Dehydrated and dry foods
Drying as a technique for food preservation has a long history. It remainsa very efficient and widely used way to greatly extend the life of foodstuffs.Once safely protected from light and gases, the food retains its nutritionalvalue and texture until re-hydrated.
Removing the water eliminates any support for bacteria and othercontamination. It also removes a high proportion of the product weight andspace requirements, saving valuable resources used in storage and transport.
Aluminium foil can provide the essential barrier needed to stop the ingressof moisture and escape of subtle flavours. It also prevents the UV rays,present in most forms of lighting, from causing ‘photo-oxidation’ and therancid taste from fat and oil components in dried food products.
Alufoil, mainly in the form of sachets, is widely used to pack such fooditems as peas, beans, milk and soup powders, cake mixes, sweet and savourysauces, herbs and spices, yeast, instant beverages such as chocolate andmalt-based drinks, tea and coffee. Single serve sachets ensure that the rest ofthe contents remain in top condition.
The sachet or pouch for driedproducts can be made in a variety of sizes and shapes, from the smallest ‘stickpack’ of instant coffee to very large multi-portion packs used by the cateringindustry for such products as soup and cake mixes.
In the savoury foods sector there are usually sensitive but essentialingredients upon which the flavour and food value depend. Dry cheese productssuch as powdered Parmesan, require strictly controlled but low humidity contentfor long life coupled with good flavour. Meat, fish and poultry stock cubes,often high in moisture-loving salt, receive full (and deadfold) protection froma non-laminated alufoil wrapper.
Many cake mixes, powdered dessert sauces and biscuits are high in sugar, ahighly hygroscopic ingredient. The shelf life of biscuits can also suffer ifnot fully protected from oxygen and moisture. Alufoil laminated pouches andsachets can stop such deterioration.
Sold in single-serve sachets, drinks such as powdered milk and chocolate,malt-based drinks, instant coffee and tea can all benefit from the longevityprovided by alufoil helping to make sure that the drink can still be fullyenjoyed many months later, even beyond its ‘use by’ date.
For many dry food products several versions of alufoil lined cartons cancombine technical efficiency with great consumer convenience and attractivegraphic design. Powdered food products such as baby milk and drinks such aschocolate and tea can be effectively packed in foil-lined cartons. Somecylindrical designs offer an easy-open, fully protective alufoil membrane undera plastic reclosable lid. Rectangular cartons can be perforated at the top seamfor easy opening.
A fine example of alufoil’s protective role is the packaging of aromaticherbs and spices. Alufoil has been scientifically proven as a complete barrier for the organic molecules whichmake up flavour and taste. Dried yeast, a ‘living’ organism, will last for verylong periods in the total protection from moisture that an alufoil sachet canprovide.