According to a recent study (see graphic), 28,935 cups of coffee are drunk worldwide every second, indicating just how important the humble cup of joe has become in our lives today. However, exposing coffee to light, oxygen, and water vapor can damage the all-important coffee aroma, so packaging systems should provide as much protection from these detrimental factors as possible.
Bosch Packaging Technology has long been striving to preserve coffee aroma, and is continuously improving the different types of product protection systems it has already brought to market.
Essentially, there are three different systems:
Vacufin: This product protection method uses a strong vacuum (to 25 millibars) to minimize the amount of oxygen inside the pack. It creates economically packaged packs that retains their shape and are easy to handle. Developed in 1960, this product protection system has been around the longest.
Neutrafill: This method, also known as Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP), sees the beans or ground coffee “rinsed” with nitrogen. Introducing a gas such as nitrogen or carbon dioxide into the pack displaces any remaining oxygen, allowing a residual oxygen level of less than one percent to be achieved inside. MAP can be used to produce many kinds of flexible bags with raised fasteners. This method is referred to as inerting.
Neutravac: The newest of the three systems, this method combines the product protection principles of the two systems mentioned above. Inerting the coffee eliminates most of the oxygen from the packaging. In addition, manufacturers can now choose to create a partial vacuum in the pack in order to reduce the oxygen content even further. This method can be used to produce firm evacuated bags that retain their shape as well as flexible bags with raised fasteners.