Why Packaging Materials Are So Important?
Different types of materials have different properties. The most commonly used formats for packaging materials are types of tray and /or film. The most important properties include:
1. Barrier to gas & water vapour transmission. The barrier properties, as measured by their permeation rates, have to be sufficient to ensure that the environment inside the pack is maintained within the required limits, and for a period exceeding the shelf life of the product.
2. Sealability is critical to maintaining the internal environment inside the pack. An hermetical seal must be formed, to ensure that the MAP gas remains in the pack and does not leak out. Different films have different sealing characteristics. They should be chosen with care, taking into consideration packaging line speed & dwell time of the film in the sealing jaws.
3. Thermoformability is important if a thermoformer packaging format is being used. The film must be able to withstand being heated & deformed to make a pouch, whilst maintaining the integrity of it’s barrier.
4. Transparency. Visual presentation is one of the advantages of using MAP. Anti-mist coatings can be applied, to prevent unsightly water droplets forming and detracting from the product’s appearance. Care should be used, as excessive quantities of anti-mist coating can affect the sealability of the film.
Specialist advice can be obtained from packaging film suppliers including: