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A Beginner's Guide to Meat Packaging
- Jul 13, 2018 -

The meat packaging market is a large and complex market composed of many sectors within the market. One of the primary concerns for any company packaging meat is the ability to deliver a fresh product to customers. This is often achieved in a variety of ways depending on the type of meat that is being packaged.

We strive to offer educational information about any industry we try to serve. We have a variety of materials and machines commonly used in the meat packagingindustry. This article will discuss packaging materials, machines, and processes used in the meat packaging industry. We do not offer all of the materials and machines discussed in this article.

One of the most important factors in meat packaging is the type of meat being packaged. Many sectors within the meat packaging industry use certain types of packaging to best preserve the type of meat being packaged. For ease of reading, we have divided the article into different forms of meat and commonly used packaging processes for each. At the bottom of the post we have included a few links for businesses that provide products we do not within the meat industry. We do not endorse or have any affiliation with the mentioned companies.

Beef & Pork

Beef and pork use many of the same processes from butcher to end user. Large beef and pork packing plants use vacuum packaging to preserve large cuts of meat after being aged within the facility. Vacuum packaging eliminates oxygen within the package which helps to preserve the meat within the packaging.

In addition to reducing oxygen to preserve the shelf life, color preservation is important as well. To accomplish this while reducing oxygen content, packagers often use a variety of inert gases. The process of adjusting the atmosphere of a product within the packaging is known as modified atmosphere packaging.

Butcher to Grocery Store

Large cuts are vacuum packaged in thick, large flexible packaging materials and shipped to grocery stores and retailers.

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Grocery Store to End User

Grocery stores most commonly use a stretchable plastic meat film coupled with a bottom foam tray. The film and tray are then placed on a heated pad to cause the film to adhere to itself. We sell our meat and food wrappers to grocery stores across the country. A food and meat wrapping machine often uses a film rack, film cutter, and heat pad to package meat.

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Butcher to End User

Many smaller butcher shops selling to end users use a meat film like grocery stores do. Another popular product used by smaller butcher shops is butcher paper and a label. Butcher paper is commonly found on rolls and most types offer a neutral PH. Butcher paper is inexpensive and typically used for short term meat storage.

Depending on the form of packaging chosen, frozen products are placed into the package and the package is flushed with carbon dioxide and sealed.

Another common form of seafood packaging mentioned above is canning. Canning uses products in containers heated to kill harmful bacteria. The can is then sealed to prevent bacteria from entering the can. This is another form of modified atmosphere packaging. Large canning ships on the ocean often process and can fish shortly after being caught.

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