The Best Way to Pack Meat for Long-Term Freshness

Meat is one of the most popular products in grocery stores since an overwhelming percentage of humans consume it daily. It has a high nutritional value and is rich in proteins, which is very beneficial for the human body. However, fresh meat passes a long way from a factory to a counter before it reaches final consumers. Products encounter many challenges on their way to customers. Since fresh meat is sensitive to external aggressors and tends to spoil quickly, it’s vital to guarantee proper packaging to prolong its shelf life and prevent premature spoilage.

These days, the shelf life of meat products has increased significantly – all this thanks to the use of proper wrappers and constant improvement of butchery packaging materials. A long shelf life is beneficial not only for manufacturers but also for distributors (retail chains) since meat reaches consumers fresh, increasing their loyalty and satisfaction.

The importance of correct packaging is essential since wrappers protect flesh from external contaminants and other factors that can affect its freshness and quality. An appropriate cover is capable of creating and maintaining the required environment inside the packaging, preserving meat freshness, and serving as a high-quality barrier against external factors. In the article, we’re going to find out how to package meat to preserve its freshness and prevent spoilage for a long period.

The Best Types of Packages for Meat

Nowadays, the packaging industry offers a wide assortment of wrapping options. Solutions differ in multiple parameters and are designed for different kinds of foods. If we consider meat products, the following types of covers come as the best solution:

Flexible wrappers

Flexible covers are a wide class of packages made from plastics. Plastic wrap comes as the most popular option for packing meat due to multiple benefits, such as:

  • excellent protection from environmental influences (oxygen, moisture, temperature, etc.) and bacteria.
  • high barrier properties and perfect protection from all sorts of external impacts;
  • high strength and puncture resistance due to the combination of different materials;
  • flexibility and customization, which allows for manufacturing wrappers for any type of product;
  • compactness, which simplifies transportation and makes it more cost-effective.

Flexible wrappers include bags, films, several-layer covers, and compound structures, which allows for developing the best solution for food freshness preservation. For example, a plastic film is used to wrap meat at a counter and prepare big consignments for shipping.

A great assortment of flexible packages is offered in the industry. Manufacturers produce custom covers for clients’ demands. These are non-transparent or transparent wrappers, reinforced with other materials. For instance, aluminum foil is added as an extra internal layer to repel temperature impact, which helps prevent premature spoilage due to heating. Compound wrappers are very popular since it’s possible to reinforce the protective barrier, i.e. make covers more tear-, oxygen, or moisture-resistant.

After all, flexible covers are sustainable solutions due to their recyclability. The use of mono-structures (packaging that consists of one type of plastic) allows for recycling them, which reduces Earth contamination.

Rigid containers

This type of packaging is made of plastic as well. Rigid containers usually consist of a plastic tray with an absorbent pad inside and sealed with a transparent plastic film. Further, air is vacuumed from a container, and a changed atmosphere is flushed. Purified gases, such as nitrogen, oxygen, carbon monoxide or dioxide, create an optimal climate inside containers to guarantee safe storage and preserve freshness throughout the product’s shelf life.

Though being bulky for transportation, such containers guarantee product safety and possess high barrier properties. Besides, they are convenient for storage in refrigerators.

Vacuum sealing

This technology implies the removal of oxygen from the wrapper to prevent the formation of a favorable breed for bacterial growth. By avoiding oxygen contact, no pathogenic bacteria can appear, which eliminates the risk of premature food spoilage. A vacuum-sealer stretches food with a transparent film, creating a tightly fitting cover. The technological process of vacuum sealing allows for extending meat shelf life.

How to Store Meat during Transportation and at Home to Preserve its Freshness?

Here are some tips that will help you enjoy fresh meat and delicious taste during a longer period:

  1. Do not store flesh in a refrigerator longer than one day.
  2. If you have a big piece of flesh and do not cook it at once, cut it into pieces and freeze. Use plastic bags to keep meat in freezers.
  3. Vacuum sealing helps prevent spoilage when food is stored in the refrigerator.
  4. Use different containers for different sorts of meat or label packages.
  5. Defrost meat about 10 hours before cooking.
  6. Defrost flesh in water to speed up the process and remove blood.

As for transportation, the process requires compliance with standards and regulations. Violation of any rules during delivery leads to flesh spoilage and food poisoning if spoiled products reach consumers’ tables. Thus, use freezer paper to add an extra freezing source. Make sure that a refrigerating system functions properly in trucks. Use plastic films to wrap consignments and prevent accidental punctures on the road. Turn to the services of trusted certified carriers who guarantee safe delivery.

Now you know how to pack meatto get fresh food, regardless of the date of its production. Note that packaging plays a significant role in maintaining food freshness. Thus, the choice of a suitable cover is an essential aspect. Uniflex is ready to assist and help clients find the best solution for packing their meat products in accordance with food regulations.

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