Firm offers heat sealing masterclasses to food retailers

TRAY sealing firm, Proseal, has developed a special training course to help customers further improve the quality of their film sealing.

The company’s Heat Sealing Masterclass details to food retailers and their suppliers the various steps required to meet an ‘ideal standard’ of sealing for their particular applications, as well as delivering expert advice on best practice and material usage.

It also provides participants with a set of practical solutions to solve and prevent the most common sealing issues. As part of this, Proseal has created a set of definitions for what constitutes a good seal, based around what the company defines as ‘the three pillars of heating sealing’ – materials, design, and maintenance.

Daryl Henshaw, key accounts manager at Proseal, said, “Sealing quality is at the heart of everything we do. However, as much as we can engineer equipment and technologies to produce quality seals every time, without proper understanding within the industry of ‘what good looks like,’ gaps in knowledge and sometimes a lack of understanding can often impact sealing quality and can lead to costly and reputationally damaging scenarios for our customers and the retailers they supply.”

The Proseal Masterclass takes an in-depth look at ‘what makes a good seal’ including but not limited to: the basics of compatible tray sealing materials, dealing with contaminants, heat sealing principles, correct tool handling, maintenance, storage, and how the design of the packaging impacts the functionally of the machine. The course promotes, shares, and assists with the setting up of CCP and SOP’s and goes a long way to try to instil the importance of a ‘check twice, cut once’ culture.

As the precise sealing requirements will vary depending on the type of industry, Proseal said each class is tailored to individual customer applications, recommending appropriate best practice, good housekeeping, maintenance, and quality control procedures built on the combination of Proseal’s 20+ years of tray sealing knowledge.

The firm added that a ‘key part’ of its ability to measure seal quality is its ‘unique’ ProTest seal testing system, which plays a ‘central role’ in the masterclass. ProTest is an automated lid-peeling device that enables food manufacturers and processors to determine the ideal seal strength for individual products. It measures and reports the resistance offered by the film as it separates from the tray, and then provides the user with the relevant data to determine if the seal strength is correct and make adjustments as necessary.

Another element, underlining the ‘comprehensiveness and wide-ranging’ nature of the class is working sessions within Proseal’s Test Kitchen, which enables customers to fully trial new materials and tray designs to ensure they are conducive to tray sealing and able to deliver the required levels of product protection, shelf-life, and shelf presentation.

Wendy Fallon, partner and technical manager, chilled ready meals, commented, “Pack quality is essential to ensure we deliver products in the best condition and maintain the highest standards expected of the Waitrose brand. The Heat Sealing Masterclass provides excellent training and the support Proseal offers to help resolve sealing challenges is much appreciated.”

Proseal added that for many of its customers the classes have led to significant reductions in complaints to retailer for things like ‘off complaints, open seals, and broken packs’.

Daryl Henshaw said, “Sealing technology continues to advance rapidly and, as a leader in the field, we are happy to share our best practice knowledge with food retailers and their suppliers, free of charge. It’s great to see the impact our masterclasses have on reducing problems and further improving sealing standards in the food industry.”