Ready to eat meals packaging machine overview

In this article, we will be having an overview of ready to eat meals packaging machines, packaging types, basic machine introductions, and approximate cost. We offer the widest range of ready meals packaging machines and packaging solutions that cover vacuum packaging, vacuum skin packaging, tray sealing, tray wrapping, flow wrap and shrink wrapping, etc.

ready to eat meals packaging machine

What is ready to eat meal

Ready to eat meals, also as known as ready meals or prepared meals, are some types of food products that are prepared or precooked for consumers to eat them instantly or with minimum process.

Ready to eat meals were first invented and developed for military forces, but now ready meals are becoming quite popular at the whole society with more and more demands, because of the conveniences they bring to life. Ready to eat meals are precooked or partially cooked, then preserved in vacuum or frozen environment (if prolonged shelf-life is required). When consumers need to eat them, they require no or only minimal further cooking or processing, like boiling water immersion, microwave or cooking for less time.

ready meals packaging machine

Instant noodle is considered as ready to eat meals, they can be eaten after immersing in boiling water for only a few minutes

Ready to eat meal packaging solutions

There are various packaging solutions for ready meals with different processing. The main packaging solutions and types include:

  1. vacuum packaging: For ready meals vacuum packaging in flexible premade vacuum bags or flexible thermoforming filmReady to eat meals vacuum packaging machine
  2. vacuum skin packaging: For ready meals vacuum skin packaging in premade or thermoformed rigid traysready meals vacuum skin pack
  3. Rigid tray sealing (sealing only, or vacuum, or nitrogen filling): Usually applied to ready meals sealed in rigid trays.ready meals packaging machine
  4. flow wrapping (with or without shrink wrapping): Ready meals flow wrapping is usually applied to instant noodles and similar products that are dried and not require vacuum packaging to prolong shelf lifeSelf-heating hotpot packaging in HFFS flow wrapper and shrink tunnel

Ready to eat meal packaging machines

For each of above packaging solutions, there are corresponding packaging machines. We offer ready meal packaging machines of various capacity to fit the needs of different business scales, from entry-level packagingmachines for business beginners to large-scale packaging machines for massive production requirement.

Ready meals vacuum packaging machine

For vacuum packaging of ready to eat meals in premade retort pouches or flexible thermoforming film/aluminum foil. The ready meals are vacuum packed, then sterilized and stored in freezing environment. After consumers purchase the ready meals, they can cook them without opening the packages, so the material must be able to withstand low temperature storage and high temperature cooking.

ready meals vacuum packaging machine

Ready meal vacuum packaging machines include semi-auto chamber vacuum packaging machines, automatic rotary vacuum packaging machines, and thermoforming vacuum packaging machines. For details, please visit our vacuum packaging machine product page.

Ready meal vacuum packaging machineSemi-auto vacuum packaging machineAutomatic rotary vacuum packaging machineThermoforming vacuum packaging machine
Packaging materialPremade retort pouchesPremade retort pouchesThermoforming film
Packaging speedLowFastFast
Machine costLowHighHigh
CustomizableYesYesYes
FunctionReady meals vacuum packagingReady meals vacuum packagingReady meals vacuum packaging

ready to eat meals vacuum packaging machine

Ready meals thermoforming vacuum packaging machine video for reference

Advantages and disadvantages of ready meals vacuum packaging

Advantages:

  1. Longer shelf life: Vacuum packed ready meals can be edible for over 12 months when stored in freezing environment
  2. Eliminate freezer burn: Vacuum packaging of ready meals evacuate all the air from the vacuum pouches, thus prevents freezer burn
  3. Lock water and liquid: High-barrier vacuum pouches and thermoforming film prevent moisture from evaporating
  4. Easy cooking without removing the package: The ready meals can be directly cooked in pot or oven without opening the package
ready meals vacuum packaging machine

Disadvantages:

  1. Ready meals need to be sterilized in high-temperature retort after vacuum packaging, which will more or less effect the taste
  2. All materials are mixed: Flexible vacuum packaging of ready meals have to vacuum-seal all the ingredients together. If in some cases, they need to be packed separately, the vacuum packaging process will be more complicated
  3. Requires dishes: Because the ready meals are vacuum packed in flexible material, they come loose after opening the packages. Consumers have to put them in dishes to eat after they are cooked, which makes them less convenient

Ready meals vacuum skin packaging machine

For vacuum skin packaging of ready to eat meals in premade skin pack trays or rigid thermoforming trays. The ready meals are sealed and locked firmly to the tray by a layer of transparent skin film to prevent liquid flowing and purges, and thus offers an attractive 3D presentation and allows ready meals to be displayed vertically for better merchandising appeal.

ready meals vacuum skin packaging machine

Ready meals in vacuum skin packaging can be displayed vertically

The vacuum skin packaging trays and skin films for ready meals shall be microwaveable so that consumers can reheat the meals easily without removing the trays and sealing film. For the microwaveable packaging materials, please consulted and purchase from the related material suppliers. Our vacuum skin packaging machines can handle the materials without any problem.

ready meals vacuum skin packaging machine

We offer ready meals vacuum skin packaging machines with different features and capacities to fit the needs of ready meal business in different phases. The smallest machine costs from USD1500 (FOB price). For more options, please check the table below for reference

Ready meals vacuum skin packaging machineTabletop skin pack machinesFloor type semi-auto skin pack machineVertical skin pack machineInline skin pack machineThermoforming skin pack machine
MaterialPremade skin pack trays + skin filmPremade skin pack trays + skin filmPremade skin pack trays + skin filmPremade skin pack trays + skin filmRigid thermoforming skin film
CostStarts from USD1500Starts from USD8400Starts from USD9500Starts from USD30000Starts from USD850000
Packaging speed120-240 packs/hourAbove 600 packs/hour400-500 packs/hourAbout 500 packs/hourAbout 500 packs/hour
Automatic gradeManual cut filmManual cut filmAutomatic cut filmAutomatic cut filmAutomatic form tray, automatic cut film

Ready meals vacuum skin packaging machine video for reference

Ready meals tray sealing machine with or without vacuum/MAP packaging

For sealing of ready to eat meals in premade plastic trays, aluminum foil trays, or rigid thermoforming trays. According to the storage requirement and specifications of ready meals, the machine can do 3 basic functions: Sealing only; Vacuum; MAP modified atmosphere packaging.

ready meals packaging machine

The trays and sealing films for ready meals shall be microwaveable so that consumers can reheat the meals easily without removing the trays and sealing film. For the microwaveable packaging materials, please consulted and purchase from the related material suppliers. Our MAP tray sealer packaging machines can handle the materials without any problem.

ready meals packaging machine

We offer ready meals tray sealing vacuum/MAP packaging machines with different features and capacities to fit the needs of ready meal business in different phases. The smallest machine costs from USD8000 (FOB price).

Ready meals tray sealing packaging machine video for reference

Other than the tray sealing machine itself, this ready meals packaging line also includes automatic tray drop system, rice automatic dispenser, water filling system, and inkject for date printing. To prolong the shelf life of the ready meals, they need high-temperature sterilization in autoclaves. For any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Ready to eat meals flow wrapping and shrink wrapping machine

This type of packaging machine is often used for dry meals (i.e. instant noodles) that doesn’t require vacuum or MAP packaging to prolong shelf life, ready meals for same day selling, or for further packaging of ready meals packaging in trays.

ready meals packaging machine

Ready meals flow wrapping + shrink wrapping machine video for reference

Conclusion

Nowadays, with the consumers’ growing demand and higher quality requirement for ready meals, the packaging technology keep evolving, including ready meals packaging machines, packaging materials, and packaging process optimization. If you have any issues or questions about this topic, please contact us by the form below.

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