- Fresh produce (meat, vegetables, fruit)
- Dairy products (milk, cheese, cream)
- Bakeries (bread, cakes, pastries)
- Processed and prepared foods
Food packing machines need to be able to accommodate food in a variety of forms, including solids, liquids, powders and granules. The challenges are numerous, but this provides ample opportunity for innovative machine design. Producers and packers of food need to be aware of the many considerations associated with every packaging technique. Material and energy consumption are important factors, as are pollution and environmental impact. What does a food packaging machine need to do? There are 4 basic things a food packaging machine must deliver:
1. Product protection: The packaged food must be transported to the point of sale in a way that complies with strict regulatory standards. It must not be damaged and should be protected from environmental contaminants like dirt, damp and insects. 2. Convenience: Logistical needs must be met. Transportation and storage are fundamental to quality food packaging, so products must be robust and easy to stack, but also convenient for the consumer.
3. Product identification: It must be easy for customers to identify the product, along with its size, quantity, ingredients and portions.
4. Branding and promotion: Packaging needs to be on-brand and eye-catching to attract customers. What types of food packaging machines are there? Many of the food products we see in supermarkets are vacuum-packed and shrink-wrapped. These are two versatile techniques that tick most of the boxes in terms of requirements. Vacuum packaging machines The process of vacuum packaging involves removing all oxygen from the product and packaging, keeping food fresher for longer by suppressing the growth of any aerobic organisms. This technique works well for freezer and cold-display products since it extends their lifespan considerably. Vacuum packaging machines come in all shapes and sizes to suit their purpose. They can be acquired for smaller companies or even households, or for industrial-scale operations handling demanding workloads. Often, larger machines also include the ability to print labels and use automated moving facilities to operate at high speed. Shrinkwrap machinery These machines apply a polymer plastic film wrap which is then moved through a heat tunnel to make it shrink and tightly conform to the packaged product. This packaging technique is important to the food industry because:
- It preserves freshness - as the air can't reach the food, its shelf-life is extended, reducing delivery costs and environmental impact.
- Customers can see the food - since the film is clear, things like fruit and veg can be seen by the customer, enabling them to evaluate the quality before purchasing. Branding can also be included to help companies be recognised and display important information.
- It provides greater storage capacity - more bulky containers occupy more space than they need to, but shrink wrap adheres to the form of the product, cutting down the space a product occupies.
Packaging enables food supply chains Other common techniques include bottling, canning, pouch filling, cartons, bagging and trays. Each method has advantages for certain types of food, and have different impacts on transportation, storage and display in shops.
Packaging is essential for food to get into the hands of the customer, and food packaging machines enable the speed and consistency to accommodate the demands of the industry. This is why the food industry depends on ever more innovative and efficient food packing machines. Approve and download Or ask for changes