Packaging Pizzas – Should You Use Shrink Wrap or a Vacuum Sealer?

Pizza Packaging MachinesI had a great conversation with a customer yesterday who was interested in packaging his own pizzas. He had a small startup business and was only looking at packaging about 50 pizzas a day for retail sale. He was looking at several machines to package his 10″ and 12″ pizzas. He asked me, “Should I be using shrink wrap (found here) or a vacuum sealer (found here) for my pizzas?” This is how I answered him.

To begin with, I asked him what he was doing with the pizzas. He said he was packaging them for retail sale and needed professional packaging for sanitary purposes, preservation and professional presentation. These are all important when it comes to packaging food. While a good answer, this still isn’t enough information to answer the Shrink Wrap or Vacuum Sealer question. I then went on to explain why people use one or the other.

Shrink Wrap for Pizzas – Shrink wrap is one of the most common methods used for packaging pizzas. It is fast, looks great and is relatively affordable. One thing I let the customer know is that you need to use Polyolefin film (found here) when packaging pizzas. It is approved by the FDA for direct contact use with food. PVC shrink film is not. Shrink Wrap helps keep the food together (for presentation purposes), keeps it from drying out and also helps provide a barrier from outside contamination.

Shrink wrapping a pizza, however, is not good for long-term preservation. Shrink wrap is excellent for refrigerating a pizza, for use in displays and for a customer carrying the food home. It does not, however, provide adequate protection in a freezer. Most people, especially in a pizza retail environment, will be eating the purchased pizza the day they purchase the pizza or shortly thereafter. This is why shrink wrap is still extremely popular for packaging pizza. Shrink wrap is ultimately great for refrigerator preservation purposes.

Vacuum Sealers for Pizzas – Vacuum sealers are for pizza manufacturers that intend on distributing their pizzas to grocery stores and other food outlets. Vacuum sealers provide pizzas with excellent preservation. Vacuum sealers remove almost all of the air from the vacuum bag ensuring long term preservation. The vacuum seal bag also prevents the pizza from frost burn. I recommend that a cardboard backing be used or the pizza will loose its shape during the packaging process.

So which machines did I recommend? Before we established the type of packaging he needed, we went over these four machines for packaging his 10″ and 12″ pizzas:

  • AIE I-bar Sealer Shrink Wrap Machine (found here) – This machine is excellent for packaging a few dozen to perhaps a few hundred pizzas a day. It can be used with polyolefin film. Just be sure you get a machine that is the right size for your pizza. In this case, I recommended the 18″ model. Simply insert your pizza, seal the two open sides and use the heat gun to shrink the film.
  • Preferred Pack PP-48ST “All-in-One” (found here) – This machine is excellent if you need to package a pizza in a very short amount of time. Simply insert your pizza into the film, pull down the hood and let the machine do the rest. While the hood is down, the Galaxy will cut the film around the pizza and blast it with air to shrink the film.
  • Compack 5800 Shrink Wrap Machine (found here) – If you need a larger sealing area, the Compack 5800 is a great option. Like the 48ST, it quickly packages products in seconds. It can be used, depending on the speed of the operator, to package 8-10 pizzas per minute. This machine has a great track record with our customers.
  • Minipack MV 45 VacBasic Vacuum Sealer (found here) – This is a vacuum sealer that can be used to vacuum seal pizzas in a very short amount of time. It is Italian-made and features high-quality components. It is a great machine to have for vacuum sealing pizzas on a daily basis.

The customer told me he was not selling directly to the public and needed something for longer-term food preservation purposes, so he ended up going with the Minipack MV 45X vacuum sealer. At ABC Office we offer a huge lineup of shrink wrap machines and vacuum sealers. We are bound to have a machine that will fit your business’s needs. Please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 for answers to your pizza packaging questions.

Hopefully this information helps you out. Thank you for reading and have a great day!

Keith Barlow

Keith is a third generation office equipment expert. ABC Office was started by his grandfather back in 1980 and he is proud to be caring on the values that made ABC Office what it is today… unsurpassed selection, detailed information, low prices, and courteous support.

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