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Factors Affecting the Shelf Life of Foods

Protecting any food for a certain time of period without any change on its quality, freshness and taste is one of the biggest question for human beings since beginning of the history. Together with the modern manufacturing methods, innovations on polymers and packaging materials as well as logistic networks enable us to offer all types of plant and animal products in their raw or processed state from all regions of the country, continent and other continents together which results in a wide variety of products being available to the consumer.

A couple of hours, several months or even years can pass from the time of harvest or production until a food is consumed. This is however, usually just a matter of a couple days or several weeks. In general, foods consist of numerous ingredients, most of which have a relatively low chemical stability otherwise they could not be digested. These foods are exposed to numerous spoilage possibilities and one of the most important factors leading to longer shelf lives is their packaging. There are ofcourse different types of packaging methods one of which is thermoforming packaging.

In thermoforming packaging a plastic roll is first formed and then the food put inside the formed tray and after that the tray is sealed. In this packaging process there are some major factors affecting the shelf life one of which is the interaction between the plastic film (package) and the food. The term interaction encompasses the sum of all mass transports from the package into the food as well as mass transport in the opposite direction. The mass transfers, often coupled with chemical reactions, lead to quality changes in the food and packaging material.

Further, the plastic film material should be as reliable as much in terms of oxygen barrier. Oxygen is one of the most important factor in decomposition of the food and ability of not allowing oxygen passing inside the package is always very importan criteria for film material.

In addition to plastic film, there are some other factors affecting the shelf life of the product like gaseous atmosphere, storage temperature, and relative humidity.

In modified atmosphere packaging, there is gasous injected inside the pack at a certain level to increase the shelf life of the product. This is in general nitrogen or carbon dioxide, sometimes it may be oxygen as well.

The other way is making only vacuum means sucking the air out from the pack, this is also a good method to keep the food at a certain quality for sometime however the shelf life will be shorter than modified atmosphere packaging in this case.

With its strong engineering, Cehuma offers the best optimum shelf life solution for your products. Please get in touch with our team for further information.
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