Why Choose Flow Wrapping to Package Mince

Sep 18 2023

Mince, minced meat, or ground meat is a significant category in the UK and appears to be growing. Its appeal is enhanced by its versatility as a fast, healthy, and nutritious choice for busy families at all times of the year.

According to Statista*, the volume of mince purchased in 2020-21 in the UK was more than twice that of the next most popular cut - beef burgers and grills. Generally, consumer spending on meat in the UK has increased as the figure exceeded £20.5 billion at retail selling prices.

This article discusses the important things to consider when flow wrapping minced meat and why it’s the best option. Flow wrap packaging is important and cost effective for preserving the quality and safety of minced meat products which include beef, pork, chicken, venison, and turkey. As you will see, there are many upsides for the busy producer in choosing flow wrap as a very economic alternative to tray seal, vacuum packs and trays with stretch wrap in particular.


Safety First

Overarching everything, food safety has to come at the top of the list. Ensuring that the packaging materials and production methodology used to maintain the safety of the product is paramount to prevent contamination. Flow wrap packaging is an excellent barrier to micro-organisms as it is sealed completely to prevent unwanted air and moisture. Unlike some tray seal or stretch wrapped alternatives, flow wrap packs are also very space efficient as the bags can be manufactured with the minimum of material wastage.

Balancing the cost of packaging materials and methods with the overall unit product cost is important for profitability. Finding cost-effective solutions that maintain quality and safety is crucial. Selecting appropriate packaging materials is becoming more important with environmental considerations to the fore.

Flow wrap machines can be upgraded to facilitate modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) that adjusts the gas composition inside the package. Flow wrap packaging is a great choice of material as it helps maintain freshness of the mince, and its shelf appearance too. Flow pack packaging is transparent and can help consumers assess the quality of the mince visually, providing an effective barrier to oxygen and contaminants.


Pack Size Matters

The size of the packaging should be appropriate for the quantity of mince inside. Unlike tray seal packs which are of a standard size, flow wrap packs can be made in smaller packages and are often more convenient for consumers because they can use what they need and store the rest without exposing the entire product to air. This packaging method extends the shelf life of the mince. The use of MAP can significantly extend the shelf life by reducing exposure to oxygen, which can cause oxidation and spoilage.

Clear and accurate labelling is essential to provide consumers with information about the product. Additional cost efficiencies can be achieved if this operation can be incorporated within the flow wrap machine on-line as part of the production process.

Packaging can also be an opportunity for branding and marketing. Consider how the design and appearance of the packaging can enhance the product's appeal to consumers.

The look and feel of the product in the pack matters greatly. Recently some supermarkets changed their mince packaging to a new vacuum pack format and received some very adverse publicity from consumers. This was due to the nature of the materials used and the look of the product when it was opened. Flow wrapped packaging allows the mince to maintain a regular shape without it having a compressed appearance.


Cost Consciousness Counts

Flow wrap machine technology for horizontally packaging blocks of mince ensures that the number of staff required to run and change a flow wrap machine is minimised, allowing labour to be used elsewhere in the process. Additionally, it is now standard that machines are increasingly intuitive with multilingual Human-Machine Interfaces (HMI’s). This gives additional flexibility for staff deployment in the busiest of production units.

Couple this with the fact that diagnostics and updates on HMI’s can be added remotely, over-the-air, then a flow wrap machine can be described as truly low cost to run and maintain.


Wrapping It All Up

By carefully considering these factors, manufacturers and retailers can choose flow wrap as a cost-effective option to ensure the quality, safety, and marketability of minced meat products.

For more information on how Redpack Packaging Machinery can help with your flow wrap machinery requirement contact us at info@redpack.co.uk