The food packaging film sector is characterized by a constant search for ensuring the quality and safety of packaged products. In this context, barrier material plays a fundamental role as an essential component in protecting the products.
The importance of barrier material in food packaging
Firstly, it’s important to understand what barrier material exactly means In simple terms, barrier material is a layer or laminate used in food packaging that provides additional protection against moisture, oxygen, light, and other external factors that can affect the quality and shelf life of products.
Barrier material acts as a physical barrier between the content of the package and the external environment. For example, it can prevent moisture from entering the package, which is especially crucial for dry foods such as cookies or cereals that might lose their texture. Similarly, barrier material can prevent the entry of oxygen or the escape of inert gas if applied as an additional product during packaging to extend the product’s shelf life, helping to maintain the freshness of perishable products such as meat, fish, or dairy products.
How to select the appropriate barrier material?
When selecting the appropriate barrier material for food packaging, it is essential to consider several key factors that influence the protection and quality of the products.
- Evaluate the product’s needs: It’s crucial to understand the specific characteristics and requirements of the food. To achieve this, you must determine if the product is sensitive to moisture, oxygen, light, among others, and what levels of protection are needed. By conducting this evaluation, you can identify the most suitable barrier material type to preserve it optimally.
- Consider barrier properties: Each barrier material has different properties against external factors. Its design should have the ability not only to protect against oxygen, moisture, and light but also to prevent the transfer of aromas and flavors, block UV radiation, or prevent the oxidation of fats and oils.
- Analyze shelf life and storage conditions: Some foods have a longer shelf life and may require a higher barrier to maintain quality over an extended period. Additionally, consider whether the products will be stored in controlled temperature or humidity conditions, which can influence the choice of barrier material.
- Research regulations and standards: It is essential to ensure that the barrier material complies with applicable local and international regulations and standards for food packaging. Check for any restrictions on components or additives used in the barrier material and ensure it meets food safety standards.
- Work with reliable and specialized suppliers: The choice of packaging material supplier is crucial. Look for reliable and experienced suppliers in the food packaging sector. A quality supplier can provide advice and a wide range of barrier material options.