How to properly pack produce is an important consideration for every business operating in the produce industry.
Machinery packs products to protect them in storage and during the process of transportation. They’re also vital for maintaining product freshness and quality, and allow for efficient labeling, making it easier for customers to identify and purchase produce from certain brands.
Technological solutions like Silo also make conducting business easier for grower-shippers. A vendor portal lets you see everything sent to your distributor, along with important metrics that are all reconciled.
Regardless, today’s article will cover some packing solutions that every produce business should consider when deciding on the best one suited to their needs.
- Stretch wrappers
One popular solution for packing produce is stretch wrapping. Stretch wrappers are machines that use plastic film to tightly bundle pallet loads, securing them for shipping and protecting them against postharvest damage. This method can help extend the shelf life of produce by keeping out moisture and contaminants.
Stretch wrapping can lead to cost savings for businesses by reducing waste, providing a cost-effective and reliable solution for packing in the produce industry.
Baggers are machines that automatically fill produce bags with specific quantities of product. Not only do they help you save on time and the costs associated with labor, but they also ensure consistency and accuracy during the packing process.
Baggers come in a variety of sizes and styles to suit different needs. They can be used for loose produce or pre-packaged items. Some baggers even can seal the bags for added convenience.
Investing in a bagger may seem like a big expense initially, but the long-term cost savings and increased efficiency can make it a worthwhile investment for any produce business to streamline the packing process.
- Vacuum sealers
Vacuum sealers remove air from a container or bag before sealing it shut. This helps to prevent spoilage, effectively extending the shelf life of products. Several types of vacuum sealers are available, including external, chamber, and handheld models.
External sealers function by sucking the air from the actual bag before sealing it closed, while chamber sealers provide an enclosed space for you to put the product for sealing. Handheld sealers are smaller, more portable versions of external sealers.
When utilizing this packing solution, it’s important to use bags or containers specifically made for vacuum sealing to ensure a proper seal. Avoid overfilling bags, as this can lead to potential spills or broken seals.
Since vacuum-sealed foods can be safely stored in refrigerators and freezers for extended periods of time, this method can significantly benefit businesses. Not only does it extend the shelf life of the produce, but it also helps with portion control and reduces food waste.
Additionally, vacuum sealing can improve presentation with professional-looking packaging that guarantees customers a degree of freshness.
Overall, incorporating a vacuum sealer into your operations is a valuable investment that can pay off in the long run.
Labelers are important tools for produce packing and shipping. They quickly and accurately apply labels to products, ensuring they’re properly identified and can be tracked throughout the supply chain.
Some labelers use heat or pressure to apply labels, while others use a strong adhesive. There are also labeling machines specifically designed for certain industries, such as the food and beverage industry, which use labels that meet the strict regulatory guidelines set by the government.
Labelers can be game changers for produce businesses. Not only do they allow for the quick and efficient labeling of products, but they also offer customizable options for branding. With a reliable labeler, produce businesses can free up resources like labor that would normally be designated to a task that could be easily automated.
Once the necessary capital is available, investing in a labeler is a smart business move for any company looking to increase efficiency in labeling and enhance its branding efforts.
- Shrink tunnels
Shrink tunnels use heat to shrink plastic film around a product, tightly securing it in place. Machines use hot air or steam, causing the film to shrivel evenly around the product and create a tamper-proof seal. This form of packing is often used for products like CDs and more importantly, packaged foods.
Printed shrink film allows for branding and labeling opportunities, greatly enhancing its appearance on store shelves. It can also be fully customized to fit the shape and size of the fresh produce being packaged.
Besides their practical benefits, shrink tunnels offer cost-saving advantages for produce businesses. Using a shrink tunnel often requires less packing material than traditional methods, reducing expenses and waste.
- Banding machines
Banding machines use plastic or paper bands to securely bundle fresh produce together for easy storage and transportation. Not only do banding machines save time and labor in the packing process, but they also help with resource use reduction by utilizing minimal packing materials.
Additionally, tags can be affixed to the bands, which can hold important information, such as product name, weight, and barcodes to make it easier to track inventory and fulfill orders accurately. Investing in a banding machine is a good decision for any produce business looking to improve overall tracking and efficiency.
Packing solutions should be selected carefully
Properly packing produce is vital, as it protects products during transportation, maintains freshness and prolongs shelf life, attracts customers with appealing designs, and ensures that food safety regulations are being met.
Investing in effective packing solutions can ultimately increase profits and lead to customer satisfaction.