be a source of food contamination.
- Food should be protected from exposure to the sun because ultraviolet and infrared rays of the sun have the effect of denaturing food.
- During the freezing process, the water is converted to ice, resulting in an increase in volume. Therefore, the packaging must be flexible enough to accommodate such expansion.
Today there are many different options to meet the requirements of each product and consumer tastes, such as polyethylene, polypropylene, cellophane, polyvinyl chloride, polyester, nylon, polyamide, aluminum foil, and some combinations are used to develop good packaging materials.
3. Advancements in the packaging of frozen foods
There are several new advancements in packaging and some of them worth mentioning are as follows:
3.1. Vacuum packaging
Foods packed in vacuumed packaging keep better as the product is fully cut off from the air thus dehydration and oxidation are arrested completely. Microbial growth is also arrested as oxygen is not available for their respiration. However there are anaerobic bacteria that grow well in absence of oxygen i.e. Clostridium botulinum (a toxin produced by C. botulinum causes food poisoning), therefore it should be ensured that the product is free from such contaminations at the time of packing.
Vacuum-packed products enjoy enhanced shelf life and keep the quality and integrity of the commodity in a much better way than normal packing. However, the material used for vacuum packing is expensive and will have an impact on its selling price.
3.2. Microwave packaging
Consumers are interested in reducing meal-prep time, and microwaveable packaging for frozen foods makes this possible. Amiba’s microwaveable packaging allows consumers to steam frozen vegetables quickly and safely without removing them from the package. It is ideal for almost all frozen food products that need to be heated. Health-conscious consumers can enjoy nutrient-rich meals in minutes, with little to no preparation or cleanup.
Other interesting page: High quality greenhouse film in agricultural production
4. Features of frozen food packaging
Material: Packaging used in frozen foods is made from complex materials such as PA / PE, PET / PE, PET / MPET / PE, OPP / MCPP, …
Bag form: Packed in semi-automatic form, automatic packing film, or in soft plastic packaging rolls with suitable diameter according to customer’s automatic packing machine.
Bag type: Made with many different types of bags such as 3-sided seal, 4-sided seal, center-press seal, zipper bottom pocket, 8-sided seal, …
5. A supplier of prestigious and quality plastic films
Union Packaging with many years of experience in the field of providing plastic films and plastic packaging is manufactured from virgin plastic particles and meets FDA standards. Customers can rest assured when cooperating with us because Union Packaging always ensures:
- Customer satisfaction is the number 1 priority
- Outstanding product quality from stable sources of quality goods from Taiwan and China
- Competitive price
- Reputation builds a brand
- Product safety certification
- Fast shipping
- Various payment policies
- Enthusiastic, dynamic, and creative staff
- Providing a wide range of plastic films for packaging materials
- Being a close partner of many suppliers
Union Packaging is a reputable and experienced supplier of OPP, CPP, MCPP, PET, MPET, PE laminated film…. in the industry. We always try to research, develop and improve product quality, improve customer care ability to meet the increasing demands of the domestic and foreign packaging market. Please contact us now: 0987 437 469 – 0903 750 384 for specific advice and quotation.
UNION PACKAGING SOLUTION JOINT STOCK COMPANY
Address: No. 5, 3643A Street, Pham The Hien, Ward 7, District 8, HCMC
Tel: 0987 437 469 – 0903 750 384