One of the biggest factors that food manufacturers must consider when deciding on a packaging method is shelf life. Having the ability to extend shelf life has benefits for many.
It allows manufacturers to expand product distribution to new markets. It allows stores to keep products on the shelf longer, which can help reduce restocking and also reduce the number of expired products that need to be thrown out. And consumers can more easily keep a stocked cabinet and cut down on wasted food.
What Causes Food to Spoil?
Foods can spoil for a number of reasons:
Exposure to natural or artificial light can cause spoilage to food or beverages including discoloring, loss of nutrients, or flavor issues.
Air exposure can also cause changes in color, flavor, or nutrient levels.
Higher temperatures typically between 40-140 degrees Fahrenheit can increase the likelihood of bacteria growth, which can lead to food spoilage. In fact, within 20 minutes of increased temperature exposure, bacteria growth can double.
Poorly packaged food or beverage items face increased risk of product damage, which also can lead to food spoilage.
Foods that Benefit from Extended Shelf Life
Some food and beverage items are more prone to food spoilage and therefore can benefit greatly from solutions that help extend their shelf life. Some of the most common food products include:
- Meats, poultry, fish
- Snack foods
- Bakery items
- Frozen food
- Liquid or semi-solid foods
- Dry foods
- Spices and powders.
Solutions That Support Better Shelf Life
Shelf life can be extended using a variety of different solutions.
For some products, common preservatives like salts, gelatins, or vinegar will extend shelf life. For others, chemical preservatives such as benzoic acid or sodium benzoate are used.
As food manufacturers are faced with rising costs and growing consumer interest in health & wellness and sustainability, there are more natural and cost-effective ways to extend shelf life, such as the use of flexible food packaging solutions like plastic films. They not only can help prevent food spoilage but also can extend shelf life.
Let’s take a look at the top 3 packaging films to consider – High-Barrier films, BOPP films, and Cast PP films.
#1 – High-Barrier Film
High-Barrier films deliver the ultimate performance for food and beverage products – they provide excellent packaging shelf life while also preserving the taste and quality of the product.
PennPac’s High-Barrier food films are multilayer structures that include EVOH (ethylene-vinyl alcohol). EVOH is a flexible, crystal clear, glossy thermoplastic copolymer that’s known for having some of the best barrier resistance to gases such as oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide. This makes it ideal for packaging protein products such as fresh meats and improving shelf life.
In addition to their protective qualities, high-barrier packaging films offer excellent clarity which allows consumers to see the product inside easily. They are also customizable with different colors, designs, and logos – great for branding purposes.
#2 – BOPP Film
BOPP (Biaxially Oriented Polypropylene) films are an affordable option for many food and beverage packaging needs and one of the most popular packaging film types available.
Some of BOPP’s most desirable characteristics make the film a great choice for extending packaging shelf life. Its durability and flexibility make it resistant to punctures and cracks, even when exposed to temperature fluctuations.
BOPP packaging film also has enhanced barrier properties to water vapor and oxygen. It also offers excellent clarity which makes it a top choice for see-through packaging.
PennPac offers many different types of BOPP films including transparent, heat sealable, corona treated, flame treat, matte, metallized, and many others.
#3 – Cast PP Film
Cast PP (Cast Polypropylene) film, also called CPP film, has grown in popularity in recent years for use in both flexible packaging and non-packaging applications.
Cast PP films are recognized for their good clarity, high gloss, good seal strength, and heat resistance. They also are resistant to impact and punctures and have good barrier properties to odors and gases like oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide.
We offer different types of Cast PP films including transparent, corona treat, and metalized CPP film.
Download a Packaging Film Spec Sheet
Download our spec sheets for technical information about our entire library of films including high barrier, BOPP, and Cast PP film.
Request a Film Sample
To receive samples of our quality flexible packaging films, just complete our Request a Sample form and a PennPac team member will be in touch.