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Advice Please Potential New Product Shelf Life & Packaging Variant

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DavidAR

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Posted 10 December 2015 - 03:00 PM

Greetings all,

 

Im not sure which section to post this query so i appologise if its not in the appropriate location.

 

We manufacture a dry, ambient product that is made of flour water and colour, its packed with an Aw of .35-.65

This has a long proven shelf life in bulk cases of 18 months, usually there are maybe 60 units in each case.

 

 

We are looking at trialing a new packaging method which is identical to same product in the market and he in lies my 2 questions.

 

Being flow wrapped the packs in market are 90% hamedicaly sealed either through coincidence (there packing equipment is good providing flawless seals) or its by design (food safety reason)

 

Now we are looking at using an old p;iece of equipment that can seal 2 units in flow wrap and the seals are pretty good however there are creases and it is not hamedically sealed.

 

Is this a food safety issue or is it meerly a quality related issue?

 

in terms of shelf life the product is no difrent from bulk except process flow means it wil be packed in to a case as an intermediate ready to be then placed in to machinery to flow wrap. can we justify shelf life on the bulk or at the least an accelerated shelf life trial be required due to new packaging?

 

any advice welcome as i feel we would not be able to justify 18 months BBD with no other product packaging variant to compare too from our buisiness POV.



brianweber

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Posted 10 December 2015 - 03:37 PM

IMO it is both a food safety risk and quality issue. If it is not sealed properly then you stand the risk of introducing foreign material/contaminates into your product.


Brian


Charles.C

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Posted 10 December 2015 - 04:40 PM

Hi David,

 

I was lost at "Flow Wrapping"  ? (unresolved by penultimate paragraph)

 

What is the difference to "normal" wrapping ?

 

 


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


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Posted 10 December 2015 - 06:14 PM

Hi David,

 

I was lost at "Flow Wrapping"  ? (unresolved by penultimate paragraph)

 

What is the difference to "normal" wrapping ?

 

FWIW the nearest answer i could find was here -

 

http://www.packagema...nd-sustainable/

 

http://www.packagema...-flow-wrapping/

 

Attached File  Bosch_Guide-to-Flow-Wrapping.pdf   3.36MB   52 downloads

 

As to yr second query, what was the basis of the 18 month shelf life ?

 

Are yr "bulk" ( = ?)  and "flow" identical product environments from storage POV, eg MAP / storage temp. /plastic ?

 

How, and for how long (max) is the intermediate product stored ?

 

PS - I anticipate that that the permeability characteristics for bulk cf. flow wrapped will not be the same. And apparently also maybe depending on whether flow wrap is hot or cold seal.?


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


DavidAR

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Posted 18 December 2015 - 07:42 AM

Greetings all, sorry for long delay, been so busy......

 

Great pdf on flow wrapping charles, i have passed this on to my MD and engineer as essentialy our machine is identicial albeit about 50 years older :)

 

the 18 month shelf life was based on our bulk product which is naked in a food grade case, sometimes there is a liner and the control we have fro dried product is Aw .35 - 0.65 to ensure stability, flour water colour with a moisture content of about 8 - 10%.

 

The product is would not be map packed as its felt it wouldnt need it, and in market of the same type of product i have seen shelf lifes from 3 months to 24 months with no real diference in ingreidnet lists or end use which i find odd!!

 

due to age of machine and its capability it would be a hot seal also. we would not have the ability to control glue film for cold sealing.

 

As for seals them selves, im told that its a quality point so far as allowing air in and out however like biranweber said i would have to argue that the seal needs to be good enough to not alow physical contamination in to the packs of a significant size of which could cause potential harm.

 

From what im seeing in the market, i would say that a few creases in top and bottom seals are ok but where there is a gap large enough to fit say a granule of salt, this would not be acceptable.

 

Burst testing is one idea i have, similar to when i worked in pharceuticals, a) press down on a pack, if it takes 10 seconds to squeeze air out, this would be ok, if it takes less than a second this would be not so, and going even better water tank testing. if large bubbles come out = fail, ocasional / no bubbles = pass.

 

So many questions :) and in mean time we are sending product away for accelerated shelf life testing and were asking for validation also starting at 12 months.



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Posted 18 December 2015 - 08:01 AM

You could also use a vacuum chamber for seal integrity. Just an idea.

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DavidAR

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Posted 18 December 2015 - 09:24 AM

Yeh i used those in other works too, even a version that used ink dyes and visual detection.

 

as i know our seals are not 100% because we feel they probably wont be, too destructive a test would just show issue where none lies.

 

for example you can buy a pack dried noodle or pasta, the seals are not hametic, although their process often results in hametic by default. Does it need to have that? id say now and hence some packs you see often have creases in seals which alow air to go in and out.



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Posted 18 December 2015 - 09:37 AM

By the way you have to remember most plastic packaging is not a total barrier to air, water, moisture etc.


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Posted 18 December 2015 - 03:53 PM

Really i presume you refer to that like used for frozen chips where the film is intentially run across a roller with spikes on to allow pack to be compressed to puch air out during storage in cases and what not?

 

or do you mean by untampered with reel being of sorts pourous at a microscopic level?



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Posted 19 December 2015 - 08:38 AM

Hi David,

 

I have no experience in predicting shelf-lives but the plausibility of a transfer of shelf life from  “naked” to  “flow-wrapped” will presumably relate to the degree of equivalence (ie packaging permeability et al) between the 2  subsequent product environments (assuming the intrinsic product / freezing / storage temperature characteristics, etc remain identical).

 

I infer that yr sending the product out for (a reduced) shelf-life evaluation implies an internal  lack of confidence in the equivalence of the 2 packagings ??  The result will be interesting.

 

If, like myself, accelerated shelf-life testing is not yet your forte, I suggest trying the attachment in this post which is informative  –

 

http://www.ifsqn.com...ood/#entry59745

 

And this extract is also quite useful –

 

Attached File  Accel. shelf life testing.pdf   538.81KB   261 downloads


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


DavidAR

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 07:12 AM

we have confidence in the shelf life of our product in its current packaging, its essentialy exposed to air 100% time or as much as can be within a taped case. the new packaging would essentialy seal it up almost 100% time and thats where the confidence changes as we have no data to assume the conditions would be the same.

 

Good links, i shall review these asap.





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