Fresh meats are usually vacuum packed in medium barrier Nylon/Polyethylene
film. According to the definition, the packaged meat is considered
fresh for a period of up 21 days but can generally last longer.
Vacuum packaging the meat preserves the freshness and flavor
by up to 5 times its regular refrigerated life. The meat maintains
texture and appearance and is protected from bacteria or microorganisms.
Freezer burn is eliminated and the moisture of the meat is preserved.
Processed meats are usually packed in high barrier films that
contain Saran (PVDC) or EVOH. These films can be co-extruted
or laminated. Smoked, cured or dried meats need this excessive
barrier because processed products are sensitive to ultraviolet
light rays and oxygen, which directly affect the color retention.
Some products in this category are hot dogs, cold cuts, hams,
sausages, salamis, jerkys and any other processed meat. A usual
shelf life is anywhere from 2-6 months.