For some businesses, packages may have to travel long distances, translating into great dangers to their safety. As a production manager, your primary focus should be based on the packaging integrity. This is important to foresee the possible damages, which can be derived from the distribution cycle. The way you plan to achieve this integrity is extremely important for your business.
If you have a food processing company, it’s important to protect the package’s components from potential dangers, including chemical, physical, and microbial. To attain the goal, characterizing the integrity of your package and carrying out risk assessment might not be enough – you will also need the following ways.
- Define Storage Factors
Foodstuffs can last for long when they are free from oxygen. Getting rid of oxygen can help prevent oxidation of various components in the food, and the best way to remove it may include the displacement process. This works by purging air from food products with nitrogen gas. However, you can also use dry ice to give off carbon dioxide gas that displaces oxygen.
For better storage life, ensure you use containers with airtight (hermetic) seal. Such containers can be PETE bottles, sealable food storage buckets, quality metal drums, and foil pouches. It may also be important to avoid factors that test the integrity of your package; some of these factors include the following:
- Physical damage
- Verify Performance Integrity
Packaging tests in a laboratory environment are conducted to simulate the forces and conditions, which may exist in the real world. Foodstuffs ranging from fresh seafood to cookies can be difficult to package. Apart from dealing with various factors like freshness and fragility, food packages should project the brand image, meet the federal requirements of labeling, and ensure safety.
With interest in sustainable packaging, equipment like seal integrity tester and package leak detector from a provider like FlexPak can explore your products to ensure the seals are strong enough. Similarly, packaging materials with alternate sealing methods and reduced costs are verified to affirm that the seals don’t leak over your products’ shelf-life.
- Note the Integrity Requirements
In the modern global economy, various requirements for packaging in different jurisdictions may affect trade between countries. Because of that, some countries have revisited their regulations and laws governing the integrity requirements to align with other places.
The most comprehensive legislation in some countries is the ‘Plastic Regulation.’ The regulation encompasses a positive list of additives, monomers, and various polymer production aids, which may be used to manufacture food contact plastics. As packaging continues to get more attention, particularly on matters associated with integrity, food industries will have to keep abreast of the new science and how it well fits with regulatory requirements.
- Upgrade Packaging Machines
Preventive maintenance is an important precaution, which ensures the reliability and longevity of the packaging line. Along with an inspection schedule, you can consider coming up with a protocol for reporting mistakes and inventories of the machine’s parts, which wear quickly.
Putting all these into account can reduce downtime on your packaging integrity, and carrying out regular preventive maintenance may allow you to handle issues before they become more serious.
- Define Processing Inputs
It’s important to determine the current capabilities against the desired packaging goals. These capabilities have a direct effect on subsequent handling and package design. For instance, in case you introduce new food products or modify package designs, determine whether your processing inputs will handle it. If not, you may need to determine timing and costs for installation, commercial runs, testing, and capital expenditures. Some of the items that may be included in the processing review list may include:
- Clean rooms
- Aseptic atmosphere packaging
The Bottom Line!
The packaging is an inevitable process of selling products. However, your packaging shouldn’t have to be exorbitantly expensive, and reducing the costs does not mean you ought to jeopardize the security and integrity of food products. Instead, minimizing the packaging costs should be based on a holistic view of your current operations. Thus, it’s upon you to understand where your money goes, upgrade your machine, and define the processing inputs to achieve packaging integrity.