Food For Thought - Extending Shelf Life

Food For Thought

Shelf life is one the most important aspects to look at when you are in the food industry. Extending shelf life with packaging can reduce waste and maintain nutritional value. Learn about some of the best solutions with Felins Foodie, Lisa Barrieau.


Video Transcript

Welcome, this is Food for Thought with Felins Foodie.


Whether you work with meat, produce, bakery, or prepared foods, shelf life is one of the most important obstacles to consider when trying to determine the method of packaging. There are numerous ways to extend shelf life that don't necessarily require preservatives. Today we're going to talk about extending shelf life through primary packaging, as well as how labeling and sleeving can align with these methods. Did you know that packaging decisions are incredibly intentional? Have you ever wondered why peaches aren't packaged at the retail stores? Peaches emit an ethylene gas which is a naturally occurring plant hormone that triggers the ripening process. It is recommended that in order to ripen peaches at home, the consumer should put them in a brown paper bag where the gas is trapped without trapping moisture and speeds up the ripening process. This is exactly the reason that peaches are never sold in the stores in any kind of packaging. For products such as potatoes and pre-made salads. They're commonly packed and traced with a micro perforated top seal and there's more to that than meets the eye. This type of top seal allows the product to breathe and exhale kind of like teaching the product yoga so that way it can help to extend the shelf life of the product so that way it's nice and fresh by the time it gets to the consumer. Here's a good one, fresh juice when made without preservatives only has a shelf life of about 48 to 72 hours before losing its nutritional value or turning to pure sugar. Through the use of HPP, also known as high pressure processing, the shelf life can be extended to 35 to 45 days. This is because these products are put into a capsule that fills with water and is pressurized up to 85,000 psi, this is equivalent to a depth of 27 miles under the sea. When the products come out they now contain almost no living microbial content, maintaining nutritional value and extending shelf life. So now that we've determined our primary packaging, we're all set right? Now to think about secondary packaging. Our secondary packaging should enhance, not counteract our primary packaging.


With a full coverage shrink wrap over a tray of fresh produce, such as pre-made salads that have that micro perforated film, we're actually counteracting the efforts of that microperforated film with that shrink wrap, decreasing the shelf life. With just a 30 millimeter wide transparent band applied with tension and ultrasonic weld. We're helping to ensure that we enhance that shelf life. There's a time and a place for various forms of labeling, sleeving, and unitizing solutions, but ultrasonic technology has its benefits. Our recyclable plastic ultrasonic bands are actually water resistant, helping to minimize the steps and costs associated with sending products out to HPP. So typically food manufacturers will create the product, send it out to be HPP'd they then get labeled sleeved or unitized and then gets sent out to the retailer by having the band applied at the food manufacturer prior to being sent out to HPP, we're helping to minimize those steps and costs associated with the process. For products, such as thermoformed meats, hummuses, juices, and snack packs. They're commonly labeled with adhesives and paper board sleeves. Unfortunately these types of labeling processes cannot withstand HPP and they are not water resistant. While there are various ways to label, sleeve, and unitize products in the food industry, it is important to consider methods that represent the product brand and do not have a negative effect on the shelf life. Follow me, FelinsFoodie to learn more about ways you can reduce labor and packaging waste, and improve your overall bottom line with adhesive free labeling, automatic sleeving, and unitizing solutions. Subscribe below.

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