Best Way to Package Chocolates

Chocolate Packaging Shrink Wrap MachineWhether you are making your own chocolates or need a way to package boxes of chocolates, you are probably going to need some sort of retail packaging. While there are several ways you can package chocolates, one of the most popular methods is by using shrink wrap. Which kind of shrink wrap machine is best for packaging chocolates and is there any risk of the chocolates melting? I will answer these questions and more in this article.

Having been in the packaging industry for over a decade know, I have seen people package everything from pizzas and baskets to soap and books. Another popular item is chocolates. This involves chocolates in a box or unboxed. There are a couple of different approaches you can take to shrink wrapping chocolate. These involve I-bar sealers and L-bar sealers. The machine you use depends on the volume you will be packaging. Here area  few benefits of both:

I-Bar Sealers – I-bar sealers (aka straight bar sealers) involve a single cutting bar. This bar is pulled down to cut film around an object, usually requiring 2 passes. These systems can be used with shrink bags, but are typically used with centerfold shrink film. Simply insert your chocolate bar or box, cut the film around the package and sealing the film using a heat gun. These machines are ideal for a few dozen to a few hundred packages a day.

Here is a video demo of an I-bar sealer in use:

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L-Bar Sealers – L-bar sealers use an L shaped sealing bar that completely seals chocolate in film in a single pass. These types of sealers can be used in conjunction with a heat gun or a heat tunnel. Many modern L-bar sealers incorporate a built-in heat tunnel that seals and shrinks the film in a single pass. These machines are ideal for a few hundred to a few thousand packages per day. Some of the higher-end machines can package tens of thousands a day.

Here is a video demo of an L-bar sealer in use:

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Which type of film should you use?
There are two primary types of shrink wrap film used in packaging. One is PVC and the other is Polyolefin. The only film that is safe for use with food is Polyolefin. This means if you are packaging chocolate, you should use Polyolefin film (aka Poly film). This is especially important if the film will be directly touching the chocolate.

Will the chocolates melt? Many people thing that since heat is used in the shrink wrap process that it will melt the chocolate. This is usually not the case. L-bar sealers, using an integrated or built-in heat tunnel will rarely if ever cause the chocolate to melt. The heat process takes just seconds and is too little time to do any damage.

I-bar sealers, which use a heat gun, do run a higher risk of melting the chocolate. While it rarely ever happens, chocolate can begin to melt if the heat gun is left on any one spot for too long. It is my observation that I-bar sealers (with heat gun) will only melt the chocolate if human error is involved. If the gun is left on any one spot for too long, it will usually damage the shrink wrap as well. Heat guns take just seconds to shrink film, so you really shouldn’t run into any issues, especially if the chocolates are in a box.

At ABC office we have sold hundreds of machines to people packaging chocolates and they always end up happy with the end results. If you do have questions, or have unique chocolate packaging needs, please feel free to speak with one of our packaging specialists at 1-800-658-8788. You can find our entire selection of shrink wrap machines here and shrink wrap film here.

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