Packaging Tips

Have you gone online to get concrete, valuable information on how to pack and ship your perishable product safely only to be more frustrated than when you started? Simply put, there is not much available information to let one know how to pack and ship their perishable products successfully. The good news is that most any perishable product can be shipped year-round safely and successfully. PeriShip has perishable shipping experts who will provide the knowledge of what one needs to do, as well as a "step by step" process of how to pack and ship your product successfully.

To help our potential customers to have good understanding of how to tender perishable products to an express and ground environment, we have prepared a collection of comprehensive materials. These materials cover wide range of perishable goods as well as the possible shipping conditions. Here are few examples of packaging tips:

Dairy

Milk, butter, eggs, sour cream, whipped cream, yogurt and ice cream - all can be shipped successfully year-round. Frozen yogurt, ice cream and butter need to be shipped frozen - each needs dry ice as the best refrigerant enabling extended transit - frozen gels can be used, but transit would be limited. All others would ship refrigerated with gels, and some like eggs would require additional infrastructure packing. For milk, sour cream, yogurt and egg, the ideal temperature to keep the freshness of the product is around 38F°.

Ice cream, and other frozen dairy desserts require no preservatives. They need to be kept below -10° F and to be protected from temperature fluctuations. Airtight packaging materials are required to ensure the product arrives without loss of flavor, body and texture.

Cheese

This is in the dairy category but needs its own distinction. In general, cheeses of all types ship very well year-round but a distinction needs to be made between "hard" and "soft" cheese - these further break down into hard, semi-hard, soft and semi-soft cheeses. Basically, hard cheeses are made from unpasteurized milk and are aged or "ripened" depleting the cheese of moisture making them drier. These cheeses easily ship year-round with extended transit even in summer and could be shipped without gels; however, most US customers might refuse the shipment as they think cheeses in general need to be shipped refrigerated, so a refrigerated gel contained inside is advised.

Most cheeses made in the US are soft cheeses made with pasteurized milk. As the product is more uniform and consistent, they also ship well year-round but need refrigerated gels and transit becomes more limited in the summer.

Meats

Cow, deer, game (bird or other). For the most part, frozen meats travel well getting extended transit time. Remember first and foremost, frozen meat is a refrigerant in itself, and adding either dry ice or frozen gels to the shipment will extend transit.

Fresh meat needs to be maintained between 33° to 42° F with the more expensive cuts 33° to 38° F, and can only be shipped with gel packs. In winter, extended transit is possible; in summer, two days are possible, but next day is advised for extreme summer conditions.

For precooked meats, dry ice would be preferred as the refrigerant of choice, but frozen gels also good for extended transit, as payload could arrive slightly defrosted and could be refrozen to remain within temperature. Unprepared foods (such as salads) that contain the raw meats, need to be shipped with gels at ideal refrigerated temps.

Poultry

Frozen poultry ships very well with either dry ice or frozen gel packs achieving extended transit year-round. Refrigerated poultry also ships well year-round with gels and added packing tips.

For precooked meals (such as: casseroles) that contain poultry meat, dry ice would be preferred as the refrigerant of choice. Frozen gels are also good for extended transit, but payload could arrive slightly defrosted and would have to be refrozen to remain within temperature.

Unprepared foods (such as salads) that contain raw poultry meat need to be shipped with gels at ideal refrigerated temps.

Fish, Seafood and Shellfish

All products in this category ship quite well whether frozen or fresh. Frozen would be better with dry ice as to extend transit but frozen gels could also be used with limited transit in summer. Particular attention will need to be placed with fresh products, which can only be shipped with gels with additional packing tips to control moisture.

It is also important to pay attention to the insulating value and protection against dehydration when selecting packaging. If you're shipping unglazed seafood, the product should be packed in a polyethylene bag before it is placed in the shipping carton to guard against freezer burn.

For shipments of fresh seafood, seal the product in polyethylene bags, use moisture proof containers and avoid wet ice. The airlines are very sensitive about leaking shipments of seafood, and usually conduct "tip tests" before accepting shipments.

Fresh Produce

Refrigerated only with gels. Certain products will take added precaution like leafy greens. Basically, fresh produce will need to ship at 38 to 48 F refrigerated temps year-round. Only gel packs can be used and depending on weather conditions, gels could be refrigerated or frozen with specific packing tips but simply, this category can ship successfully year-round.

One important consideration when the packaging and shipping of fresh produce is to identify whether the produce are "softer" products (such as peaches or heirloom tomatoes). This type of produce will need a good separation or restrain the movement of each individual produce items. This is to prevent the damage caused by "collision" of individual pieces.

Another factor needs to be considered is the "chilling injury". Some fruits and vegetables cannot be packed in a too low temperature environment. Otherwise it will create irreversible injury to the shipped product.

Juices

Juices of all types are shipped successfully - can be frozen or refrigerated. Frozen juices ship quite well with dry ice or frozen gels, since they could arrive slightly defrosted and still be fine. Natural juices can only be shipped with gels as they are made with natural ingredients and have a defined shelf life. For juices and drinks that are primarily made from pasteurized juice or concentrates, dry ice is also an option.

For Juice Cleanses, many makers use cold-pressure hydraulic methods of extracting the juice from organic fruits and vegetables to avoid adding the heat that occurs when grinding or blending. The special bottling, packaging and shipping practices are designed to keep the juice from losing its nutritive properties. PeriShip has the experience of helping many leading Juice Cleanse makers to meet their expectation.

Chocolates

Chocolate is very sensitive to temperature and humidity above 50%. Chocolate should be stored away from other foods because it can absorb different aromas. Chocolates should be packed and stored within the correct humidity, temperature, and away from light. If the chocolate is stored improperly an effect called “blooming” will take place. Blooming takes place when the chocolate absorbs enough moisture to cause a whitish discoloration and fat or sugar crystals rise to the surface. In addition, when the chocolate is subject to extreme temperatures it will develop an oily texture. Although this phenomenon makes the chocolate visually unappealing, it is still safe for consumption.

Baked Goods

Cakes, cheesecakes, pies, tarts, tortes, truffles, cupcakes, brownies, pastries, biscotti, bread, biscuits, rolls, croissants, pizza, pretzels, chips, pita and many more – all can be shipped successfully year-round. Most cakes, cheesecakes, cupcakes, pastries, pizza, and raw dough should be shipped frozen, particularly if the baked good has icing. It is also advised to ship these with dry ice as they need to stay frozen in transit. Most any baked good made from all natural ingredients would benefit from being shipped with gels unless the customer has already conducted tests to confirm the integrity of the product would not be compromised if shipped frozen. Most baked goods have a high fat content, thus having a higher melting point. This means the product will defrost at a faster rate, therefore, packing tips become very important to ensure safe deliveries. Attention will be made to each as to determine the best method of shipping (refrigerant and packing tips).

PeriShip would like to share with you these guidelines, tips and directions. We would be happy to e-mail you a copy of the materials - all you need to do is provide some basic contact information, as we would like to contact you on some point in the future regarding your potential shipping and packaging needs. PeriShip will never sell or share your information with anyone.

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