Food Labeling and Coding Solutions for Pre-Made Meals

2024-02-05 13:18

Pre-made meals, also known as ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook meals, are commercially crafted for quick and effortless preparation by consumers. These meals simplify dining, requiring just minimal heating or cooking. However, consumers must carefully check the dates and nutritional information on the packaging for freshness and compatibility with their dietary needs. So, how are they labeled? Let's read on.

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Pre-made meals have been popular in recent years. These convenience meals originate from a variety of sources including crops, livestock, poultry, and seafood. And they are professionally processed in food factories with various seasonings to retain nutrition and flavor while offering convenience and efficiency for a modern, healthy lifestyle. 

Types of Pre-made Meals

Pre-made meals are commonly divided into several categories to suit different lifestyle needs. These include:

1. Ready-to-Eat Meals: Requiring no additional preparation and can be consumed as is, making them perfect for those on the go.

2. Ready-to-Cook Meals: Designed for ease, these meals need only to be reheated, often in a microwave, before serving.

3. Quick Serve Meals: Targeted at those with minimal cooking skills or time, these meals involve simple cooking steps such as heating in a skillet or oven.

4. Meal Prep Kits: These kits come with pre-measured and sometimes partially prepared ingredients, along with recipes for consumers to cook their meals. They offer a balance between homemade cooking and convenience.

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The frozen ready meals and gourmet ready-to-eat foods is quite popular among busy professionals and students seeking quick and easy dining options. Meanwhile, meal prep kits have found favor with those who enjoy cooking but may not have the time or skills for meal planning and ingredient prep.

Packaging for Pre-made Meals

Packaging varies, with instant meals often sealed in plastic containers or aluminum trays for easy heating, and microwaveable meals in high-temperature-resistant films or food-grade paper. Healthy pre-made meals might use vacuum packaging for freshness. 

These packages, typically stored between zero degrees Celsius to four degrees Celsius or below minus eighteen degrees Celsius for frozen items, require materials that remain stable and moisture-proof at low temperatures to maintain food quality and taste.

Labeling Solutions for Pre-made Meals

Labeling in cold and frozen environments poses challenges. HPRT, as a reliable provider of barcode and labeling solutions, offers flexible labeling and marking options for convenience meals.

1. TTO Batch Coding Solution

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Economical and efficient, TTO (Thermal Transfer Overprinting) is perfectly suited for flexible packaging materials such as plastic films and aluminum foil. It's particularly effective for coding on film-sealed meal trays and food containers, as demonstrated in the following video:

The HPRT FC53 series TTO printers, adaptable for various food production lines alongside horizontal, vertical packaging machines, and sealers, provide 300dpi high-definition coding across a print area width of up to 53mm. 

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These batch coding machines can print expiration dates, shelf life, batch numbers, logos, multilingual product descriptions, ingredient lists, traceability barcodes, QR codes, and variable content. And FC53 series printers offer clear and durable printouts that comply with the pre-made meal industry's stringent standards.

Moreover, they can be integrated with paging machines for packaging dry foods or snacks in stand-up zipper bags or vacuum-sealed packages for items like ham, sausages, and seafood pre-made dishes.

2. Industrial Barcode Printers

Versatile and flexible, industrial barcode printers are suitable for various packaging types, including rigid containers, flexible pouches, and irregularly shaped labels. 

HPRT high-performance industrial barcode printers support continuous 24-hour printing, compatible with labeling machines for high-speed, automated precision printing.

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Our barcode printers provide up to 6 inches of print width and resolutions of 203/300/600dpi, ideal for bulk printing food labels, nutrition labels, and salad labels, including product names, ingredient lists, net weights, production and expiration dates, storage instructions, manufacturer information, and product barcodes.

Moreover, HPRT industrial printers adapt to various label materials and sizes, especially for fresh and frozen foods, printing waterproof, moisture-resistant labels that adhere well in low temperatures, complying with pre-made meal industry standards. These clear, eye-catching labels facilitate quick consumer recognition and reading.

HPRT aims to provide efficient, precise labeling and coding solutions services for pre-made meal manufacturers, meeting industry norms and standards. For more product information or professional consultation, feel free to contact us.

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