Food packaging, obviously, needs to be as safe as it is appealing. Not to forget, the methods used for food processing outstandingly help in determining the packaging requirements and, even the food packaging designs. Take a trip down the shopping aisle and you will realize the fact that how far the packaging industry has come. Today, what attracts a customer is being greeted by innovative food packaging options at the store. You need to realize the fact that to choose the correct food packaging design and material for your food product, requires a lot of science, brainstorming, and consideration so as to make sure that when the product is picked by a customer, it isn’t perished.
Here are few food processing methods that you ought to know so that you can consider and judge your food product’s packaging design and material.
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Originally developed by NASA, this kind of food processing offers an effectual means of achieving complete shelf stability and it can be done with fairly simple equipment. In the process of retort sterilization, the food product is vacuum-sealed in a metal can or pouch so that it can be heated to immensely high temperatures to sterilize. When yo go for restoring, it ensures that the natural flavor of the product remains intact. However, the product will be packaged before it is being restored, hence you need to make sure that the packaging materials are heat and high-temperature resistant, but at the same time, it should be able to take on some mild temperature. Materials preferred might include glass containers, metal pouches, plastic pouches or cans made out of metal or plastic.
Aseptic food processing
In this kind of food processing, the food product is exposed to ultra-high heat, right after which they are cooled down instantly. Aseptic food processing helps in keeping the food safe, fresh and flavorful for up to six months — without any preservatives or refrigeration. Once the food product cools down, it is placed in sterilized packaging which is then corked in a barren surrounding. You can opt for some rigid containers or simply plain cartons so that you don’t lose out on space and money.
Microwave-assisted thermal sterilization
This process can be regarded as a new and yet enhanced approach to retort sterilization. Microwave-assisted thermal sterilization concisely plunges packaged food in pressurized hot water which is heated by microwaves and then immediately cooled down. If you wish to preserve the flavor, nutrients, and texture of the color better, then you can opt for Microwave-assisted thermal sterilization. When packaging materials are considered for this process, you can go for high-barrier plastic pouches and trays that are microwave-resistant.
The packaged foods are firstly placed in a high-pressure container which is usually filled with water when this process is considered. The container is then pressurized to 145,023 pounds per square inch for approximately 5 minutes. Make sure that you use flexible packaging for this kind of food processed foods because of the rigid ones are a big no!
High-intensity light pulse processing
When high-intensity light pulse food processing is to be opted, all you have to know is that it is a non-thermal food processing method, wherein microorganisms are inactivated on the surfaces of foods as well as packaging materials along with the pulses of UV light. Whenever high-intensity light pulse food processing is implemented on food products, make sure that you opt for packaging material that turns out to be transparent to allow UV light to permeate.