If you do your shopping at the supermarket, wholesale stores, specialty markets, or convenience stores, you’ve more than likely come into contact with flexible packaging. Also known as plastic packaging (or plastic bags), flexible packaging is the material that touches the food we eat on a daily basis. This type of packaging is critical for food safety, food preservation, and longer shelf life.
What Makes the Film So Special?
Most flexible packaging is a combination of different types of plastic that contain properties to protect many kinds of foods.
This includes moisture barrier films for items like potato chips and crackers. There are also films that are coated to prevent fog and condensation for products like lettuce and salad greens. Flexible packaging for frozen foods is thicker in order to stand up to freezing cold storage conditions. Microwavable and self-venting packaging means that the product is conveniently ready for us to cook inside the packaging without extra preparation.
Films for flexible packaging encompass a variety of forms, including poly bags, coextruded barrier films, printed specialty films, shrink films, and industrial films and bags.
Films in the form of bin liners are widely used in food production facilities to maintain a safe environment while our fresh food is being prepared and packaged. These films are so important for protecting our food and also for protecting the people working with the food in the facilities.
The materials used in all of these applications are essential to delivering a product that is safe to eat, fresh tasting, and that will last long enough for us to purchase, store, prepare, and eat.
How our fresh food products are packaged for mass distribution is a feat of modern technology.
Food can be packaged in bags, tray packs, pouches, reclosable bags, or in shrink films. In each case, the packaging process is most likely automated using equipment specific to the type of packaging being used.
For example, Vertical Form, Fill, and Seal (VFFS) machines use roll stock to create the desired form for the bag, to fill the bag with product, and to seal it closed with a zipper, heat seal, or cold seal. Shrink tunnels heat the shrink film, allowing it to form to the product. Vertical bagging equipment is used for bagging cups, plates and other stacked product.
How We Do It
Atlantic has been working with flexible packaging for the food processing industry for over 40 years. We have excellent and long standing relationships with our vendors and we have true partnerships with our customers.
Our knowledge and experience with these materials and equipment means that our customers can rely on us to get them exactly what they need. We are also keenly aware of the need for rapid response in the fresh food industry. Our people are dedicated and responsible and our network of resources means that we can deliver the materials or fix the equipment quickly and efficiently.
We’re proud of our reputation as a supplier and a packaging consultant in the food industry and we look forward to many more decades of service.