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Biosafety in the snack food copacking industry

Updated: Jan 7, 2022

We will never stop consuming snacks, they are the favorite of young and old, are always with us on special occasions, to share with friends or to temporarily satisfy hunger. At a party on a walk or on our visits to the cinema, we will always bring some snacks to pass the time enjoying something tasty.

Snack foods adjust to a more flexible consumption in less time, which makes them part of busy lifestyles.

Being so present in our lives, and like any other food product, the snack food packaging industry must guarantee the reduction of health risks from the consumption of its products. This is why biosafety is so important in the snack co packing industry in Canada.

Snack food packaging characteristics

Snack foods are products that are consumed all over the world and, for the most part, are packaged in flexible packaging.

These flexible packages are bags that help preserve all the characteristics of the products, such as taste, texture and smell. Also, insulates products from the outside, protecting them from heat, humidity, dust and even bacteria. This is a highly valued feature in these times, where biosafety has become a priority in the food industry.

The protective function offered by containers and packages to snack foods is a priority for companies that offer co-packing services.

Flexible packaging must also combine flexibility with stability and resistance, in order to properly withstand the storage, transportation and distribution processes.

Therefore, co-packing companies must offer snack food packaging adjusted to the characteristics of each product, in order to preserve it in perfect conditions.

Biosafety in the snack food co packing industry

The food industry has been under the obligation to reinforce the biosafety measures they implement during each of its processes so that consumers can have confidence when consuming snack food.

Therefore, there is a greater emphasis on hygiene during the production and co-packing processes, in order to reduce health risks.

Biosafety in the snack food co-packing industry is presented as an opportunity, since it offers the possibility of demonstrating that their products guarantee the health of consumers and that their consumption is safe and reliable.

The biosecurity procedures currently used in the snack copacking industry are not different from those used in the rest of the food industry and in our day-to-day life.

The strategies are based on the hygiene of each member of the team, who must wear the appropriate equipment and clothing during the handling of food and materials that come into contact with them during the process. In addition, the cleaning of equipment and work areas is guaranteed more frequently than usual, since the special situation demands it.

The strictness of the biosafety measures does not diminish in any step of the process, so the storage areas of the finished products are also taken into account.

Biosafety challenges in the snack food co-packing industry

Within the biosecurity challenges in the snack food co packing industry, the priority is placed on packaging development. The global health crisis has exposed the critical role of packaging materials in the food industry.

In the meantime, plastic packaging can be trusted as a material capable of preventing the development and proliferation of infections, due to its hygienic and protective characteristics.

The challenge now is to take advantage of their properties and be able to create packaging that is sustainable, recyclable or biodegrades biologically to form compost, without producing toxic waste.

The ideal is to aim at imitating nature, where everything has a value and is used, because waste is transformed into a new resource. In this way, the balance between progress and sustainability is maintained.

Packaging safety

In order to guarantee the safety of the packaging, companies in the snack industry are studying the incorporation of innovations in this regard.

For example, packaging with pathogen-fighting functionalities will undoubtedly play an important role in the near future.

Packaging materials

While advances continue to be made in packaging materials to extend shelf life and add convenience and freshness to snacks, the entire industry has its eyes on innovations in modified atmosphere packaging, microbial-inhibiting films and the use of cellulose nanocrystals.

In fact, cellulose nanocrystals have been successfully produced from corn husks, which are very cheap agricultural waste, for use as barrier coatings in food packaging. These crystals are non-toxic, but biodegradable and highly resistant, which is a great advantage.

So, the biggest challenge for companies in the industry is to make packaging materials safer, recyclable and environmentally friendly, allowing the use of single-use plastics to be gradually reduced.

Safety in snack packaging

To ensure safety in snack packaging, filling must be carried out by means of a suitable dosing system. This is where modified atmosphere packaging comes in, because it offers the possibility of injecting nitrogen in order to eliminate residual oxygen. The absence of oxygen will provide maximum quality and preserve the product without altering the flavor or texture.

In addition to being done at the time of packaging, this nitrogen injection is also done before sealing the bag in which the snacks are packaged.

If you wish to request copacking services for your snack products but you have doubts about the biosecurity measures taken during each step of the process, do not hesitate to contact us; we will not only answer your questions, but we will also offer you recommendations about the alternatives you have for the safest packaging for your products and for your customers.

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