Aquatic products’ packaging methods and packaging machines
Fish and shrimp and other aquatic products have high nutritional value, but they are also perishable food. In order to ensure product quality, people began to use a variety of packaging methods to package aquatic products. From simple plastic packaging to today’s integrated production line, packaging provides a variety of functions along with demand, and reduces the possible loss of aquatic products in the transport, storage and retail process.
How to Choose Packaging Method and Packaging Machines for Seafood and Aquatic Products
In the early days of market without the concept of packaging, fish were simply wrapped in paper and quickly taken away for processing. Space, time and consuming power all decided that it did not need to consider the shelf life of long-term, transportation capacity of logistics, storage damage probability. However, in the modern seafood market, the demand for long-distance transportation, long-term preservation and keeping fresh is increasing. Appropriate packaging methods can not only ensure that customers can eat fresh aquatic products, but also bring more added value to sellers.
The packaging of aquatic products must meet the high requirements of food safety, water stability and hygiene. In addition, packaging is also affected by various external forces, such as extrusion during storage, possible collisions during transportation and appearance at the retail end, because some customers like to touch aquatic products to ensure that they are fresh when considering whether to buy them. Therefore, these technical requirements should be addressed around the main functions of packaging, such as protecting aquatic products from external influences during transportation, handling and storage. The material used must be strong, stable and durable. It should protect the product from temperature fluctuation, moisture and dust as much as possible. It also provides protection against loss, damage and theft.
Although manufacturers and retailers have similar requirements for aquatic product packaging: safety and freshness, retailers still need further functions: packaging must attract consumers, which is an important factor to attract customers to buy.
Common packaging methods and packaging machines for aquatic products
There are several typical types of aquatic product packaging in the market:
Fresh-keeping film packaging
Fresh-keeping film wrapped foam bracket, this packaging form is low-cost equipment input and packaging application, the shortcoming is that there is no extension of shelf life for products.
Modified mixed gas prolongs the shelf life of fresh aquatic products. Usually with the increase of oxygen level to avoid the development of anaerobic microorganisms, polypropylene containers produced by pre-made trays or thermoforming stretch film packaging machines are used. High barrier film containing ethylene-vinyl alcohol copolymer is very suitable for long-term maintenance of gas mixtures in modified atmosphere packaging. At the same time, water absorbent pads are placed in the modified atmosphere packaging to remove excess liquid from fish and keep them sanitary and prolong shelf life.
Modified atmosphere packaging machines by SHANDONG Kangbeite Food Packaging Machinery Co., Ltd. includes 2 types of machines use pre-made trays, and 1 type of fully automatic thermoforming packaging machine for MAP packaging.
Semi-auto tray sealing machine for MAP modified atmosphere packaging
Inline automatic tray sealing machine for MAP modified atmosphere packaging
Thermoforming packaging machine for MAP modified atmosphere packaging
Skin packaging provides a more ornamental appearance except prolonging the shelf life of aquatic products. The upper film is wrapped around the product and the bottom sheet or tray like the second skin, and the outer packaging constitutes the high-tech packaging field.
5. Vertical packaging
Mainly used for frozen seafood, such as shellfish or crustaceans. Use vertical packing lines with multi-head scales and appropriate film.
6. Shrinkage packaging
Fish products can be preserved for a long time by freezing alone. However, in order to prevent pollution, storage and transportation, frozen fish can be packaged by semi-automatic or full-automatic film sealing packer (which can be combined with pallet) and thermal shrinkage tunnel.
Choosing Right Packaging Methods Suitable for Your Aquatic Products Business
Modified atmosphere packaging, VSP vacuum skin packaging, shrink bag packaging or simple wrapped film carrier packaging, all have their suitable aquatic products. If you mainly want to preserve the freshness of the aquatic, you can choose modified atmosphere packaging to keep fresh and shelf life for tens of days; if you are acquiring longer shelf life, you need to directly freeze the aquatic products and use vacuum packaging. For processed seafood products, you might concern with the convenience of the packages.
Deciding the packaging form is not a popular option, nor is it a way to save time and use low-cost packaging to apply high value-added products. The management concept suitable for your own fish is the basis for deciding which packaging form to choose.
NOTE: There are always various packaging methods for aquatic products, but the packaging needs to be strong enough to withstand the needs of the global seafood trade, while ensuring that the product is intact and reach the customers with perfect appearance.