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.
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 to eat meal packaging solutions
There are various packaging solutions for ready meals with different processing. The main packaging solutions and types include:
- vacuum packaging: For ready meals vacuum packaging in flexible premade vacuum bags or flexible thermoforming film
- vacuum skin packaging: For ready meals vacuum skin packaging in premade or thermoformed rigid trays
- Rigid tray sealing (sealing only, or vacuum, or nitrogen filling): Usually applied to ready meals sealed in rigid trays.
- 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 life
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 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 machine||Semi-auto vacuum packaging machine||Automatic rotary vacuum packaging machine||Thermoforming vacuum packaging machine|
|Packaging material||Premade retort pouches||Premade retort pouches||Thermoforming film|
|Function||Ready meals vacuum packaging||Ready meals vacuum packaging||Ready meals vacuum packaging|
Advantages and disadvantages of ready meals vacuum packaging
- Longer shelf life: Vacuum packed ready meals can be edible for over 12 months when stored in freezing environment
- Eliminate freezer burn: Vacuum packaging of ready meals evacuate all the air from the vacuum pouches, thus prevents freezer burn
- Lock water and liquid: High-barrier vacuum pouches and thermoforming film prevent moisture from evaporating
- Easy cooking without removing the package: The ready meals can be directly cooked in pot or oven without opening the package
- Ready meals need to be sterilized in high-temperature retort after vacuum packaging, which will more or less effect the taste
- 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
- 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.
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.
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 machine||Tabletop skin pack machines||Floor type semi-auto skin pack machine||Vertical skin pack machine||Inline skin pack machine||Thermoforming skin pack machine|
|Material||Premade skin pack trays + skin film||Premade skin pack trays + skin film||Premade skin pack trays + skin film||Premade skin pack trays + skin film||Rigid thermoforming skin film|
|Cost||Starts from USD1500||Starts from USD8400||Starts from USD9500||Starts from USD30000||Starts from USD850000|
|Packaging speed||120-240 packs/hour||Above 600 packs/hour||400-500 packs/hour||About 500 packs/hour||About 500 packs/hour|
|Automatic grade||Manual cut film||Manual cut film||Automatic cut film||Automatic cut film||Automatic 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.
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.
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 flow wrapping + shrink wrapping machine video for reference
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.