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Meat Packaging. Product Requirements 1. fresh --- uncured, uncooked, not frozen a. distribution good oxygen barrier good water barrier sealable thermoforms (heat shrink) to reduce purge and adjust to size puncture, tear resistant EVA/PVDC/EVA -- typical. b. retail.

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Meat packaging
Meat Packaging

  • Product Requirements

    1. fresh --- uncured, uncooked, not frozen

    a. distribution

    • good oxygen barrier

    • good water barrier

    • sealable

    • thermoforms (heat shrink) to reduce purge and adjust to size

    • puncture, tear resistant

    • EVA/PVDC/EVA -- typical


B retail
b. retail

  • highly oxygen permeable…or impermeable with CO, NO

  • good water barrier

  • sealable

  • clear, glossy

  • tamper, handling resistant

  • PVC typical

    • unique idea is Cryovac’speelable

  • nitrite-containing film (very low nitrite, no “cure”)

    • oxygen and water barrier, high vacuum, “fresh”

      product

      NOTE: any oxygen-free packaging of fresh meat will

      increase shelf life by 5X (from 7 days to 35 days or more)


2 fresh cooked packaged after cooked slicing
2. fresh, cooked-packaged after cooked, slicing

  • good barrier for both oxygen and water --- some may include aluminum foil and may include oxygen absorbers --- to prevent WOF and rancid flavors

  • nylon/PVDC/nylon/EVA typical

    “Cook-in” films

    • good barrier as above

    • adhesion properties for product surface to prevent cook purge

    • Surlyn ionomers typical


3 fresh frozen i e poultry
3. fresh, frozen (i.e. poultry)

  • good oxygen barrier, medium water barrier at freezer temperature

  • shrinkable (prevent frost-recrystallization)

  • PE is typical


4 cured cooked
4. cured, cooked

  • good barrier to oxygen and water

  • sealable and resealable

  • thermoformable

  • puncture, tear, tamper resistant

  • clear, glossy

  • nylon/PVDC/PE typical


Packaging films
Packaging films

  • suppliers must provide user with a “Letter of Guaranty” which shows that the film complies with FDA and USDA requirements for end use. An upper limit of temperature is included to insure no migration of film components to product.

    • this is a current limitation for irradiation processing. FDA approves packaging films and only Cryovac’s ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA) is approved for e-beam processing


films may be obtained as bags, pouches, roll stock, etc., virtually all are “laminates” or “coextrusions” and combinations of the basic film types


Permeability is measured methods by astm
permeability is measured (methods by ASTM) virtually all are “laminates” or “coextrusions” and combinations of the basic film types

  • for gases (usually oxygen)cc/sq m/24 hrs at 1 atm, 23oC, 0% RH

  • for water vaporg/sq m/24 hrs at 1 atm, 38oC, 100% RH

  • typical levels would be

    • fresh meat (retail) - 5000 cc

      • distribution (vacuum) - less than 30-40 cc

    • cooked or cooked, cured

      • less than 10-15 cc


  • Also measure
    also measure virtually all are “laminates” or “coextrusions” and combinations of the basic film types

    • mechanical strength

      1. tensile strength

      2. puncture resistance

      3. elongation (stretching)

    • optical properties

      • clarity (haze) and gloss

      • use devices with 45 degree angle (specular angle)


    Barrier properties also important to modified atmosphere map systems
    Barrier properties also important to modified virtually all are “laminates” or “coextrusions” and combinations of the basic film types atmosphere (MAP) systems

    • carbon dioxide (vacuum packed fresh meat is actually a carbon dioxide atmosphere) , nitrogen, oxygen, carbon monoxide


    Other factors to consider for barrier properties
    Other factors to consider for barrier properties virtually all are “laminates” or “coextrusions” and combinations of the basic film types

    1. film thickness

    • most are 1-4 mil (0.001 inch) thick

    • gauge = 1/100 mil (50 gauge = 0.5 mil)

      2. temperature

    • permeability increases as temperature increases


    • 3. relative humidity virtually all are “laminates” or “coextrusions” and combinations of the basic film types

    • 100% for package containing fresh meat


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