Fresh fish and Seafood sectors demand flexible packaging solutions that guarantee products are marketed in a presentation that is appropriate for traditional products, in attractive and leak proof packages, and that most importantly assist shelf-life extension.
A packaging type that gains ground in retailing.
Foam tray, wrapped with stretch film, is often used. However, this packaging does not offer any special protection for the product.
Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) is used to prolong the life of fresh fish. Often with increased Oxygen levels to avoid the development of anaerobic microorganisms, although this is not necessary in oily fish (food technology should decide on each type of fish). Typically, PP containers, either preformed or produced by a thermoforming machine, are used. They do not have a high gas barrier, but they can prove to be effective in practice because of the limited lifetime of the fish. High-barrier PPs with EVOH are always best for long-term maintenance of the MAP gas mixture. High gas barrier trays are also CPET trays which can also be baked in the oven, and therefore are suitable for marinated fish or other ingredients, that is, a ready meal.
In order to use MAP, a high barrier film is necessary.
The above packaging method requires a tray sealer or thermoforming machine with MAP capability.
A fish fillet or whole fish can also be packed in a skin pack.
All of the above can be combined with an absorbent pad which will remove excess fluid from the package, thus helping hygiene and prolonging the product’s life. Besides “simple”, Kapelis packaging also offers pads with additional properties such as antimicrobial or odor absorbent, for remarkable, extra long shelf-life!
Extending the life of fresh fish is also achieved by vacuum packaging.
It requires a vacuum chamber as well as the appropriate bags. The addition of an absorbent pad can be applied to this technique, too.
It is noted that in a vacuum chamber gas can be injected after pumping air out.
Packaging in Envelops
Applied mainly to frozen seafood such as shellfish or crustaceans. Necessary equipment is a vertical packaging line with multihead weigher and the appropriate film
A variation of this type of packaging is the use of ready-to-use, printed or not printed bags that will be closed with a manual heat-sealer.
Freezing alone preserves fish or seafood for a long time. However, for reasons of protection from contamination, standardization, storage and transport, frozen fish can be packed into shrink film using the corresponding semi-automatic or automatic machine.
Fresh fish can also be packed in bags that go directly into the oven! Either unprocessed or marinated or with the addition of other ingredients, a ready meal is prepared in a ready-to-cook package. A variety of such bags are available depending on fish weight, hard bones, maximum baking temperature (2200C) or microwave use, home oven, sous vide or even grill!
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