When it comes to food & beverage industry, maintaining an extended shelf life of the product without impacting the quality is an important factor to consider. Be it the freshness, aroma, flavour or chemical properties of the product, right packaging is critical to retain it all.
Talking of snacks in specific, top-grade snacks packaging is the key to improved shelf life and reduced inventory spoilage, ensuring fresh products to the end customers and better returns on sales.
Factors That Pose Risk Of Quality Deterioration
Food spoilage is one of the major concerns that most food and beverage brands wish to conquer. It’s a natural process that can occur at any phase of production and distribution resulting in changes in the colour, odour and even flavour. Right handling and storage can play a crucial role in cutting down on the risks of food spoilage.
So, what are various factors that snack industry needs to be cautious about to prevent their products from witnessing quality deterioration?
Rounded up here are some of the main factors that contribute to food spoilage over a period of time:
- Physical damage
Companies often resort to different methods like temperature control, using oxygen absorbers, freezing and vacuum packaging etc to boost the quality shelf life of the product.
Snacks today occupy a major share of the food industry market. Premium quality packaging in the form of spout pouch, zipper packs, stand up pouch are taking over the market. However, there are challenges in designing fool-proof snack packs.
The presence of oil or fats in the snacks needs to be controlled or else it could lead to unsightly staining of the package, rancidity, smudging of the printing and not to forget the greasy package feel. The crispiness is another important property that needs special care. When snacks come in contact with moisture or humidity, they tend to lose crispiness. To counter this issue many brands opt for sealed or stand up pouch with zipper
Machinability is an essential component considering the packaging techniques used today. As snack packaging has switched from manual filling into preformed bags to automatic form-fill-seal machines running at fairly high speeds packaging materials must be of a quality that can work efficiently on these machines.
How Pouch Packaging Is Linked To Shelf Life
Pouch packaging extends shelf life by lowering the possibility of food spoilage caused due to different agents. Listed below are some of the ways packaging contributes to improved shelf life:
- To avoid oxygen interaction with the snack content modified atmosphere packaging can be done. This replaces the oxygen inside the pack with another gas mixture to prevent oxidation and maintain the ideal condition for extended shelf life.
- Vacuum packaging is another way of prolonging the life of snack items. In this type of packaging, most of the air is pumped off the pack, and then it is sealed to have low oxygen permeability. This is the most suitable option for items that do not need air to stay fresh.
- For products that need air to remain fresh, a different type of packaging that enables some ventilation is used. For instance, it could be a pack with tiny holes or material that facilitates optimal gas permeability.
- Many a time snacks or food products get physically damaged during storage. But with good packaging, the spoilage and wastage risks can be kept under check.
Emerging trends in the snack food & ready-to-eat food market industry are paving the way for a variety of innovative packaging solutions. However, depending upon the required shelf life and properties of the snack content you need to take your pick!