Food Engineering

Clearer, tougher vacuum bags

September 3, 2007
Vacuum bags with high oxygen-barrier properties are fresh-meat workhorses, and the newest generation of B 2000 bags from Sealed Air Corp.’s Cryovac Food Packaging division overcomes the aesthetic shortcomings of older bags.

Enhanced clarity and a tighter fit are among the improvements in Cryovac’s B 2000 series vacuum barrier bag. Source: Cryovac Food Packaging Systems.



The bags debuted at the beginning of the year, with cheese, smoked meats and pork products leading the conversion. New resins and improved extrusion processes enabled Cryovac engineers to improve the optical properties of the bags. Retailers want bags that look great in the meat locker, and that was becoming a bigger challenge with the growth in “moisture enhanced products,” according to Walker Stockley, Cryovac’s marketing director of fresh red meat.

A recent meat case study by Cryovac found that up to 45% of the pork now in stores has sodium phosphate, water or both added to the original cut. Sealing those products has required more opaque films to prevent leakers. The B 2000 allows packers to add their marinade and keep it, too.

Percent of diffused light is one metric used by film suppliers to measure clarity. The new films have only 4.1% haze, down from 6.9% in the last-generation film. Clarity and greater shrink give products a glossy look, and nominal shrink went from about 77% to 89%, Stockley says, resulting in “smaller corners and ears.”

The new family of films is also tougher. In field tests, impact resistance of the new bags has been measured at 243 newtons, up from 198.

“There’s a noticeable improvement in gloss, clarity and sealability, and food companies can get the better performance on existing vacuum equipment,” says Stockley.

For more information:
Walker Stockley,
Cryovac Food Packaging,
864-433-2000