Category Archives: Thermoform Packaging

Modified Atmosphere Packaging: 5 Helpful Facts

Worried about shelf life? If you are in the specialty food industry, extending shelf life is probably something you think about every day. Modified atmosphere packaging is a solution that might be exactly what you need to preserve and protect your food product, keeping it fresh for as long as possible. Here are a few quick facts about this type of packaging.

1. Modified Atmosphere Packaging Keeps Oxygen Out
While oxygen is essential for humankind, its effect on food products is not quite as positive. By removing oxygen from a package, you can extend the shelf life of that item by days or weeks. In addition to keeping oxygen out, other gases are added to further preserve the look and quality of the food item. For instance, carbon dioxide might be added as a preserving gas or perhaps nitrogen.

The type of gas that is used in your packaging will depend upon the type of food product that you sell. For instance, dried food products such as pasta or dried fruit as well as fresh fruit and vegetables will be treated with nitrogen. Fresh pasta, soft cheeses, cooked meats, raw oily fish and raw poultry as well as ready-made meals might be treated with a combination of carbon dioxide and nitrogen. Bakery goods and hard cheeses might need only carbon dioxide to help extend their shelf life and freshness.

2. Modified Atmosphere Packaging Is Not New
While advancements in modified atmosphere packaging are being made all of the time, this idea behind this type of packaging is not a new one. In the 1930s, carbon dioxide was pumped into food storage rooms on ships to prolong the life of fruits and vegetables. The first modified atmosphere packages hit store shelves back in the 1970s, primarily to prolong the life of different cuts of meat. Today, of course, we use modified atmosphere packaging for a much wider variety of fresh and dried foods.

3. Modified Atmosphere Packaging Works For Many Products
While you might associate modified atmosphere packaging with products such as hamburger, steak and other raw meat and poultry, it can be used for many other products. This includes luncheon meats and cured meats, seafood, hard and soft cheeses, grated cheeses, fresh and dried pasta and all types of vegetables and fruits. Pre-packaged sandwiches and ready meals also can be preserved with this type of packaging, and even some bakery goods.

4. The Added Costs Can Be Well Worth It
While using modified atmosphere packaging can be a pricier option at the outset, allowing foods to enjoy a longer shelf life can be cost-saving in general. After all, if your meat once had a shelf life of just five days and we could double that time or extend it even further, then you have the opportunity to sell your product for a longer stretch of time. Additionally, with the extended shelf life, you can ship your product further than ever before, extending your market.

5. Modified Atmosphere Packaging Is A Healthier Choice
Modified atmosphere packaging is a healthier choice for the consumer as well as for the planet. This type of packaging reduces food waste, which a huge benefit. Additionally, with modified atmosphere packaging, the use of artificial preservatives is not as necessary, which makes your product a healthier option for consumers.

If you are interested in learning more about modified atmosphere packaging as well as our many other specialty foods packaging options, give the team at Indepak at call at any time. Since 1967, we have served the specialty food market by providing high-quality custom packaging and thermoform trays.

Wholesale Packaging: 4 Easy Ways To Cut Costs

Every product deserves a great package, but you also don’t want your packaging expenses to eat up your budget. At Indepak, we’ve compiled some simple ways to reduce the costs associated with your wholesale packaging, including the following:

1. Use Inexpensive Materials
At Indepak, we use a wide range of thermoform plastics to create wholesale packaging. One of the perks of using thermoplastics is the cost, as these materials are some of the most affordable packaging materials available. Our thermoforming equipment can process materials such as PET, PETG, ABS, PVC, HDPE and even starch-based bioplastics to name a few. This allows us to meet the packaging and budgetary needs of a wide range of clients from many different industries, including the food & beverage industry, medical & pharmaceutical industries and the electronics industry. We also can design affordable packaging for virtually any retail product, from tools to office supplies to personal care items.

2. Use Lightweight Materials
Thermoform plastics are not just affordable materials, they also are very lightweight. Heavier materials cost more to ship, and shipping costs easily eat up your budget, so it just makes sense to look for the lightest materials possible. Using lightweight materials as well as lightweight protective packaging materials, such as packing peanuts, plastic air pillows or bubble wrap can help keep shipping as affordable as possible.

3. Reduce Your Packaging Size
With the use of thermoform plastic materials, your wholesale packaging doesn’t have to be huge in order to be highly protective. Many thermoform plastics are very strong, which eliminates the need to create excess packaging. When you use fewer materials to create your packaging, this automatically saves you some money. With smaller packaging, you can ship more units per box, which also can reduce your shipping costs. Our team of designers will look for creative ways to create packaging that uses as little material as possible while still protecting your product and displaying it in an attractive way.

4. Improve Your Shipping Strategies
Aside from reducing packaging sizes and packaging weight, there are a few other ways to reduce your shipping costs. At Indepak, we can help by offering you packaging fulfilment, inventory management and shipping services. In this way, we provide a total solution for each of our clients, from product design to shipping. Using just one company for multiple services can help you save time and money.

If you wish to handle shipping yourself, consider getting quotes from multiple shipping companies and shopping for a company that offers competitive rates with reliable service. Consider being flexible about shipping times, as well. For instance, you might normally send out shipments during normal business hours, but so do hundreds of other companies. If you can ship out your product early in the morning or later at night, this can save money.

Once you settle on a shipping company, be sure to maximize your costs with that company. For instance, you might either consider using their packaging materials or ensuring that your packaging material won’t incur dimensional fees simply because they are a slightly different size than the packaging used by your shipping company. After all, actual weight and dimensional weight are two completely different kettles of fish. Do whatever you can to reduce both the actual and dimensional weights of your product and you will save money.

Another tip to consider would be to invest in third-party insurance. While a shipping carrier might provide insurance, this can be more expensive than simply finding an independent insurance company to cover the cost of your items, particularly if you product is an expensive item.

If you need wholesale packaging, the team at Indepak is here to help. We can design any size or shape of packaging that you might need for just about any product imaginable. Our goal is to consistently provide our customers with high-quality packaging on time and on budget, and we will do our best to help you reduce your wholesale packaging costs.

Compostable Packaging & Composting Facts

If you are searching for sustainable packaging options, one possibility you might consider would be compostable packaging. This can be a very eco-friendly choice, however, it is one of the newer sustainable options available to manufacturers, so many people don’t know a lot about compostable packaging or compostable materials in general.

Before we delve into the world of compostable packaging, many people are confused about the differences between biodegradable packaging and compostable packaging. In some cases, biodegradable packaging might be compostable, but this is not always true. Some biodegradable packaging must be sent to a special facility where it undergoes a biodegradation process.

Compostable packaging is packaging that will break down or biodegrade, but compostable indicates that your packaging probably can be placed in curbside green waste containers along with other compostable materials. Neither biodegradable packaging nor compostable packaging can be placed in standard recycling bins nor should they go into a landfill. Neither of these types of packaging can break down, or biodegrade, in a landfill, as the conditions in landfill are not conducive to the process of biodegradation.

There are many exciting advancements being made in the world of compostable packaging. For instance, one company is developing compostable plastic film that will biodegrade when it is placed with other organic waste in a compost bin or at a composting facility. This plastic film can be used to make grocery bags, plastic wrap and other similar items. Interestingly enough, this plastic film is derived from petrochemical polymers and not natural materials, as you might think.

Some starch-based bioplastics are compostable and can be an excellent option for your custom plastic packaging. There are many benefits to using these types of plastics, particularly if you select compostable varieties of bioplastic. For instance, these plastics are made using renewable sources, they do biodegrade if placed in a composting facility, and they still produce a quality product.

A few of the most common types of bioplastics include items made from bamboo, hemp or perhaps polylactic acid (PLA), which is derived from sources such as sugar cane or corn starch. Again, not all of these materials, even those that are plant-based, are compostable.

In addition to compostable packaging, many other items are compostable and often can be placed in a curbside green waste bin. Most people with green waste bins understand that grass clippings, leaves and some plants can be placed in these bins, but there are many other items that should be placed in these bins and kept out of landfills.

For instance, any vegetable or fruit scraps you might have can go into the green waste bin. Cardboard, such as pizza boxes, often can be placed in these bins. Cooked rice or pasta and stale bread all can be placed in a green waste trash can. Coffee grounds and loose leaf tea also can be placed in these bins. Beyond that, every community seems to have different rules and restrictions regarding green waste, and consumers are encouraged to go online and check out their local regulations.

If you are interested in learning more about compostable packaging and what your options might be, give us a call at Indepak. In addition to offering starch-based bioplastics, we also might have several other sustainable options that might be of interest to you.

Clamshell Packaging: Choosing Sustainable Options

The clamshell is one of the most versatile types of packaging and can be used with a wide range of retail and food-related products. When a new client contacts us about a packaging project, their three main concerns tend to be affordability, production time and sustainability. Our goal is always to provide a total solution for each client, addressing all of these concerns. When it comes to eco-friendly clamshell packaging, we offer many sustainable options, including the following.

Easy-To-Recycle Materials
Virtually every material we use at Indepak is recyclable. Our facility includes multiple lines of high-speed thermoforming equipment, and this allows us to process a variety of thermoform plastic materials. Plastics such as PET, LDPE and HDPE are accepted by most curbside recycling programs in the United States. Selecting highly recyclable materials makes it easy for consumers to simply toss your package into the recycling bin after it has been used.

Post-Consumer Materials & Recycled Content
We also can create clamshell packaging using post-consumer grade materials, and well as pre-consumer materials. Post-consumer materials are plastics that have been used by consumers and were then recycled for a new use.

Pre-consumer materials are plastics that have not been used by consumers, typically manufacturing waste. For instance, perhaps a factory uses shrink wrap to cover products. Any shrink wrap that is recycled and not used to cover products would be pre-consumer materials. Aside from plastics, some examples of pre-consumer waste might be sawdust or perhaps fabric trimmed off clothing in a textile mill.

When we create clamshell packaging, we feed large sheets of plastic into our thermoforming equipment. This plastic is heated, molded into your package shape and excess plastic is trimmed away. This excess plastic is known as a web, and we ensure that all excess plastic and webs are recycled and used again for a future project. This material is technically being recycled but does not fall under the category of pre-consumer materials because it remains in our facility and is reused. If there are materials that we send away for recycling, this would fall under the guise of pre-consumer materials.

As we design your clamshell packaging, we can discuss the amount of recycled content to be included in your project. In some cases, 100% of the packaging will be created using recycled content, while in other cases, it might be less and some new materials may be used. Your packaging also might include a mix of pre-consumer and post-consumer materials.

Starch-Based Bio-Materials
Most thermoform plastics are by-products of petroleum, and while we can recycle these plastics again and again, petroleum is not a renewable resource. Therefore, bio-based and renewable plastics have been developed to fulfill our need for sustainable packaging materials. Some of these starch-based bio-materials are biodegradable and some are compostable. Compostable plastics usually can be placed in a consumer’s green waste container, but should not be placed in the recycling bin.

Of course, we also reduce waste in general through our design process. We ensure that each package carefully protects and preserves your product, but does not include any unnecessary extra packaging. When we feed sheets of thermoform plastic through our thermoforming machines, we also strive to use as much of the plastic sheet as possible, reducing the amount of web material left over.

In addition to producing clamshell packaging, we also can design and create all types of blister packaging, thermoform trays, containers with lids and much more. We offer sustainable options for every type of packaging we create, so be sure to ask about the many eco-friendly choices available when you contact us.

Thermoform Plastic: 14 Items Made From Recycled Plastic

Recycle. Renew. Reuse. These are the three R’s of sustainability and it might surprise you to learn that this environmental mantra dates back to the early 1970s. The first Earth Day was held in April, 1970, and it was around this time that this phrase first was uttered. Here at Indepak, we work with one of the world’s most easily recyclable materials – thermoform plastics. Once it’s recycled, companies around the world can transform this used material into the following products.

1. New Packaging
Many of our clients ask us to make their packaging using recycled plastics, and this is often an excellent option. Post-consumer and pre-consumer plastics can be recycled to make many different types of packaging as well as thermoform trays.

2. Playground Equipment
In the past, playground equipment was crated out of metal and wood, which could rust and warp. Using recycled plastics, such as detergent containers or milk bottles, these materials can be transformed into slides, playhouses and much more.

3. Clothing
Did you know that just about one dozen plastic water bottles can be transformed into enough plastic fiber to make a t-shirt? If you think plastic clothing sounds odd, consider fabrics such as Nylon, Dacron and Spandex, all of which are synthetic fibers.

4. Furniture
Plastic lawn furniture, park benches, picnic tables and other pieces of furniture can be created using recycled thermoform plastic. In fact, there are several companies that specialize in creating attractive outdoor furniture from thermoform plastics such as HDPE milk jugs. Unlike wood, which can splinter and warp, and metal, which can rust, these plastic furnishings have a far longer life.

5. Tote Bags
There are several companies out there that transform plastic grocery bags and plastic bottles into cute re-usable totes and lunch bags.

6. Purses & Wallets
In addition to basic totes, several companies also create stylish purses and wallets using recycled thermoform plastic, such as plastic grocery bags.

7. Pens
If you head to an office supply store, you are sure to notice that some of the pens that you can buy are made out of recycled plastic bottles.

8. Sports Uniforms
Nike, which produces the uniforms for the United States’ national soccer team, created these uniforms using fibers from recycled plastic bottles. According to Nike, using these bottles has ensured that more than three million bottles were reused rather than ending up in landfills.

9. Toys
There are a few companies out there that are now producing toys using recycled milk jugs and other types of thermoform plastics.

10. Buckets
Several types of plastic can be recycled and then used to make all types and sizes of buckets, for holding paint, water and whatever else you might need to carry.

11. Carpeting
Many brands of carpet are created using plastic fibers, and there are some companies out there that are now using recycled thermoform plastic to create these fibers for both carpet and rugs.

12. Sleeping Bag Insulation
If you’ve ever camped out in cold weather, but stayed toasty warm in your sleeping bag, you may have thermoform plastic to thank for that good night’s sleep. While using synthetics to make sleeping bags is very common, several companies are now making sleeping bags with insulation made from recycled plastic.

13. Doormats
If you search for recycled doormats, you will find a variety of highly attractive mats that anyone would be happy to place at their front door to welcome guests. These mats are made from everything from old flip flops to plastic bottles.

14. Crafts
If you do a quick internet search, you can find hundreds of clever craft projects that help consumers reuse their thermoform plastics. We’ve seen everything from lamps to planters to bird feeders and much more.

These are just a few of the products that can be created using recycled thermoform plastics. If you do need thermoform plastic packaging, give us a call today. We have many sustainable options that might fit your needs and budget.

Thermoform Packaging: 4 Facts About HDPE

At Indepak, our thermoforming equipment is capable of processing a wide range of materials. If you are searching for a cost-effective, sustainable thermoform packaging, one material you might consider is high-density polyethylene, or HDPE. Here are a few helpful facts about HDPE and why it might be a good fit for your packaging needs.

1. HDPE Can Be Recycled
Many of our clients ask about sustainability as soon as we sit down and discuss a packaging project. We have many sustainable options, and this includes providing our clients with thermoform packaging materials that can be recycled. Most of the materials we use are recyclable and HDPE is no exception.

2. HDPE Is Easy To Recycle
Not only is HDPE recyclable, of all the many thermoform plastics available for packaging, HDPE is one of the easiest to recycle. Each plastic is designated with a special resin identification code, and HDPE’s code is the number two. You can find this code on plastic bottles and packages surrounded by a triangle. Virtually all curbside recycling programs in the United States accept HDPE, making it easy for consumers to recycle by simply tossing a used HDPE package into their recycling bin. While most thermoform plastics can be recycled, HDPE and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) are the two materials that are nearly always accepted at recycling centers.

3. HDPE Is Durable & Lightweight
One of the reasons why many of our customers select HDPE is the durability factor. HDPE is extremely impact-resistant, protecting your product if it is jostled around during transport or dropped off a shelf. For instance, HDPE is often used to make pipes because it is more durable than PVC and much lighter than concrete or metal pipes. Additionally, HDPE is moisture resistant and stain resistant, which also protects your products.

While HDPE is highly durable, it’s also very lightweight, which helps reduce your shipping and transportation costs. We can design HDPE packaging that fits around your product exactly with little extra material. This allows you to pack more units into each shipping box or container, further reduces your transportation and handling costs.

4. HDPE Can Be Used For Many Products
In addition to thermoform packaging and products such as food storage containers and plastic bottles, HDPE is used to create many other products. Plastic furniture and 3-D printer filament are two examples, and borated HDPE can be used in nuclear power plants, on nuclear submarines and in cancer treatment centers as it blocks harmful radiation. While your product probably doesn’t need thermoform packaging that can withstand nuclear radiation, this simply exemplifies the durability and chemical-resistance of HDPE. HDPE also has been approved by the FDA for direct-contact use with food products and beverages. For instance, plastic milk bottles often are crafted out of HDPE, as well as bottle caps for soda, water and other beverages.

While HDPE can be a good choice for some types of thermoform packaging, we also use many other materials, including PET, PETG, PVC, ABS and even starch-based bioplastics. Our team of designers will study your product carefully and determine which type of plastic best suits your needs and budget. If you are in the market for any type of thermoform packaging, contact us today and we will get started designing a custom packaging solution just for you.

Retail Product Packaging & 5 Facts About Sustainability

Retail product packaging and sustainability can go hand in hand, and while you might not immediately think about thermoform plastics as an option, these materials are more eco-friendly than you might imagine. At Indepak, our goal is to produce the highest quality packaging with the least environmental impact, so here are a few facts that highlight how we can create sustainable packaging options for you.

1. Less Is More
While some packaging materials might seem more eco-friendly, you often must use more of these materials to create a package that protects your product. With thermoform plastics, we can design a package that surrounds your product precisely, eliminating the need for excess packaging.

The light weight of thermoform plastics also should be factored into the overall sustainability of these materials. Because the items are lighter with less packaging, you can transport more units in a single shipment, which reduces the amount of energy needed for transportation.

2. Combination Designs Can Help
While we often create retail product packaging entirely out of thermoform plastic, we also can incorporate other materials into the design. We often create packaging that includes plastic as well as paperboard or pulp. For instance, there are many types of blister packaging that incorporate paperboard and plastic, and these blister packs are one of the most common types of retail product packaging. We can create many different blisters, including trap blisters, face seal blisters and more.

3. Using Post-Consumer Materials
When you talk about recycling, reusing and renewing, it is important to note that virtually all of the materials we use are recyclable, but we also offer the option of using renewed materials. We can create retail product packaging that includes post-consumer materials, and these materials are just as protective and strong as materials that have not yet been used by consumers.

4. Starch-Based Biomaterials Are An Option
Using renewable resources to create plastic has been around for some time, and we can create packaging using starch-based bioplastics. While these plastics are not suitable for use as packaging for every type of product, it might be an option for you and our equipment is capable of processing these eco-friendly materials.

5. Food Products & MAP: Keeping Foods Fresh
When we think about waste and sustainability in regard to packaging, we often simply think about the materials used for the packaging. But what about the product itself? If you need retail product packaging for any type of fresh specialty food, a longer shelf life can translate to less food waste. With modified atmosphere packaging, your specialty food item will stay fresh much longer than it would with conventional food packaging.

No matter what product you might have, Indepak can design custom retail product packaging that fits your needs and budget. We can design innovative packaging for office supplies, tools, beauty & cosmetic items, toys, batteries, specialty foods, electronics and much more. Our innovative design team is ready to help you at any time, so feel free to contact Indepak today.

The Blister Pack: 7 Facts You Need To Know

Over the course of the last 50 years, we have designed a variety of blister packs for our clients. The blister pack is the ideal packaging for a wide variety of products, from medicines to small tools to office supplies and well beyond. Here are a few quick facts about blister packs and our services.

1. Blisters Packs Can Be Your Most Affordable Packaging Option
Thermoform plastics, which is what we use to create blister packs, are some of the world’s most affordable packaging materials. Using other types of materials can be quite costly, and thermoform plastics provide you with an easy way to reduce your packaging costs. Additionally, the light weight of these materials will lower your shipping and transportation costs.

2. Trap Blisters Are A Common Type Of Blister Pack
The blister pack is a versatile style of packaging with many options. For instance, you might want to place your product in a trap blister, which includes a piece of thermoplastic slightly larger than your product. After your product is placed in the blister cavity, the blister is “trapped” between two pieces of sturdy paperboard with a die cut that displays your product.

3. Face Seals Can Be An Economical Option
A face seal features a molded thermoform plastic front that fits over your product. This plastic is then sealed to a card. The plastic will surround the product, but not the entire surface of the card. You often see items such as lip balm, toothbrushes, glue sticks, lighters, cosmetics and other lightweight items in these type of blisters. This type of blister is often less expensive than other types of blister packaging, although, no matter what type of packaging you select, we do our best to stay within your budget, while providing you with the best possible packaging option.

4. Other Face Seal Options Are Available
In addition to the basic face seal blister pack, you also could opt for what is known as a full-face seal blister. With a basic face seal blister, the product is surrounded by plastic and sealed to the card, but the card is not entirely covered by the plastic. With a full-face seal blister pack, the plastic extends all the way to the edge of the paperboard, providing a bit of extra protection.

5. Clamshells Are An Option
When a blister pack folds onto itself via a hinge at one end, this is known as a clamshell package. These can be a great option for many products, providing a high level of security, from tampering as well as moisture. We can produce any size or shape of clamshell packaging you might need, and can provide several sealing options, as well. We also can create thermoform trays that fit perfectly into a clamshell package, and this can be a great option for a product with multiple parts. The cavities of the tray will fit each part perfectly, keeping it safe until it is purchased by a customer.

6. Blister Packs Can Be A Sustainable Choice
Because a blister pack often features a combination design that includes both thermoplastic as well as paperboard or pulp, we can reduce the amount of plastic needed for your packaging. Additionally, we often can use post-consumer grade materials to create your blister pack. Furthermore, our designers will work to create a package with little excess material, fitting over each part of your product perfectly. Keep in mind, that virtually all the materials we use at Indepak are recyclable, and consumers can simply place your package in their home recycling bin when they no longer need the packaging.

7. We Use A Variety Of Materials & Equipment
At Indepak, we can create your blister packaging using many different materials. Our facility includes multiple lines of high-speed thermoforming equipment, which is capable of processing materials such as PET, PETG, LDPE, PP, ABS and much more. This variety of equipment allows us to the meet the packaging needs of clients from many different industries. If you need a blister pack, give us a call today and we can get started on your unique project.

Packaging Companies & Bioplastics: What You Need To Know

Bioplastics. Biodegradable. Eco-Friendly. We hear these words all the time from our customers seeking the most sustainable packaging solutions. During the last few decades, packaging companies have been able to offer more and more sustainable options and Indepak is no exception. Here are some facts that will help you better understand the types of eco-friendly options you have for your packaging.

Bioplastics: What Does It Mean?
Bioplastics, in a nutshell, are plastic that are created using renewable, bio-based materials, such as starch. Using bioplastics reduces the need for fossil fuels, which is the source of most non-bio-based plastics. These days, everyone is looking for ways to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and searching instead for renewable options.

Biodegradable/Compostable/Recyclable: What’s The Difference?
People often mistakenly believe that all bioplastics will biodegrade or are compostable, but this is not always the case. Bioplastics are plastics that are either produced using bio-based content or plastics that are biodegradable or both. In some cases, your bioplastic might feature bio-based content, but it doesn’t biodegrade. In some cases, a bioplastic might be compostable, but this also is not always the case. And, in some cases, a bioplastic is not recyclable.

Biodegradable plastics are those which, over a given period of time, will biodegrade. Often people believe that biodegradable plastics can be placed in landfills, where they will break down over time, but this is not the case. These plastics must be disposed of separately from regular landfill trash. Just like all other types of plastic, biodegradable plastic should not be placed in a regular trash bin.

Compostable plastics are similar to biodegradable plastics in that these materials also will not break down if simply placed in a landfill. These types of plastics need to be taken to proper composting facilities and there are commercial composting facilities all over the United States that can process these materials.

Recyclable plastics include a wide variety of options. In fact, virtually all of the materials we use are recyclable. By using materials such as PET and HDPE, which are accepted by virtually all curbside recycling programs in the United States, you make it easy for your customers to simply toss plastic packaging into a recycling bin, where it can be reused to make something else.

Other Sustainable Options
Packaging companies can create many distinct types of packaging using bioplastics, compostable plastics, recyclable plastics and biodegradable plastics, but this is not the only way to improve sustainability.

For instance, at Indepak, we can create combination designs that include plastic and paper or pulp, to reduce the amount of plastic needed for each package. We also can create packaging using post-consumer grade materials, which is another sustainable option you might consider.

Our design team also works diligently to ensure that we use the smallest amount material necessary to surround and protect a product and that we waste as little material as possible during the creation process.

To create plastic packaging, large thin sheets of thermoform plastic are fed into thermoforming equipment. The machines transform these sheets of plastic into your packaging, and the excess plastic, or web, is trimmed away. Our goal is always to create a design that reduces the amount of “web” produced. Of course, any leftover materials are immediately recycled and transformed into something else.

If you are searching for packaging companies that can provide you with sustainable options, the team at Indepak is ready to help. We are a low-waste operation in every part of our company. We are an ISO-certified company and consistently go beyond ISO 14001 requirements to ensure that we minimize our impact on the environment.

Food Packaging: Facts About Modified Atmosphere Packaging

In ancient times, preserving food was highly difficult, but as the years progressed, food packaging has evolved, keeping foods fresh and safe for days, weeks and even months. We create many different types of food packaging here at Indepak, and one option to consider would be modified atmosphere packaging.

Modified atmosphere packaging, or MAP, is an excellent option for fresh foods. This includes items such as fresh meat and processed meat (lunch meat, hot dogs, bacon, etc.), cheeses, fresh pastas, seafood, microwavable meals (AKA – TV dinners), fresh vegetables, fresh fruits and more.

How It Works
Creating this type of food packaging is a sophisticated process that involves matching the specific food item to a particular gas or a combination of gases. These gases work to preserve the food and provide manufacturers and consumers with longer shelf lives. The gas mixture depends entirely on the type of food that is being packaged. For instance, the gases used to preserve fruits and vegetables differ from those used to preserve a steak or hamburger.

It might surprise you to learn that this is not a new process at all. We have been using gases to ripen fruit and adding gases, such as carbon monoxide to large food storage containers, since the early 1930s. This allowed foods to be shipped great distances without spoilage. Today, the MAP production process is much more sophisticated, and we use other gases than just CO2, such as oxygen and nitrogen.

MAP Vs. Air-Packed
Freshness can be doubled and in some cases tripled with the use of MAP for your food packaging. For instance, raw fish might last only two or three days when air-packed, but with MAP, this shelf life can extend to more than one week. For items such as hard cheeses, you can extend the shelf life from about three weeks with an air-packed wrap to as long as perhaps nine or 10 weeks with MAP. Delicate items such as salad greens can increase their shelf life from a mere four of five days up to as much as 10 days or longer with MAP.

Your MAP Options
When we design food packaging, we pay attention to a wide variety of factors. It all begins by selecting materials suitable for food contact, and then we look at factors such as sealing reliability, oxygen permeability and puncture resistance to name a few. Our thermoforming equipment can process a myriad of materials, including those typically used for MAP.

At Indepak, we can create any size or shape of custom thermoform tray suitable for modified atmosphere packaging. In some cases, a simple tray with one cavity is all that is needed, but other products, such as microwavable meals or perhaps fruit and vegetable trays might need multiple compartments to separate each food item.

If you are interested in any type of food packaging, including modified atmosphere packaging, contact us at Indepak today. Since 1967, we’ve been a leader in the creation of packaging for the specialty foods industry and we can design an innovative packaging solution that meets your needs and budget.