Cheese and many other dairy products are able to benefit from flexible packaging’s controlled breathability, humidity and preservation of freshness and, particularly, aroma. Different gauges of flexible material can be used to offer high levels of protection, even without any secondary packaging.
Novel methods of skin and vacuum packaging enable extended shelf life and inhibit microbial or fungal growth for hard cheeses. This barrier protection is available against light, water vapour and aromas, creating the ideal atmosphere to preserve optimal taste over long periods. Such packs also maintain the attractive and distinctive shape and colour many of these offer. This visibility can be an important aspect of consumer acceptance and trust for these products. Additionally breathable films provide excellent environments for soft cheeses which need to continue to mature in the pack. Packaging options include films; cheese foils; paper composites; lidding films for spreadable cheeses; thermo formed packs for slices; wrapping films; flow packs and pouches for grated cheeses; as well as the ability to incorporate a host of practical applications, such as easy-open and reclose functionalities.
Flexible packaging comes into its own when looking at more dairy products, providing a wide range of options and formats. These include butter wraps and lidding solutions, pouches and lidding for yoghurts and dairy based deserts, sachets for dried milk powder, wraps for single portion ice creams, dairy snacks and other single serve dairy products. The ability to incorporate re-seal or re-close applications adds to the appeal and utility of these packs. More recently dairy and yoghurt based drinks are available in pouch formats for on-the-go consumption and greater convenience which appeals to younger consumers who find the high impact decoration or funky shapes very appealing – so encouraging more healthy diets.
Even milk can now be found widely in pouches, which are a highly resource efficient alternative to rigid containers, and particularly suited to less developed economies where all packaging, but particularly the rigid container, is expensive and at a premium.