Valve bags are industrial packages made of materials like polyethylene film, paper, or woven propylene. Cosmetics, fertilizer, pharmaceuticals, constructional, and specifically food sectors employ these bags for packaging of products that are in powder form, such as cement, flour, plastic particles, activated carbon, etc. However, the packaging of dry foods is one of the most popular applications of the valve packages. Though they are one of the traditional packages and since then many packages have been invented, but people still prefer buying them because of various reasons as discussed in this article. So, let’s dig in.
Significance of Dry Food Packaging
Before moving forward to the role of valve bags in dry food packaging, it’s important to learn why it is critical and what is the significance behind it. The packaging of flowable products can be quite tricky and hard to manage. They need to be protected from various external factors. Here are the most important reasons that suggest why they require adequate packaging.
- Limit Exposure to Moisture
The dry foods must be made completely dried before packaging, and it is crucial to protect them from moisture or else they would be spoiled. To ensure that they are dried, the valve bag manufacturer allows it to cool as warmer food is more vulnerable to acquire moisture, and the moist usually leads to the growth of molds. Packaging is only executed after they are completely cooled.
Dry foods can last for 7 months to a year if stored properly. They need to be protected from external heat and must be stored in a cool and dry place. This is why it is essential to pack them in a heat-resistant package, such as the valve bags.
The multi-layer packaging is crucial for dry foods as they are also more prone to pest infestation. The barrier of the valve packages generally blocks the entry of germs.
The high-quality packaging speaks for the quality of the dry products, and this is what attracts more buyers to that particular brand.
Powdered foods like coffee or milk have an amazing aroma. The pleasant smell of such objects is only secured with proper packaging.
Why Use Valve Bags for Dry Food Packaging?
Valve bags are the best choice for dry food packaging because of the following reasons.
- They keep the dry foods protected from the outside environment.
- They allow effective brand messaging because of their durable and versatile material.
- They keep the food safe from contamination.
- They add to the shelf life of the dry foodstuff.
- The quality packaging of a valve bag helps in increasing sales.
- They enhance the freshness and aroma of the food products.
- They could be customized as per the brand’s requirements.
What Dry Foods Can be Packed in Valve Bags and How?
Valve bags are always considered the first preference of all food packaging industries for the proper packing of dry food, including different baking powders, cornmeal, corn-starch, as well as the mixes of coffee, cakes, brownies, muffins, biscuits, and pancakes.
The packing of these food products in valve bags is a highly efficient and unique procedure. Valve bags render airtight sealing to protect these dry food items from all external factors. The filling process generally starts through an opening on the top side of the bag. The food product is then forced inside the package via an auger machine usually. The auger uses a horizontal screw to force the object to the bag with the help of a supply hopper through the fill spout. This machine range in output, automation levels, sizes, and speed. Finally, the foodstuff inside the valve packaging allows the valve opening to self-seal. There are different machines, including manual, semi-automated, or fully automated, for the filling procedure.
Reasons Why People Still Buy Valve Bags
When valve bags were first crafted in the mid-1920s, they had not a very good reputation among people as they were more costly than open-mouth bags. Besides being the expensive packages, the sealing was also not very effective. The low-quality seals usually lead to tearing of the package and messiness of the powdered products. Even though the concept was admired in global industries but due to the lack of reliable seals, the open-bag mouths gained more popularity.
However, after some time of more advancements, not only the cost difference between the two was solved, but the development of high-tech packaging machinery executed airtight sealings and accurate fillings. Eventually, the packaging speed was also increased and brought great productivity in the industries. The secure seals helped in securing the freshness, quality, and odor of the dry foods maintained for a long time.
Lately, several international mills and flour companies have switched to valve bags and for the following reasons.
Reason#1 The Sealing of Valve Bags is More Effective, and Costs are Reduced
In the previous years, sealing was done manually. It was a labor-intensive process, so there were more chances of human errors. Moreover, the self-sealing was not apt specifically for food grade. But in today’s modern world, an advanced sealing process is practiced, known as ultrasonic sealing. This sealing basically is a hermetic seal that averts the airflow and moisture from entering the valve bag.
To create the ultrasonic seals, high-frequency sound waves are used that soften the plastic film bag material. This melting is completed with the vibration of molecules to a point where heat is engendered from the inside out. The best part about the ultrasonic seals is that they cool down instantly, unlike the conventional heat sealers. There are fewer risks of any harm as the seal are not at all hot. The reduction of the external heat is what that eventually reduces the cooling costs.
This kind of sealing is considered more secure and consistent than conventional seals and open-mouth bags. There is no need to puncture the package as well, unlike the traditional sealing as the ultrasonic seals are completely sewn seals. Ultrasonic sealing is ideal for protecting dry foods from all external factors.
Reason#2 Valve Bags Helps in Preventing Dust
Despite having several dust collection management systems, it is hard to control or get rid of all the dust in our surroundings. Dust in bulk is also evaporated in the air during the transportation of these bags. This had also made it difficult to keep the dry foods clean in the past. However, the multi-layered valve bags are crafted in a way that prevents any dust from entering the package and keeps the dry food items absolutely clean.
Previously, due to the single stitch of the valve bags, it was hard to protect the foodstuff from dust. But with more advancements now, the packages are kept completely dust-free. Now it is possible to seal the bag while keeping it at the spout. The filling spout, with the help of an inflatable seal, is used to airtight the smaller opening of the valve bag. And this is how the dust-free filling is executed. But if the bag is removed from the spout, the powder would definitely be discharged into the air. The high-tech machinery, however, is automated and highly efficient with the least risk of such errors.
The dust control system of the Valve bag packaging machines helps keep the plant facilities clean and mess-free and diminishes the chances of dust explosion zones. These dust-proof enclosures even avert the contaminants from entering the filling.
Reason#3 Valve Bag Machines Have Made Palletizing and Storing Easier
The densification and deaeration of the dry powdered food products are now controlled completely, and all credits go to the auger filling, pneumatic, vertical impeller, horizontal impeller options of the highly productive valve bag packaging machine. This versatility of the machine helps with the palletizing and storage of dry products as well. The novel valve bags allow for the maximum filling of the dry powdered food products. The increased product compaction makes the bag completely filled and produces a block shape. This final shape is very convenient to stack and store. Subsequently, stacking helps with the shipments. They are then easily moved with the help of the robot grippers.
Reason#4 Advancements in the Filling Speed
Earlier, the filling of the valve bags took lots of time, but thanks to the advancements of the contemporary industrial world, this issue has also been solved, and now the credits go to the high-capacity of the machines. The efficiency of the valve bag packaging machines can work on more than 1,600 100-pound bags per hour and over 2,000 50-pound bags per hour.
Additionally, the multi-spout and high-capacity valve bag filling machines with sealers have reduced downtime massively. The production never stops if any sealer needs maintenance. These productive machines can even fill the bags with dry foods in a wide range of sizes.
The dry bulk food industries have been taking profits in high scales from the valve packaging process, especially the flour industry. In the current times, the valve bags have replaced the open-bag mouths in massive grounds. Without the addition of any preservatives and chemicals, this optimal process is executed. These packages are now considered the most feasible options in the food industry for packing dry products. This optimum packaging technology is aiding the food manufacturers worldwide to secure and market their products to sell on bigger platforms. Such a technique seems a profit for everyone as with time the costs are reduced massively.
It is rightly said that some inventions never get old. The same goes for the valve bags as their multi-layers become a barrier for the dry food products and keep them safe from all kinds of external factors. The ultrasonic sealing, protection from dust, and great versatility of these packages make them superior to others in the market. They have been the first choice of most people since the very beginning, and still, those individuals prefer using the products packed in these bags because of their continuous improvements. The quality of the valve bags has just improved more and more in all these years, and this is the reason that most individuals have firm faith in these packages.