Product damage is a serious concern for anyone wrapping heat sensitive products such as chocolates. We often receive calls from confectioners concerned about packaging chocolates with heat shrink wrap. Since shrink wrapping requires heat to properly package products, melting is a legitimate concern. The good news is we have several chocolatiers as customers across the country using our shrink wrap machines with no melting. There are a few things to consider when looking at shrink wrap for packaging chocolates.
- Desired Type of Shrink Film – Different shrink films require different heat settings and exposure to heat for proper shrinking. The most common types of shrink wrap used to package chocolate are PVC and Polyolefin. For direct contact with the chocolate, polyolefin shrink film is required.
The required shrink temperature for a standard 75 gauge PVC shrink wrap is often between 250-270 degrees Fahrenheit. The product will often spend less than five seconds exposed to heat within the tunnel. A standard 75 gauge polyolefin shrink wrap often requires a heat setting of 300-350 degrees Fahrenheit with less than five seconds of exposure within the tunnel.
- Desired Thickness of Shrink Film – The most common thickness for both PVC and Polyolefin shrink film is 75 gauge. The 75 gauge shrink film is excellent for wrapping the vast majority of chocolate products.
The need for a thicker shrink film is often required because of larger heavier products or transportation stress after packaging. We do have a customer wrapping 20 and 50 pound bricks of solid chocolates that need to use a thicker shrink film. We also have customers that shrink wrap chocolates and handle the product multiple times after packaging. This can also require the use of a thicker shrink film. The use of a thicker shrink film requires longer exposure to heat.
- Type of Heating Element – Shrink wrapping requires the sealing of the open shrink film ends which does not cause melting. The process also requires heating of the shrink film to shrink it down to the product. This is the part of the process the can potentially cause product damage.
This rarely happens with the use of a shrink tunnel. Even thicker film requires a very limited time exposed to heat. The form of heating element often causing damage is heat guns. Heat guns are often used for lower output production levels. Depending on the user, packaging with a heat gun can expose products to heat up to one minute which can cause damage to products.
We shot a video packaging products with the 1519 shrink combo system to demonstrate to customers the length of time chocolates would be exposed to heat within a shrink tunnel. At the end of the video below, the operator removes the shrink film to show the chocolates within the package.
Shop all of our shrink wrap machines online at www.uspackagingandwrapping.com. If you have any further questions or concerns about shrink wrapping chocolates or any other heat sensitive products call us at 1-800-441-5090 and we would be happy to assist you.