After more than 35 years in food processing, I have seen many advancements in the industry, particularly in the flexible packaging of food products.
Flexible packaging should continue to grow, according to many market researchers. To cite just one, The Freedonia Group predicts that demand in the U.S. will increase more than three percent annually until it hits nearly $21 billion in 2019.
These projections include many forms of packaging, such as bags and several styles of pouches. My own experience shows that one of the most effective means of producing flexible packaging is the use of roll stock. That is an overall term in flexible packaging that refers to the engineered film used on form-fill-seal packaging machines.
Roll stock may take different forms, as it is engineered specifically to the chemical properties of the product it contains (e.g., acidic or caustic), the sensitivity of the product to oxygen, moisture or light, and the physical strength required of the package.
Here is my list of reasons — a fast five! — that show why I think roll stock is so effective in flexible packaging.
1. Lower costs —Depending on the volume produced, rollstock can reduce the cost of the packaging significantly because the form-fill-seal machine makes the bag in line and produces less waste.
2. Oxygen ingress — Pierce-at-first-use taps and fitments, such as we make here at Fres-co, can be applied efficiently to the outside of a bag that is being created from rollstock to help block the entry of oxygen.
3. Faster speed — You can produce more packages per minute using roll stock on a form-fill-seal machine than you can compared to making preformed pouches.
4. Superior graphic reproduction — In this time when branding is so important, the vivid colors and clarity of rotogravure printing on roll stock just can’t be beat. It can help make your packages jump out to your customers’ eyes. (Customers who buy bags and pouches made from Fres-co rollstock also receive this particular benefit.)
5. Appropriateness to aseptic processing — Roll stock is particularly well suited for aseptic processing because this material can be sterilized more easily through a peroxide bath. You can’t sterilize a preformed pouch so easily because you can’t be sure that the sterilant is getting into the corners of the seals.
My advice to food processing professionals is to consider seriously these considerable advantages of roll stock when making their packaging decisions.
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