Fishing is a multi-billion dollar industry that employs over a million people worldwide. Commercial fishing is a rigorous process that involves catching the animals, preserving the catch, treating the product, transporting the goods, and selling the commodities. With so much effort being put forth to get the product ready for its end sale, it's important to choose packaging that is specifically built to handle seafood products.
But how do you know what to look for? What's good and what's bad? Here are some things to keep in mind the next time you're in the market for seafood packaging:
The first thing you should do is double check the film's gauge. The gauge, or mil thickness, is simply how thick the plastic film is. When ordering poly bags, you have the option of purchasing a wide range of thicknesses. High quality freezer bags typically range depending on the film type and the weight of the product inside. It's critical to meet or exceed the minimum recommended thickness or else you could be at risk of buying bags that won't support the weight of your product. Since it's impossible to determine the difference between mill thicknesses with the naked eye, consider investing in a micrometer so you can check yourself to ensure you're getting what you paid for. Micrometers can be purchased for as low as $12.
Another factor to consider is how resistant the film is to cold crack. When plastic is stored at freezing temperatures for excessive periods of time, its ordinarily flexible molecular structure slows down causing the film to become brittle. Regular plastic bags will lose its elasticity and 'crack.' To combat this deficiency, high quality freezer bags are built with advanced blends of resin that allow the plastic to remain fully intact at freezing temperatures for a much longer period of time.
Identify the level of compatibility with your bags and packaging equipment. Automated packaging machines run more efficiently when partnered with polyethylene films that have wider heat sealing windows. When a factory's environment changes because of the weather, it means the machine has to be manually adjusted to compensate for the difference. With advanced blends, machines are able to handle the sealing process with much more of a flexible temperature window. This results in an increase in productivity and a decrease in time and wasted material.
The best way to verify these important factors is to simply ask your bag manufacturer about them. Ordering from a reputable manufacturer will help you save time and money because you'll be getting a quality product that won't cause you headaches.