Packaging Considerations for Spices – Ska Fab’s Recipe for Success

Spice Blog

In kitchens worldwide, you’ll likely find a small drawer containing vials and containers filled with prized powders—spices. These distinctive seasonings impart a unique touch to dishes that can evoke memories of loved ones and their recipes, specific times of the year, or joyful celebrations that unite family and friends.

Whether enhancing sweetness or adding depth to savory creations, spices play an integral role in our lives, often without us fully recognizing their influence. 

Today we walk through the process of packaging spices – a specialty that Ska Fabricating is turned to time and again as we continue to serve the food industry.

Spices originate from different plant parts such as roots, bark, seeds, fruits, and leaves. The typical spice production process includes drying and processing the plant material, which aims to amplify the flavor, aroma, and shelf life of the spices.  The spice-making process is intricate and varies depending on the plant involved; there’s a specific journey before the spice reaches store shelves. The methods for making spices differ, but some of the processes can include: 

Drying: The plant material is often dried to reduce moisture content and prevent spoilage. Drying methods can include sun-drying, air-drying, or mechanical drying. Proper drying helps concentrate the flavors and preserves the spice.

Processing: Some spices require additional processing steps to enhance their qualities. This can include grinding, roasting, or crushing the dried plant material. Processing methods depend on the type of spice and the desired end product.

Blending: Some spice blends consist of multiple ingredients. These blends may be created by combining different spices in specific proportions to achieve a desired flavor profile. Commercial spice blends are often created using precise formulations. Interesting combinations can be for a specific cuisine or a mix for a specific dish.

Packaging: Once the spices are processed and ready, they are packaged to protect them from light, air, and moisture, which can degrade their quality. Proper packaging helps to maintain the freshness and potency of the spices.

glass spice jars

The packaging phase of spice manufacturing introduces some variability into the process. Some spices are produced by co-packing facilities, who manage large quantities of spices, various container materials and shapes, and cater to a diverse range of end-customers. Co-packers may operate one or multiple production lines simultaneously, adjusting based on consumer demands. Additionally, they may expand their production capabilities by adding more lines and features to accommodate a growing production volume and diversify their product offerings.

On the other hand, independent spice manufacturers, which can be substantial companies with multiple plants, may produce several brand names under their ownership umbrella. Similar to co-packers, these companies must enhance their production capabilities as they incorporate new brands under their umbrella and increase the overall output volume they can manage.

spice jars on HHA 5000

The effectiveness of spice packaging relies heavily on the careful coordination of equipment throughout the production line. While spice packaging line equipment varies, a key element often found is the depalletizer, which plays a vital role in streamlining the initial stages of the process. It efficiently pushes containers off layer by layer, directly into the filler. When containers arrive on full or half-height pallets, the use of an automatic or manual depalletizer becomes crucial for maintaining line productivity. This equipment excels at the systematic unloading of containers, handling the process layer by layer and seamlessly guiding them into the filler.

 

For manufacturers contending with an array of container sizes, a strategic choice lies in opting for a versatile depalletizer such as Ska Fab’s FHA 3000 & 5000 or HHA 5000. These machines, equipped with a programmable logic controller (PLC), exhibit the capacity to accommodate multiple container sizes. The PLC functionality not only ensures efficient handling but also facilitates swift changeovers between different container specifications with a simple button click. This adaptability becomes indispensable for sustaining high throughput and orchestrating efficient production runs, addressing the dynamic demands of the spice packaging industry.

As spice manufacturers expand their product lines and enhance their brand presence, investing in increased capability, speed, and flexibility becomes a crucial step for the success of their business.

Ska Fabricating has collaborated with a diverse range of manufacturers in this industry, ranging from smaller enterprises focusing on a single product to large corporations managing multiple production lines, a variety of products, and numerous brands.

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