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Corrective Action for Popped Open bags

Popped open potato chip bags

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Posted 24 August 2016 - 01:43 PM

Can anyone provide some insight on popped open potato chip bags? I work at a manufacture of potato chips. When we send product to the west coast the bags expand due to high altitude, hence pop open.  We have since reduce the air in the bags. In other corrective action suggestions?  We produce the ships in the east coast.  No issues with popped open bags when we ship in the east coast.











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Posted 26 August 2016 - 05:00 PM

Well, a couple of things come to mind.


1. Assuming the shippers (boxes) are the grade, material, etc to both east and west coasts - have you investigated what you could do in this area with let's say a thicker box.

2. Does the thickness of the bag itself come into play

3. how are the bags sealed? - would it help for instance to do two seals at the top and bottom and in between a small release for expansion to high altitude - a one way valve so to speak.

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Posted 31 August 2016 - 11:51 PM

I would discuss the issue with your packaging supplier.  It may be that the sealing bars are not operating at the optimum sealing temperature for the particular material that is being supplied.


Alternatively they may be able to suggest a slightly different laminated material to pack the chips into which will most likely offer a stronger seal.


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Posted 01 September 2016 - 06:52 AM

Hi Don,


Popping at altitude was a well known problem when I worked in a potato chip company years ago.  The amount of air in each bag for optimum product protection and for presentation is quite high and the expansion at altitude is greater than most people imagine. To be honest I don't think changing the packaging materials or sealer setting is going to help, although you could of course try it out.  The suggestion about an expansion seal made by SQFConsultant is pretty innovative but might not be possible in a traditional flow wrapper machine. Also, after the expansion section had 'popped' at altitude and the packages were back at sea level on the west coast you would end up with a very floppy unattractive package that looks underfilled.


When I worked in snackfood we used to make special production runs of chips specifically to be used by airline caterers and to be shipped to towns in the Australian Alps. These product runs were packed with much less air then normal runs.  They didn't pop at altitude but looked floppy and awful at sea level so I don't think that doing the same thing for your west coast orders will be the ideal solution - no doubt this is why you posted your question. 


Three options to consider:

1. Pack product for the west cost inside a sealed poly inner inside the cardboard shipper cartons.  This will keep the air pressure around the outside of the chip packets constant and prevent popping.  You will need to minimise the air in the poly liner bag or the liner will pop.

2. Find a transport method or route that does not pass through high altitude locations. 

3. Engage a copacker or contract manufacturer on the west coast.


Good luck with it!



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