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Author Archives: Econo Pak

  1. New Salt Analyzer Equipment

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    Salt in Food Products

    Contrary to popular belief, the majority of the sodium that Americans consume doesn’t come from regular table salt but instead comes from consuming prepared and packaged foods, such as chips, crackers, soups, pizza, deli meat sandwiches, and more. Since these foods contain too much sodium, it makes it very difficult for individuals looking to cut down their sodium intake. Because of this, the FDA has been working with the food industry in an effort to reduce the sodium content in various foods.

    Sodium is used across a range of food applications, including baking, thickening, curing meat, enhancing flavor, and more. Although these are all important uses, it is very important to monitor salt content to ensure you are not using too much or too little. The increased scrutiny over nutritional labeling, coupled with the importance of salt in taste and shelf stability, makes it essential for food processors to establish and maintain desired salt levels in product recipes.

    The Salt Analyzer: What Is It and What Does It Do?

    Econo-Pak’s new salt analyzer offers food processors a rapid, accurate, and easy-to-use method to monitor salt levels in various foods. It analyzes salt content in solutions by measuring solution temperature and conductivity. The internal microprocessor mathematically compensates for any shifts in solution temperature and translates to salt concentration, displaying the results in different units.

    Depending on the food product being analyzed, you can use the non-contact dip-in probe or a flow-through column, both of which use non-corroding internal electrodes. This eliminates turbulent flow and ensures precise sample repeatability while keeping the bore obstruction-free.

    Food Products You Can Analyze With a Salt Analyzer

    A salt analyzer can measure sodium content in several foods, including:

    • Meat packaging products
    • Processed beef
    • Sausage and similar products
    • Butter and margarine
    • Cheese
    • Packaged meats (canned, glass)
    • Prepared meats
    • Peanut butter
    • Packaged vegetables (canned, glass)
    • Eggs (frozen, liquid, or dried)
    • Vinegar
    • Packaged seafood (canned, glass)
    • Wheat flour
    • Frozen dinners
    • Cereals
    • Snacks (chips, pretzels, popcorn)

    Econo-Pak’s DiCromat IITM Salt Analyzer

    The Econo-Pak DiCromat IITM Salt Analyzer comes with several benefits, including:

    • Easy to use. Our salt analyzer is easy to use – simply prepare your sample and use the membrane keypad to program each sample’s name, testing time, and date. Unlike other salt analyzers, the Econo-Pak DiCromat II™ is easy to clean as it doesn’t need to be disassembled.
    • Versatile. The Econo-Pak salt analyzer’s compact design allows testing to be conducted either on the line or back in the laboratory, while the standard RS-232 digital output allows it to be linked to any computer or printer to produce a permanent record.
    • Fast and accurate. With the Econo-Pak DiCromat II™, you can measure salt concentrations from less than 0.1 to over 26% by weight without dilution and 100% salt with dilution and get your results within seconds.
    • Backed by quality service. At Econo-Pak, we’re dedicated to providing a high-quality product that meets customer expectations as well as rigorous regulatory standards, such as the FDA and Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI).

    Your Partner for Your Food Packaging Needs

    At Econo-Pak, we specialize in food packaging such as bagging, wrapping, pouching, cartoning, and procurement. With our dedication to quality, we strive to help people live healthier lives by providing the necessary tools to make that happen. For more information about our DiCromat II™ salt analyzer, or to learn more about our food packaging capabilities, contact us today or request a free quote.

  2. Three Reasons Why Large Manufacturers Need a Co-Packer

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    The ideal product packaging does much more than simply protect a product during transport. It also keeps out oxygen or contaminants that might otherwise degrade consumable goods, and tamper-evident packaging adds a level of product security. Beyond that, packaging offers a great branding opportunity, marketing the internal contents and promoting your company while also providing industry-mandated information like expiration dates and ingredients. However, not every business is equipped to handle its own packaging internally. That’s where co-packers come in.

    What is a co-packer? Typically, contract packaging companies package and label products that their clients have manufactured to take that strain off their operations. In the food and beverage industry, co-packers will also sometimes work as contract manufacturers, actually handling food processing in addition to the packing. Working with a reputable, FDA-certified co-packer can help you grow your business while focusing your own workforce on what you do best.

    Co-Packing vs. Manufacturing In-House

    When determining whether to outsource your packaging to a co-packer or handle it in-house, there are numerous considerations that are crucial to the decision. The packaging process necessitates quality material procurement, specialized equipment, and a trained workforce. Some companies may have a product or recipe that they feel is too complex to outsource, or production rates are low enough that they won’t meet co-packing company minimums for production.

    If you choose to work with a co-packer, finding the right company is important. Research carefully as selecting the wrong co-packer could lead to incorrect labeling, suboptimal marketing, or even compromised product quality. For highly regulated products like consumables, you need a company that can provide the necessary quality assurance to keep from damaging your company’s reputation through a negative customer experience with your brand.

    Signs That You Should Work With a Co-Packing Company

    How do you know when a co-packer is right for you? There are three main indicators that partnering with a contract packaging company is appropriate for your business.

    1. Your facility, equipment, or workforce can’t successfully meet demand. If you find that orders are constantly outpacing your team’s ability to keep up with them, or you can’t find the space for warehousing, this is your first clue that co-packing could be advantageous for your business. A good co-packer can help you increase your production volume so that your team can focus on your core operations instead. Also, without having to invest in specialty equipment or retraining, co-packers will typically already have certifications for kosher, gluten-free, or organic food handling as well as labeling capabilities.
    2. You want to scale your operations. If you’ve determined that your operation is scalable in that there is appropriate demand for your product and you will be able to retain quality results in bulk production, a co-packer may be right for you. A reputable co-packing facility will have the necessary production capabilities, equipment, and skilled workforce to help you increase production when you need to, and fast, all without having to worry about sacrificing quality or efficiency in the packaging.
    3. You are concerned about budget and time frames. Manufacturing in-house requires a fully equipped production facility, staff with proper training, the right raw materials, and adequate storage, all of which require heavy investments in money and time. Fortunately, using a co-packer can be a solution to those challenges as packaging processes are already in the company’s wheelhouse. Also, co-packaging companies typically source their material in bulk, which often allows them to pass on more economical pricing to customers.

    Enjoy Quality Co-Packing With Econo-Pak

    Given the current economic climate, Econo-Pak is ready to partner with you to help bring your product to market efficiently and effectively. We are an innovative contract food packaging company that can handle scalable growth, and we bring a wealth of experience as a family-owned packaging company for over three decades.

    Our company serves businesses and food packaging needs of all sizes, with over 200 packaging machines in our 240,000-sqft. facility. We offer custom package design services coupled with affordable pricing and quick turnaround times.

    Our capabilities for stand-up pouches, flow and shrink wrapping, powder filling, and bulk food packaging benefit our diverse customer base of supermarkets, foodservice businesses, club/wholesale stores, retailers, and pharmacies, among other large food manufacturers. To provide you with peace of mind when it comes to packaging quality and food safety, all of our operations meet FDA regulations, and we hold numerous certifications as part of that commitment, including:

    • Safe Quality Food Certification
    • Food and Drug Administration Certification
    • Organic certification by Baystate Organic Certifiers
    • Gluten-free certification by the Gluten Intolerance Group of North America
    • Costco Safety and Quality Audit Certification
    • Kosher OU-D Certification

    We also have the capability to adjust our processes for certain dietary restrictions and allergy concerns. To learn more about how Econo-Pak’s co-packing services can support your business, contact us today.

  3. Flexible Food Packaging: What You Need To Know

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    Flexible packaging has significantly grown in popularity in the food and beverage industry. Due to its many benefits, it is often the packaging of choice for various food products on a domestic and global level.

    Flexible Food Packaging

    Flexible Food Packaging: What You Need To Know

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    By using non-rigid materials to package food, manufacturers are better able to customize the container to fit the product and the brand. Flexible packaging is available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials, and it can be created in either formed or unformed configurations. Formed packaging is pre-shaped and can be filled and sealed in-house, whereas unformed packaging comes on a roll that is sent to co-packers for forming and filling.

    Types of flexible packaging include:

    • Sample Pouches. These small heat-sealed packets are usually pre-formed for easy in-house packing and filling.
    • Printed Pouches. These are sample pouches that have been customized with branding information for marketing purposes.
    • Sachets. These flat packets are common for single-use pharmaceuticals and personal care products. They are also ideal for sample sharing in-store and at trade shows.
    • Printed Roll Stock. These arrive in an unformed roll that is already printed with product and branding information. The co-packer forms, fills, and seals them.
    • Stocks Bags. Stock bags are blank formed bags or pouches. They can be used as-is or you can add a label with branding and product information.

    Flexible food packaging materials can be used to package a wide range of products, including:

    • Baby Food
    • Chocolate and Candy
    • Beef Jerky
    • Crackers, Cookies, and Snacks
    • Grains and Flour
    • Baking Mixes and Dry Foods
    • Cereal and Granola
    • Vegetables, Fruits, and Nuts
    • Cheese and Meat Products
    • Popcorn
    • Seasonings and Spices
    • Soups, Sauces, and Salad Dressings

    Flexible containers offer incredible versatility and flexibility. This is important in the food and beverage industry as companies strive to differentiate their products in a competitive space while ensuring the items stay fresh and protected from damage.

    Benefits of Flexible Food Containers

    Flexible packaging offers a number of benefits, including:

    • Consumers Love It. Flexible packaging is extremely consumer-friendly. Upright flexible pouches make it easy to access snacks or baking ingredients, while resealable packaging ensures freshness, prevents spills, and keeps out contaminants.
    • Simplified Shipping and Handling. Lightweight flexible packaging is easier and more cost-effective to transport. This not only helps you save money but also reduces your carbon footprint due to less fuel consumption.
    • Customizable Barrier Properties. Custom films and other barrier materials can protect your product from light, air, or moisture.
    • Good for Branding. From custom graphics that highlight your brand to clear windows that allow consumers to see the product inside, flexible containers are easily customized for effective branding. 
    • Environmentally Friendly. The amount of greenhouse gases used to produce flexible packaging is lower compared to producing traditional packaging materials. 
    • Increased Shelf Life and Freshness. Barriers and resealable openings keep out UV light, moisture, dust, and more to ensure the product stays fresher, longer.
    • Lower Production Costs. Flexible packages are easier to form and require less material than rigid packages, reducing production time, waste, and energy consumption. 

    Flexible Packaging Industries

    Along with the food and beverage industry, many other industries benefit from using flexible packaging. These include:

    • Cosmetics. Resealable packages can be used for cotton pads and make-up removing wipes while flexible sample pouches can be used for foundation, concealer, lotion, and serum. 
    • Personal Care. Sample pouches are ideal for single-use medications and personal products. 
    • Household Cleaning. Flexible packaging offers an ideal solution for single-use detergent packets, cleaning powder, and more.
    • Pet Food Packaging. Flexible pouches and packages are suitable for containing dog food and treats.

    Flexible Packaging from Econo-Pak

    For more than 30 years, Econo-Pak has specialized in contract packaging, with a focus on becoming the premier food repackaging company in the country. Over the years, our family-owned and operated company has partnered with clients both large and small, including Fortune 500 companies and independent firms, in a range of industries. With 240,000 square feet of production space and over 200 different packaging machines, we can offer packaging solutions to meet your specifications, no matter the size or scope.

    To learn more about our flexible packaging capabilities for the food and beverage industry, request a quote today. 

  4. Diverse Industries That Make Use of Stand-Up Pouches

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    Stand Up Pouches

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    Stand-up pouches, introduced in the 1970s, have since become one of the most popular packaging choices for products in an expansive range of industries. As a cost-effective, versatile, and consumer-friendly packaging solution, stand-up pouches provide a smart and customizable packaging choice for countless applications. This blog post will discuss some of the common uses of stand-up pouches today.

    Industries Using Stand-Up Pouches

    While stand-up pouches may be most familiar in food and cleaning product areas, innovative stand-up pouches have a broad range of use cases across many industries. Some of these include:

    • Food and beverage. Stand-up pouches gained their earliest popularity in the food and beverage sector, offering easy-to-use packaging for various juices and single-serve beverages. Numerous styles of food-grade stand-up pouches adorn the shelves of today’s grocery retailers, holding everything from snacks and candies to coffee, sugar, and nuts.
    • Lawn and garden. Soil, fertilizer, seeds, and other lawn and garden supplies can spill easily when poorly packaged, making them unwieldy and challenging for retailers and consumers alike. With a flat bottom and typically resealable, stand-up pouch bags stay upright and closed.
    • Pet food and treats. Stand-up pouches provide convenient packaging for pet foods, treats, and other pet care supplies that require frequent opening and closing.
    • Personal care, bath, and cosmetics. From cleansers and product refills in spouted dispensers to single-use cosmetics and personal care supplies, stand-up pouches offer attractive packaging enjoyed by consumers who can easily squeeze out every last drop of favorite products.
    • Chemicals. With carefully selected materials and protective barrier films — as well as options such as pour spouts, heavy-duty zip closures, and tear notches – stand-up pouches provide safe and effective packaging for chemical products. K-seal and corner bottom style pouches are particularly useful for packaging chemicals while limiting the risk of punctures or spills.
    • Industrial products. Many production operations choose to pre-portion various components, supplies, and ingredients in stand-up pouches for easy use in commercial or industrial settings.
    • Automotive products. From waxes and additives to lubricants and small parts, stand-up pouches offer easy storage and display, simple dispensing, and advertising space for marketing.

    Benefits of Stand Up Pouches

    Standup pouches offer a combination of benefits not found in other packaging solutions:

    • Sealable. From standard or heavy-duty zip seals to closeable spouts and tear-off tops, stand-up pouches feature numerous options for sealable and resealable packaging.
    • Printability. The flat sides of stand-up pouch designs present a large canvas for eye-catching branding, product information, safety warnings, and other graphics. Custom printed stand-up pouches can also include measuring lines and clear display panels.
    • Packaging material options. Stand-up pouches are available in a broad range of material options. While food-grade and non-reactive barrier films protect the pouch’s contents, exterior layers may be fabricated from traditional plastics or more sustainable materials, such as laminated paper. Stand-up pouches may also include specialty film layers to protect against punctures, moisture, contamination, and ultraviolet light, among other hazards.
    • Lightweight. Stand-up pouch bags weigh considerably less than cans or bottles, generating cost savings in transportation and distribution.
    • Sustainability. Stand-up pouch packaging often uses as little as 1/3 of the material for similar volume plastic bottles. Additionally, stand-up pouches can incorporate eco-friendly options such as laminated paper and rice-paper.
    • Ease of use. Retailers appreciate how easy it is to display stand-up pouches, while consumers appreciate their easy operation and simplified storage potential.

    Quality, Custom Pouches From Econo-Pak

    At Econo-Pak, we bring decades of expertise in packaging design and manufacturing to every project. Our customer-centric, family-owned-and-operated business strives to provide packaging solutions that meet and exceed every customer need.

    To see how our fully customizable stand-up pouches and other packaging solutions can help you protect and market your products, please contact us or request a quote today.

  5. Flow Wrapping vs. Overwrapping

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    Flow Wrapping Vs Overwrapping
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    There are many types of packaging methods available, each of which is suitable for different packaging needs. Flow wrapping and overwrapping are two of the most commonly employed by industry professionals for consumer goods. The following blog post provides an overview of the flow wrapping and overwrapping processes, outlining what they entail, unique benefits, and typical applications.

    Understanding the Processes

    Despite their similarity in name, flow wrapping and overwrapping are distinct packaging techniques; they package different types of products, employ different equipment, and achieve different functions. Below we describe each process and the differences between them.

    An Overview of Flow Wrapping

    Flow wrapping, also sometimes referred to as pillow pouch wrapping, horizontal bagging, and fin-seal wrapping, is a horizontal-motion packaging process used to cover products—with any geometric shape—in clear or custom-printed polypropylene film. The finished package is a flexible packet featuring a crimped seal on each end.

    The flow wrapping process employs the use of flow wrapping machines, which are designed and manufactured to package a wide range of products to achieve varying aesthetic looks and feels. Using these machines, the following operations occur:

    1. Placement of the products on an infeed conveyor belt
    2. Transportation of the products to the forming area
    3. Wrapping of the product(s) with sealing material
    4. Mating of the outer edges of the material along the bottom
    5. Creation of a tight seal between the mated edges using pressure, heat, or both
    6. Movement of the products through rotating cutter edges or end seal crimpers to seal both ends and separate individual packets from one another
    7. Discharge of the packaged products for storage and/or further packaging operations

    An Overview of Overwrapping

    over wrappingIn contrast to flow wrapping, overwrapping is only used to wrap and seal products with flat sides—such as boxes, cartons, and trays—in heat sealable film. The end result is a packaged product wrapped and sealed, much like a gift. The process is suitable for adding secondary packaging over already packaged products to preserve freshness and combining individually packaged products together.

    Similar to flow wrapping, overwrapping makes use of specialized equipment—i.e., overwrapping machines. These machines perform the following operations:

    1. Pushing the product through heat sealable film cut from a larger roll
    2. Folding the film around the product
    3. Heat sealing the film at the overlapping sections
    4. Forming the envelope-like ends with shaped plates and sealing them using heated plates or belts
    5. Discharging the packaged products for storage and/or further packaging operations

    Differences Between Flow Wrapping and Overwrapping

    When deciding between the flow wrapping and overwrapping for a packaging operation, it is important to keep in mind their differences. For example, flow wrapping accommodates products of all shapes, while overwrapping is suitable only for products with flat sides. Additionally, flow wrapping is used to protect products from damage and degradation, while overwrapping allows for the combination of multiples packages into a single unit for easier storage and delivery.

    Which Method Should You Choose?

    Both flow wrapping and overwrapping offer unique advantages, but there are times when it’s clearly best to use one over the other. Below we outline some of the key benefits and applications of each packaging technique.

    Benefits and Applications of Flow Wrap Packaging

    Some of the benefits of using the flow wrapping method to package products include:

    • Broad size tolerance: Flow wrapping accommodates a variety of product shapes and sizes.
    • Airtight seals: The seals formed by the flow wrapping process keep out air and moisture to preserve the freshness of the packaged products, resulting in longer shelf lives.
    • Easy set-up operations: With flow wrapping machines, it’s easy to adjust for different product parameters, including in regard to size and shape.

    For the above reasons, among others, flow wrapping is widely used across industry. It is often used by the food and beverage, medical, pharmaceutical, and tool and hardware industries to package their goods, such as candy bars, baked goods, soaps, lotions, and duct tape.

    Benefits and Applications of Overwrap Packaging

    Overwrapping offering many manufacturing advantages, such as:

    • Versatility: Overwrapping can be used in several ways, including serving as the primary packaging for the products, as a method of bundling separate products into a single multi-pack unit, or as further protection for already packaged products.
    • Attractiveness: Overwrapping creates a sleek packaged look.
    • Tamper-proofing: As overwrapping requires specialized equipment to apply correctly, it’s obvious if it has been tampered with or removed.
    • Compound control: Overwrapping keeps out contaminants (allowing for longer shelf life) and keeps in internal compounds (helping contain strong odors).

    Many consumer industries make use of overwrapping. Some of the most common include the food and beverage, healthcare, and personal care industries, which use the process to package goods such as frozen meat, boxes of tea, paper towels, cold medicine, and lipstick.

    In Need of Expert Contract Packaging Services?

    Flow wrapping and overwrapping each have their place in packaging operations, and, at Econo-Pak, we are well-versed in both methods. We have over three decades of experience and more than 200 different packaging machines, both of which we leverage to provide customers with top-notch customer service. Accommodating quantities from one to one billion, we can fulfill virtually any size order.

    For more information about our packaging capabilities, contact us today. For pricing details, request a quote.