How Does Flexible Packaging Enhance Food Safety?
31 December 2020
Throughout history, humans have found ways of extending the life of food. As growing techniques evolved, so have the means of distributing the foods farmers produce.
One method of keeping food fresh and safe for transport is flexible packaging. If you haven't heard of flexible packaging as a means of enhancing food safety, it's time to learn. We've got everything you need to know, from the benefits of flexible packaging to flexible packaging shelf life.
What Is Flexible Packaging?
Flexible packaging is a form of food contact material. Its use is safe for increasing a food's shelf life while simultaneously making transportation easier. Flexible packaging film protects food quality, freshness, and safety, from the food's origin through transportation and storage.
Flexible packaging is a specific plastic that can include a moisture barrier, fog, and condensation prevention. It may be self-venting, meaning the packaging is safe to use in a microwave.
As the name implies, flexible packaging film is non-rigid. Because of this, the packaging is less expensive to make and gives more options for customization.
Flexible packaging comes in many forms, from barrier films and shrink films to industrial films and bags. No matter what sort of food product your business produces, there is a flexible food package for you.
Different Pouch Types of Flexible Packaging
Flexible packaging for food comes in two forms: lay-flat and stand-up.
Lay-flat packages are best for lightweight goods. They can come with a hole in the top for retail hanging and a resealable zipper for added freshness.
Stand-up packages work well for heavier food products. These can also come with a hole for retail hanging and a resealable zipper.
A quality producer will give you the option to add a unique design or logo to your custom food packaging bags, ensuring your branding is enhanced.
Is Flexible Packaging Safe?
Every form of food packaging must meet the FDA's stringent guidelines, flexible packaging included. Even putting forth a new design using the same materials requires further testing to prove it meets those regulations.
This ensures that no chemicals leak into the food through the film. The film must not make the food unsafe or unfit for consumption. Even causing an odor or strange taste disqualifies the material.
While flexible packaging isn't limited to food products, you can be sure that if a flexible film package is safe for consumables, it's safe for other things, such as cosmetics and hygiene products.
While many markets benefit from flexible packaging, it works incredibly well in food production thanks to its high quality and optional resealable zipper that keeps products fresher longer.
How Does Flexible Packaging Enhance Food Safety?
It's an unfortunate reality that every food producer has to contest with food safety and spoilage prevention. However, one of the benefits of flexible packaging is that it enhances food safety.
Types of Food Spoilage
Invariably, food spoilage occurs in one of three ways:
- Microbiological Changes: Microorganisms growing in the food, producing enzymes that can cause it to spoil.
- Chemical Changes: Food reacts to its own components or an introduced component, changing its natural state.
- Physical Changes: Spoilage from dehydration or increased moisture inside a package.
Unfortunately, spoilage can be accelerated if you don't have safe food packaging, or your package is easily damaged.
A faulty package can let in dangerous microorganisms, air, light, or other pests. These leaks can cause spoilage, enzyme growth, and oxidation.
A reliable package, such as flexible film, can increase your product's shelf life and make it safer for consumption.
Flexible Packaging Film Ensures Freshness
Of course, adding a resealable zipper to your product's packaging is going to extend its shelf life, but how else can flexible packaging for food ensure freshness?
- Tamper-resistance: Flexible film may not be firm, but it is sturdy. Your packages will not be easily torn or punctured during transportation.
- Reusability: Having a resealable pouch means your product will last longer past purchase. A customer can open the bag and not worry about exposure to oxygen or pests, thanks to the resealable bag.
- Controlled Oxygen levels: If the oxygen levels inside a bag are not just so, the food product may quickly spoil due to the growth of microorganisms or even fungi. Flexible film packagers can add oxygen absorbers to keep levels stable and food fresh.
- Barrier layers: Some food products need extra protection, and flexible film can accommodate. Adding a barrier layer to package design can prevent spoilage from oxidation, light, moisture, or other forms of contamination.
To keep foods fresh and extend their shelf life, flexible film packaging is the perfect solution.
Why Choose Flexible Film?
There are many benefits of flexible packaging or printed food packaging beyond the fact that it enhances food safety. For example:
- Design: Whether your marketing department wants a transparent pouch, so consumers know what they're purchasing, or they've designed an eye-catching logo to put in the center of the bag, flexible film pouches are the perfect vehicle for marketing with their optimal package designs.
- Low packaging costs: As each flexible film pouch is tailored to your product size, you'll spend less than other forms of packaging. Your company saves money on labels because marketing and design are already on the package.
- Customization: No matter the shape or size of your product, the flexible film will fit. The pouches can hang, lay flat, or stand up.
- Environmentally-friendly: Not only is it good for the earth to be eco-friendly, but it's excellent from a marketing standpoint. More and more consumers are aware of their carbon footprint, and having a package that uses less plastic and creates less waste.
- Simple shipping and display: Flexible film is lightweight and sturdy, taking up less space when packed together than other packaging methods. Because you can choose pouches that lie flat or stand up, you have more ways to display your product.
Step Up Your Food Safety With Flexible Packaging
Custom food packaging bags not only keep foods fresher, longer, but they can reduce overhead costs while also boosting your company's marketing efforts. It's environmentally-friendly, economical, and overall one of the safest ways to ensure your product's safety and integrity.
The future of food packaging is flexible. It's quickly becoming an industry standard and could give your product the boost it needs in safety and marketing. Get in touch today to see what flexible packaging designs could work for your products.