Choosing the materials for your FIBC is just as important as composing the right mixture of gases for Modified Atmosphere Packaging. In this article, we’ll look at all the factors to keep in mind when choosing your bag.
What are big bags made of?
In general, FIBCs for Modified Atmosphere are made of polypropylene, also known as polypropene. This is a thermoplastic polymer, which is made via chain-growth polymerization made from the combination of propylene monomers.
That doesn't mean that all FIBCs are one-size-fits-all though. With liners and coating, but also with the make-up of specific bags, you can make sure that your MAP bag is a perfect fit for your product. Here’s which factors you should keep in mind.
The most obvious factor to consider is the barrier properties. The packaging material should have good barrier properties to prevent the infiltration of oxygen, moisture, and other gases that can cause spoilage and discoloration of the food. This can be as simple as checking whether a powder will not leak through a bag, but one should also consider what can get in the bag.
Permeability is the rate at which gases can pass through a material. When choosing the right packaging material you need to consider the particular product and the gas mixture that will be used. The packaging material should have the appropriate permeability to allow the desired gases to enter and exit the package, while also providing a barrier to prevent the influx of unwanted gases and microorganisms. Read our full blog on permeability here.
We all know how important compatibility is, even when choosing packaging materials.The packaging material should be compatible with the food product and the gases used in the MAP, as some packaging materials can react with the food or the gases, which can cause spoilage or discoloration.
Money matters, too. The packaging material should be cost-effective and readily available to ensure the feasibility of the MAP process. However, the safety of the product or workers coming in contact with the bags should never be compromised to make budget cuts in the selecting of materials.
Recyclability and sustainability
Sustainability is becoming more and more important. In some cases you will want to go for recyclable materials. At the very least, go for the option that creates the least amount of waste. Read here how we do this by cutting our liners to size.
The packaging material should have suitable mechanical properties, such as strength, flexibility, and sealability, to ensure that the package can withstand the rigors of distribution and storage.
The packaging material should meet the food safety regulations and standards of the country where the food product will be sold. Always make sure your bag is food grade certified if necessary.
There are certifications for handling other types of products, too. UN Grade FIBCs align with United Nations specific regulations for handling, filling and transporting hazardous goods by sea, rail, and road. These can be toxic substances, flammable solids, self-reactive substances, and desensitized explosives, but also substances that oxidize and many more.
One of the factors weighing into the choosing of FIBCs, is the control of static electricity. This occurs when electric charges are imbalanced within certain materials. During the filling or discharging of big bags, static electricity can build up. This has to be prevented while packing any kind of flammable or combustible products. Find out which bags are suitable for these products in this blog.
Find the right bag for your business
Here at Masterpack, we don’t believe in one-size-fits-all. Reach out to our team for a custom solution for your products.