Food and Beverage Packaging and Transit Protection Ensure Food Safety

learn about food and beverage packaging

Modern food and beverage packaging and shipping methods allow us to eat strawberries while it is snowing outside or drink beer in California from a microbrewery in New York. Over 3 trillion tons of food and beverages were moved between states in 2020 alone. From a farm or factory, getting food to consumers quickly and safely by truck, rail, or air is critical. Corrugated boxes, bulk bags, and transit protection are needed to make this happen.

Corrugated Protects Food and Beverages

Food and beverages not shipped in bulk bags or tankers require boxes to contain and protect them from damage. Because corrugated is so versatile, it can be used for transporting everything from superlight marshmallows to heavy cases of beer or canned foods. Changing board combinations can result in a superior strength-to-weight ratio. Corrugated boxes (sometimes mistakenly called cardboard) are a packaging workhorse with their strength tied to the combination, shape, and weight of their flute and linerboard.

Corrugated can be as thin as 1/16 inch (E-flute) and is used as primary or secondary food packaging. This thin corrugated board has an excellent surface for printing and is often used as an alternative to folding cartons. On the other end of the spectrum, a triple-wall corrugated Gaylord box that can transport 1000 pounds of pumpkins or other food products can be ½ inch thick or more. Most shipping boxes fall in between these two extremes.

The versatile nature of corrugated means your boxes can be designed to hold boxes of cereal or bags of cheese. Optimizing your packaging for your specific product has many benefits, including using few materials, offering better protection, and saving you money. Your corrugated can also be designed for palletization, offering the largest number of products per pallet and truckload, saving transportation costs.

Read how Tyoga redesigned a mozzarella box that could withstand the unforgiving stress of shipping and handling.

Bulk Bags: An Economical Solution for Flowable Foods

Not all food transported is headed for retail, grocery, or club stores. Dry ingredients are needed to make commercially packaged food and beverages, and bulk foods must be packaged in sizes suitable for consumers or food service companies. Transporting these food products to manufacturing and packaging plants often requires food-grade bulk bags, also called flexible intermediate bulk containers (FIBC) or super sacks. Food-grade bulk bags are made from FDA-approved food-safe materials to ensure food is not inadvertently contaminated. These super-strong bags can hold thousands of pounds of grains, sugar, coffee beans, or other flowable dry ingredients.

Bulk bags can be used with a liner for powdery food products, like flour, to prevent fine particles from escaping. A low-density polyethylene (LDPE) or linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) liner, which can be glued in, tabbed in, or loose can, offer protection from moisture, oxygen, or contaminants that can spoil your product. Foods with oil or moisture content can benefit from a liner to keep the oil and moisture from migrating through the bag. Bulk bags are an economical choice compared to plastic and metal containers. Plus, they are reusable, and empty bags take up much less warehouse space.

Bulk bags are available in various styles and sizes to accommodate needs and filling equipment. Your bulk bag provider can calculate the appropriate size of the bag based on the product’s bulk density, the desired weight of the filled bag, and the pallet or footprint size. Closures, spouts, and loops can all be customized to meet your requirements.

Get Your Food and Beverage Products to Their Destination Safely

Once your product is boxed or bagged, it still needs to travel to its next destination, whether for more processing or to be sold at retail or wholesale. Transit protection will ensure your food and beverages arrive safely.

Federal regulations require that cargo loads are secured. If the cargo isn’t secured, movement from the truck or railcar can cause the loads to shift or fall. Physics and Newton’s Laws of Motion explain why. An item at rest or in motion will stay at a constant speed and straight line until another force acts against it (inertia). The acceleration of an object depends on the mass of the object and the amount of force applied. And there is an identical and reverse reaction for every action.

Mass plays a role in how easy something is to move and how much force it moves with. If you have a heavy object unsecured in a trailer, a small bump may not have enough force to create acceleration as it would a lighter load. But a sudden stop or hump shunting in a rail yard may be enough to set it in motion. A heavy object will hit the side of the trailer with greater force than a lighter object. This force can be enough to derail a train, cause an accident on the highway, or hurt workers when they open the trailer doors. But whether the product is heavy or light, you don’t want the load moving during transit. Broken jars of pickles may not cause a highway accident, but they will make a mess and upset the people expecting pickles. A variety of products can be used to secure a load so products don’t move or become damaged.

To determine what securement products are needed, several factors must be considered, including the product’s or pallet load’s weight, height, length, width, and current packaging type; how it is loaded; and what voids or possibilities for movement exist.

Blocking and bracing are two forms of transit protection that prevent freight from moving in transit. Blocking is shaped to fit snuggly against the cargo and is used in the front, back, and sides of a piece of cargo to prevent lateral movement. Bracing is used to prevent up and down movement and is secured from the upper part of the cargo to the cargo compartment’s floor and/or sides. The blocking and bracing should be able to exert an equal force on the cargo to prevent movement. An experienced transit protection engineer can help you choose the correct solution.

Not only is using transit protection important but using it correctly is critical. Transit securement fails should be avoided. Properly securing cargo will minimize freight damage, increase load efficiency, and give you a better return on investment (ROI). A road securement analysis will ensure you comply with applicable laws and reduce your liability risks.

Read how Tyoga saved a beverage company $300,000 annually by changing the company’s load design and transit protection.

Tyoga: When You Need An Experienced Food and Beverage Packaging and Transit Protection Partner

Tyoga has worked closely with many food and beverage customers, providing corrugated packaging, food-safe bulk bags, and transit protection. Backed by decades of experience and know-how, we will ensure your food and beverage products remain protected and delivered safely to their destinations. We are your experts for troubleshooting and resolving your most demanding challenges. Whether creating a better box or providing a containment turnkey system, we are ready to help. Contact us to discuss your food and beverage challenges.