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Meat Packaging Solutions

The packaging of meat requires maximum shelf life, sanitary design and the best possible productivity and efficiency for your operation. We have options for meat of any kind: fresh, cold or frozen. Hamburgers. Cured, smoked or salted meat. Quartered, minced or sliced. They can be packaged on thermoformers, tray sealers, flow wrappers, vertical baggers, or stretch machines. Add our wide variety of automation options to create any packaging setup, up to a full product-to-pallet integrated line. Meat packaging covers an incredible gamut of options and solutions, and we can help with them all. Any product. Any cut. Any style.


Meat Packaging Videos:

MAP - Tray Seal SlimFresh Steak - Tray Seal Super Protruding - Tray Seal
TFS 200 MSV -MAP, Skin and Vacuum - Thermoform TFS 407R Reduced Scrap - Thermoform Sausages - Thermoform
Hamburgers - Flow Wrap Flow Vac Salami Slices - Flow Wrap


Meat Packaging Formats

Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP)

MeatPillar_MAPThe goal of modified atmosphere packaging, or MAP, is to extend the shelf life of products. MAP lowers or eliminates oxygen inside the packaging, because oxygen speeds up the process of spoilage. Oxygen encourages the growth of bacteria, produces lipid oxidation reactions, and causes high respiration rates, which then causes spoilage. The air in the package is replaced by gas mixtures that help extend the product's shelf life. Some common gases used are carbon dioxide, oxygen and nitrogen. Nitrogen is used to prevent oxidation and helps prevent packages from collapsing. MAP uses gas flushing. It happens by passing a stream of gas – the air becomes diluted, then the pack is sealed.

Vacuum Packaging


The vacuum packaging method removes air and its contaminants prior to sealing. The process creates a cavity by heating and forming the film into a desired shape, introducing your products to the packaging either manually or by automation, extracting all air and any particulates, then sealing occurs. There are several benefits of using vacuum packaging: longer shelf life, increased product protection, flavor preservation, and mold and bacteria prevention. It's also cost effective and can be used with rigid or flexible packaging.


Skin Packaging

MeatPillar_SkinIn skin packaging, a top film forms over the entire product's surface as well as any exposed material surface. This process involves lining the backing material, often corrugated cardboard or paperboard, with an adhesive material. Heat sealing permits the film to form a seal around the product while a vacuum is used to eliminate the atmosphere which would accelerate product spoilage. Industries and products such as seafood, fresh meats, poultry, cheese and ready meals could benefit from skin packaging. Some benefits of skin packing include an extended shelf life, flavor retention, product clarity, vertical display and options for flexible or rigid support. It's often used in retail so consumers can see a product without having to open it. Skin packaging can be done on a thermoformer or a traysealer.


Stretch Seal

MeatPillar_StretchSealProduced on a tray sealer, stretch seal requires the film to be heat sealed to the flange, or top edge of the tray, rather than wrapping around the entire tray. This sealing technology prevents leakage and reduces costs on materials. Stretch Seal is ideal for poultry products because of its leak-proof capabilities as well as the extremely clear presentation. It also eliminates the need for shrink tunnels which are used by some equipment to heat & shrink the film to form around the product. 


Darfresh® on Tray

MeatPillar_DarfreshCryovac Darfresh technology is similar to skin packaging, but offers an additional layer of support with a second tight and form fitting skin that seals to the edge of the product. Compared to normal skin packing technology, Darfresh offers zero film scrap and up to 38% less top film usage. Also, 20-30% more trays per minute can be produced than traditional technology. The Darfresh packaging method is used in both tray sealing and thermoforming, and is useful for products that contain liquids. The process features easy-open film, offers clear visibility for the product, superior oxygen barriers, and contributes to an extended shelf life.

Brochure for Thermoformed, Flow Wrapped, and Stretch Wrapped Meat >

Brochure for Meat Packaged on Tray Sealers >

Meat Packaging Machines

Tray Sealing

MeatPillar_Trave1000A Tray Sealing machine seals a rigid tray with food product inside and heat seals a plastic film to the trays flange. Tray sealing is ideal for packaging both frozen meals and fresh foods. The seal is airtight and can be used with MAP technology, which prolongs the products shelf life by slowing down harmful bacteria that causes spoilage; or it can serve as a simple dust cover for frozen products where no MAP requirements exist. 


Tray Sealing and Tray Forming Brochures >



MeatPillar_TFS300A thermoformer forms a tray, or a cavity, from rollstock, then another roll of film is placed over the product and sealed with the bottom film. This creates a horizontal form, fill, and seal. Thermoforming machines offer the ability to do MAP, vacuum, skin, and shrink applications. Thermoforming machines can create multi-cavity packs, form packages with easy open and reclosable systems, and can use multiple films in one pack. Thermoforming is used for products in many food markets, and for medical devices.


Thermoforming Brochures > 


Flow Wrapping


Flow wrapping creates a seal that is referred to as a non-lap type of seal on the bottom, with crimped end seals. In other words, the product is sealed at the top and bottom with a longitudinal seal down the middle. The process is completely hygienic and is ideal for both food and non-food products. It can offer resealable options as well as MAP to prolong shelf life. 


Flow Wrapping Brochures >


Vertical Bagging

MeatPillar_VTC840Vertical bagging machines use a single film coil to create a package with three weldings: two cross-weldings and one longitudinal welding. Its ideal applications include loose products, granulated products, doughy products or products difficult to handle. The Tight-BagTM system has been developed in order to preserve product quality by optimizing the required volume of the bags. With no perforations, there is no risk of contaminating the product. The amount of air that can be extracted from the package is adjustable by the operator from the control display.



Vertical Bagging Brochures >


Stretch Wrapping

MeatPillar_GalaxyStretch wrappers can load two film widths concurrently, with ZERO changeover between a wide range of tray sizes. They have the ability to load the same film width on two mandrels to allow scheduled film change during breaks. The machines are programmable for 2-dimension pre-stretch to assure tight, high quality packages, and are both easy to use and simple to maintain.



Galaxy Stretch Wrapper Brochure>

Automated Packaging Lines


Automation affords several major benefits for packaging manufacturers. It reduces operational costs by lowering labor costs and minimizing waste from human interaction, increases throughput and productivity, and creates a safer work environment by replacing repetitive and strenuous manual jobs. When it comes to automation, we offer fully integrated lines, from product to pallet. MeatPillar_Automation-DeliMeat

Learn more about end-to-end automation solutions >

Master Bag


Case-ready meat needs to arrive with the best possible shelf-life intact. PVC over-wrapped trays provide that "butcher shop" look, but since PVC is a breathable film, shelf life is not maintained on its own. Our master bag machines are ideal for your case ready application. The systems can group trays and automatically load them into a Modified Atmosphere pack with maximum product shelf life until they are put out for purchase. Labor costs are cut, with the capability of increasing the throughput of packages per minute.

MasterBagLearn more about master bag wrapping>

Our customers rely on us to help them optimize their overall packaging investment, as well as strategize how to tackle today’s most complex packaging topics; such as sustainability, eCommerce, robotics and digital transformation. Producers seeking to prototype, design, build, implement and maintain automated packaging solutions have relied on Harpak-ULMA for over 40 years. We can help you navigate today’s complex, rapidly changing packaging landscape; balancing cost and functionality with innovative or emerging processes, materials, and advanced technologies that enhance profitability and improve market performance of primary and secondary packaging operations. Our full-service solutions address installation, training, spare parts, service and customer support, while capabilities span robotics and automation, thermoforming, tray sealing, filling, flow pack, stretch, blister, skin pack, and vacuum.

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