Why package coffee beans? (type)
Packaging is always an essential part of the food preservation process in general. Packaging for green coffee facilitates transportation and export while limiting the influence of environmental factors such as steam and temperature that cause the coffee to mold.
The packaging for coffee after roasting is even more meaningful. A series of chemical reactions, including the Maillard reaction, occur during roasting, producing several new flavor molecules. These molecules are volatile. They are, however, responsible for the irresistible aroma of coffee. If we leave the beans to roast without any protection, these molecules will escape from the coffee beans, enter the air, and quickly vanish. As a result, the coffee loses flavor and begins to spoil.
Aside from the apparent benefit of preserving the freshness and aroma of the coffee, coffee packaging has numerous other advantages, including:
- Have strong antioxidant properties that keep coffee from clumping.
- Beautiful and eye-catching designs help attract customers.
- Low cost while maintaining food safety quality.
Coffee bean packaging requirements
When packaging coffee beans, there are a few things to consider: keeping the flavor intact, letting the air out, and keeping the oxygen out.
Keep the flavor inside
First and foremost, the packaging must keep the fresh-roasted flavors inside. You’ll need to use packaging materials that don’t allow these molecules to pass through easily. Metal cans or laminated packaging material are commonly used for this. These laminated films are composed of several layers of material, most of which are plastic with a thin metal layer. While these materials have a long shelf life, their main disadvantage is nearly impossible to recycle. It isn’t easy to separate those layers again. Paper bags do not retain flavor well. Instead, gas molecules can freely enter and exit the package.
Expel the air
Coffee has a unique internal structure. Like any other plant cell, the cells inside the coffee bean have a solid outer wall. You are essentially drying the beans during the roasting process. However, the coffee beans do not collapse; instead, the cell walls hold the structure together while the water inside evaporates. As a result, roasted coffee beans have a spongy texture.
During roasting, this porous structure can hold a lot of gas. However, more of these gases will escape over time. Carbon dioxide is the dominant gas here (CO2). Coffee beans emit a large amount of carbon dioxide in the first few hours after roasting. Understanding this gas release is critical for coffee roasters and packers. When freshly roasted coffee beans are packed in a carbon dioxide-proof bag, they can explode and break immediately after roasting. If that gas cannot escape, the pressure can become extremely high!
The more air is released in general, the darker the roast and the faster the roast. Because different coffee beans or roasting methods may require other treatments, the reliance on various process parameters forces producers to reconsider their packaging processes. Together.
There are three ways that coffee producers deal with these emissions
The majority of the gases will be released in the first few days, with the amount decreasing over time.
- Coffee beans wrapped in a sachet can withstand some pressure. Some degassing may still be required, but you will need to degas it for a shorter period when using a pressure-resistant pack.
- Wrap the coffee beans in a sachet to allow the gas to escape. However, it also implies that your flavor molecules will vanish quickly. It is best for products with a shorter shelf life.
- Wrap the beans in a sachet to allow air to escape but not anything else in! This final option is handy for avoiding the following mechanism of stagnation: the presence of oxygen!
Many products are vulnerable to oxygen. Oxidation reactions are known to involve oxygen gas. In the case of fats, these oxidation reactions are what cause the lubricant to go rancid. Coffee also contains fat, which can spoil. However, it also includes many flavor molecules that can react with oxygen. In general, the reactions degrade the coffee’s quality.
The shelf life and quality of the coffee beans will be extended by creating packaging that cannot be penetrated by oxygen.
Several other factors influence coffee bean packaging. Humidity should also keep the coffee away, and lower temperatures are preferable to higher temperatures for storage) but not too low, as in a refrigerator or freezer.
Types of coffee bean packaging
Paper packaging is one of the most popular types of coffee packaging. Paper coffee bags are simple, delicate, easy to print on, catch ink colors, and come in various designs. Furthermore, many paper types have consistent mechanical strength, impact resistance, and mobility. The paper is soft and smooth, and it feels great in hand. No special packaging is required if you buy or brew coffee that will be consumed within a few days. A paper bag would be an excellent choice. Coffee beans can be degreased without issue and without sacrificing flavor or allowing oxygen to do its job during oxidation. Paper is also inexpensive and simple to recycle.
Paper bag made of kraft paper
Kraft paper packaging is one of the most popular types of coffee packaging paper. This type of paper is both environmentally and consumer-friendly. Many businesses use this practical solution to protect the environment. A variety of packaging consists of a layer of kraft paper, a layer of silver/aluminum metalize, and a layer of PE printed directly on the package in one or two colors. Kraft packaging is most commonly used to pack coffee in powder or granule form in weights ranging from 18-25gr (instant coffee), 100gr, 250gr, 500gr, and 1kg.
Airtight packaging with a one-way valve (allowing gases to escape)
If you need to store your beans for an extended period, use a package with a one-way valve. The one-way degassing valve has long been used in coffee packaging. The valves are intended for use with roasted coffee beans. Why? Naturally, roasted coffee emits a significant amount of CO2 (gas). Producing CO2 gas causes overpressure in the package, inflating it; it also has an oxidizing effect, which degrades the coffee flavor during transportation and storage. As a result, it must be removed from the packaging.
When the pressure inside the sealed package skyrockets. The valve opens the pressure gate, allowing gas to escape from the pack for a brief moment. The gas is released, and the pressure inside the box is reduced. The valves close when the pressure drops.
Airtight packaging (e.g. a plastic bag)
If you do not want or cannot use a check valve but require a longer shelf life than a paper bag, you can use a regular sealed bag. However, it would help if you waited a little longer to pack the beans. You must ensure that all of the carbon dioxides can escape.
The most common type of packaging in this category is PP packaging. It is a lovely coffee packaging made entirely of PP plastic beads. This packaging has high mechanical strength, is quite sturdy, and is resistant to impact. This type of packaging is used for packaging coffee beans for export.
Vacuum packaging (coffee packaging)
The vacuum packaging machine will suck out the air in the coffee bag before sealing the mouth of the bag to prevent air and bacteria from entering. As a result, coffee is always best preserved, never degraded or spoiled, compared to coffee in plastic or paper bags. Ground coffee is typically vacuum-packed. Because long-distance coffee loses flavor quickly, the additional vacuum protection keeps the coffee fresher for longer. However, vacuum packaging has limitations that necessitate the purchase of machinery.
Metal cans (coffee packaging)
Ground coffee in metal cans is another popular option. Metal cans are more resistant to being penetrated and affected by the outside environment. Furthermore, the can design gives consumers a more luxurious, solid, and eye-catching feeling. Metal cans, like vacuum packaging, are only used by large businesses and brands due to their high cost.
Coffee packaging machines
Viking Masek offers a wide array of packaging equipment for both whole bean and ground coffee. Coffee (and tea) manufacturers choose Viking Masek machines for their ease of use, durability, and high speeds necessary for packaging coffee, tea, and cannibis-infused products.
We offer Vertical Form Fill Seal coffee packaging machines, Flat Bottom and Quad Seal baggers, Bag-In-Bag VFFS Machines, Stick Pack Equipment for instant coffee mixes, and automatic pouch filling machines for Premade Bags.
Plus, we offer all types of ancillary equipment like augers and volumetric fillers, scales and conveyors for complete, automated packaging solutions.
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