Aroma protection for coffee, dough, and convenience products: Packaging with one-way valves
Sunday morning: time for roasted coffee. You open the package. What happens? You smell the inimitable aroma of fresh coffee. For a short moment, you feel like being a witness of the roasting process somewhere in an exotic country it's even before you have ground the coffee or filled the beans into the coffee machine and pressed the respective button. A heavenly fragrance, a heavenly feeling. That's how good Sundays start - good days in general.
It's no coincidence that this is possible. Little helpers make big contributions. They are the one-way pressure-relief valves.
Consumers hardly ever ask themselves why the coffee smells so fresh even though the beans were packaged some time ago. For them, this seemingly small olfactory experience is almost a matter of course. In the packaging, the purchased product must remain aromatic and fresh.
Producers must fulfil this consumer expectation. Aroma and freshness must be packaged together with the product. This article explains how that works.
The challenge after product development
Producers of goods invest a considerable amount of time in the development of their products. They make modifications and improvements until they find the perfect solution - the best product. A recipe for roasted coffee, for instance.
After having developed the product, manufacturers are faced with a question: How can we deliver our great product to the consumer without jeopardising freshness and fragrance? After all, not every customer can buy coffee directly from the roaster.
Fortunately, there are specialists who deal with exactly these kinds of questions. Their objective is to master precisely these types of challenges. They are packaging professionals who offer solutions and allow producers to focus all of their energy on their products.
The packaging dilemma
Certain foods remain active inside the packaging. Products such as coffee beans or raw sauerkraut generate gases. As soon as the product is packaged, these gases must be allowed to escape, which results in a packaging dilemma:
- If the product is not in an airtight package, it will inevitably be exposed to air. The consequence: The packaged product oxidises and quickly suffers aroma and quality degradation. Not a good outcome!
- If the product is filled into airtight packaging immediately after roasting, the gases generated in the course of the next three days or so cannot escape. The consequence: The packaging will burst sooner or later. Not a good outcome, either!
So it's not an easy task. But our packaging specialists have taken on the challenge.
At Wipf AG, we solved this dilemma. An absolutely gas-tight package (oxygen and water vapour) package for coffee beans is possible only with a valve.
With the WICOVALVE® one-way overpressure-relief valve, in combination with proprietary laminates, Wipf increased the shelf life of bean coffee from a few weeks to as long as two years.
In its spectrum of applications, this valve has become a de facto standard. It lets gases escape but prevents oxygen ingress. Thus, it makes one of the most essential contributions for the optimised protection of the packaged products.
The alternative to integrating a one-way pressure-relief valve?
- That would be waiting until the product has fully degassed and then packaging it past the peak of freshness. But: Good products want to be packaged while they are fresh and aromatic. This is not a genuine alternative.
- In some markets, the packaging is punctured with a needle. The hole allows gas to escape but also exposes the product to Oxygen - at the expense of shelf life and the risk of rapid aroma dissipation. Again: not a real alternative.
So nothing can replace the one-way pressure-relief valve. And here, Wipf AG can legitimately claim quality leadership. After all, we guarantee at least three years of perfect functional integrity - after three years, the valve works as well as on the first day.
Good protection – not just for coffee
Originally, the WICOVALVE® aroma-protection and pressure-relief valve was intended exclusively for coffee. In the past years, however, we have evolved this technology to cover a growing number of new applications.
Today, it protects fresh, untreated products such as doughs, soy, cheese, mushrooms or microwaveable convenience foods. Thanks to the WICOVALVE®, packaging fulfils contemporary logistics requirements and is simultaneously consumer-friendly.
Specifically, this means: By choosing the right packaging in combination with a one-way pressure-relief valve, you can market your great product with the same quality in any country. Whether your consumers buy your product in Zürich or Moscow, the flavour experience stays the same.
Needless to say, we have also evolved the valves designed for the coffee industry. One example is the biodegradable valve. In combination with biologically compostable materials, the coffee roaster can now offer a packaging system that is totally biodegradable and provides optimized protection of whole-bean coffee against aroma loss.
Here’s how it works:
The one-way WICOVALVE® pressure-relief valve complies with the highest requirements of modern packaging technology.
The valve opens as soon as the product - coffee beans or dough, for example - generates enough interior overpressure. The valve closes again when the overpressure diminishes. In such cycles, the sealant prevents the ingress of oxygen into the packaging. This restores the airtight seal of the packaging and keeps the precious aroma inside - for up to two years longer than was previously the case.
Top-tier flexible packaging solutions
Wipf AG develops and produces high-barrier packaging films and pouches for the food, pharma, and non-food industries. The company employs 200 persons and is one of Europe's leading packaging manufacturers. In 2014 the venerable company celebrated its 100th anniversary.
Would you like to learn more about our capabilities?
We look forward to hearing from you.
Yours, Wipf AG
T +41 44 947 22 11 | email@example.com