Cold-storage facilities share a lot of similar challenges with other types of facilities. Regulating temperature and maintaining adequate humidity levels are two of the most common issues, especially in locations with multiple separate storage areas.
But in cold storage specifically, the type of packaging used for your products can make a huge difference in the shelf life and quality of items.
Problems with paper-based packaging
If you’ve ever gotten an important document wet, you understand the fragility of paper products. Cold-storage items are just as susceptible to this kind of damage because they are often stored in paper-based packaging.
Cardboard, paper and even wood are a common favorite for food items because they are environmentally friendly and cost effective. However, they’re not the most durable packaging materials available. These items are easily damaged from the excess condensation and high relative humidity common to cold storage facilities.
Along with ruining product, these materials rapidly absorb – but don’t rapidly release – moisture. That means they contribute to the overall humidity issue you’re trying to resolve.
Changing from paper to plastic-based packaging
A common solution to the paper-based packaging problem is to switch to plastic. That, though, comes with its own challenges.
Plastic packaging is wasteful since it’s either a one-and-done product or it’s more expensive to recycle. It also can be more expensive since it must be made new every time, unlike cardboard, which can be made from recycled material.
Aside from the cost and environmental factors, plastic-based packaging also doesn’t do much better in areas with high-moisture levels. In fact, sometimes it does worse than cardboard.
While paper-based packaging breaks down over time with increased exposure to high humidity, plastic-based packaging will begin to mold. Unfortunately, some of those mold spores can get inside the packaging and ruin product.
Fix the root of the problem
While packaging may seem like the issue, the real problem you’re dealing with is water. Cold-storage facilities often have high-relative humidity, which can cause condensation and ice buildup on your products and equipment. So how do you solve the issue?
Adding a commercial desiccant dehumidifier to the existing climate-control system is a cost-efficient, sustainable and highly effective solution to the humidity problem. And, it doesn’t require you to change the product packaging, repackage the products you already have or put you in a position where you’re throwing out spoiled items.
Dehumidifiers work by condensing the water vapor in the air and capturing it in a storage tank. The tank is then emptied and water that would have damaged your product is now safely out of the way.
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