Ease of use

Yes. The operation is very straightforward and minimal physical effort is required. The biggest challenge, equally simple, is to correctly install the film roll.

No. All of the basic models — 1208, 1308, and 1908 — operate on standard 110V current.

There is an electric version of the 1908, which does require a 220V connection.

With the tabletop 1208 model, sealing 4 to 6 trays per minute is a realistic expectation.

For the 1308, 5 to 8 trays per minute, according to our documentation. In fact, average operators can easily seal 8 trays per minute, without pushing themselves.

The 1908 functions with an adjustable speed conveyor, for between 5 and 27 trays per minute with the electric version, and between 5 and 34 trays per minute with the compressor version.

Heat sealing is much faster, requiring much less handling.

Yes. The film can resist to up to 20 pounds of pressure, so numerous trays can be stacked, whether the contents are fresh or frozen.

From the freezer…

As humidity is released from hot foods as they cool, it would be normal that frost would develop. To minimize frost, meals should be cooled before being sealed. The colder the meal is before sealing, the less frost there will be. In a commercial context, the use of a “flash” freezer would be ideal.

… to the oven

For customers reheating their meals at home, the suggested maximum oven temperature is 175°C (350°F), having first pulled away the film from the corners, to allow air circulation. The time required to reheat the meal tray will depend on its contents.

For a catering service, or in an industrial context, reheating significant numbers of meals at once before delivery to a client, a gentler approach is suggested. To best maintain food quality, meals should be reheated at approximately 100°C (215°F) without removing the film.

The full meal trays will reheat much more efficiently than an aluminum tray. The food will get hot, but the tray can be handled with bare hands.

Yes. The maximum recommended cooking temperature is also 175°C (350°F). The trays can therefore be used for “ready-to-heat” meals. They must NOT, however, be put under the broiler.

Yes. The tray will be slightly soft when taken out of the oven, but will revert to its usual consistency within a few minutes. The ideal rate of humidity will be determined by testing, according to each client’s criteria. Our present clients frequently set the humidity levels at 25% or more.

When reheating meals at home, in the microwave or in a conventional oven, the corners of the film should be lifted, or a small incision be made in the film, to allow air circulation. This will also avoid any risk of being burned by the steam, which would be released when opening a hot, sealed, meal.

For caterers reheating many meals at a time, who, for obvious reasons, cannot open the sealed trays, reheating is done slower, thus minimizing risks of being burned.

Our support

Even if the operation of the heat-sealer is very simple, our technician provides training when the system is delivered.

Complete documentation is provided in both English and French with each sealer.

We are always available to answer any additional questions that you may have.

We recently did some maintenance on a heat-sealer which has been in operation for over 15 years. After the maintenance, it should operate well for many more years.

No. Heat-sealers are very solidly built. There are few parts that break down.

The tension on the sealing plate can sometimes require adjustment.
The roller holding down the film may need to be changed, usually after several years use.

The heating plaque itself can be changed after several years of intensive use, if heating becomes uneven.

Most of our customers have never encountered these problems, even after 4 or 5 years of operation.

Most problems can be solved over the phone, when you call.

If the problem is not immediately solved, either our technician will arrange a service call as soon as possible, or another heat-sealer will be sent out immediately.

For clients at a greater distance, or when the technician cannot provide immediate service on location, or when a repair is required in our shop, the heat sealer is exchanged immediately, and your heat sealer is returned to you once the repair is complete.

The heat-sealers and all parts are guaranteed for 1 year.
Labor is covered for 3 months.

Safety Considerations

Even if you could expect that the shelf life of sealed meals would be prolonged, due to the restricted air circulation within the package and the protection from ambient microbes and bacteria, it is recommended that the MAPAQ guidelines should be followed in Quebec (and appropriate local authorities and equivalent organizations elsewhere).

The trays and film packaging are regularly used, without any problem, for meals marketed specifically to consumers with the 8 most common food allergies: gluten, milk, soya, sesame, nuts peanuts, fish and seafood.

The heated meal trays can be handled with bare hands, without any danger of being burned.

Kitchen professionals, handling large quantities of hot trays, will likely wish to use light oven mitts, simply for comfort.

A food-based resin is used to coat the interior of the trays, which prevents any deterioration.
The trays will substantially outlast the shelf life of the meal being packaged, considering recommendations of the MAPAQ.

Price vs. Value

The cost varies according to the choice of tray, here are a few examples: $0.16 per tray to package a desert serving of 10 ounces, $0.36 to package a main course using a tray with 3 divisions (for protein, vegetable and starch), $0.48 for a 37-ounce, family-style tray.

A popular format for an individual portion, 21 ounces, is only $0.21 per unit, all before taking into account discounts available for volume purchases or for prompt payment.

Plastic
Paper-based trays are comparable in price to plastic trays.
The savings with heat-sealing is that the film used to cover the trays is included in the price of the tray, whereas the price of the plastic cover required for a plastic tray can represent an added cost of 50% to 80%.

Further savings are seen if those using all-plastic solutions feel compelled to double-wrap to avoid leaks.

Styrofoam
Even if, according to some of our most recent clients, there have been significant price increases for many formats of styrofoam, it still costs less than our solutions.

Vacuum Packaging
Typically, meals packaged using a vacuum-sealed pouch are portioned in a fairly sturdy (usually plastic) tray, then in the pouch, which makes this packaging much more expensive than heat-sealed packaging.

For a production level of 50 meals per day, for 3 years, the cost of the (1308 model) heat-sealer represents $0.075 per meal, at a level of 100 meals per day = $0.0375 per meal.

Ecology

In an industrial composting operation, with high heat and humidity and where the material is turned and aerated frequently, pulped paper trays (PT and SLT) decompose in one week.

The pressed paper trays (PPT) also decompose, but take slightly longer.

All our trays can be recycled, if there is not a municipal composting service or if the client does compost in their garden.

As the film represents less than 2% of the complete packaging material, it can still be said that the total solution is compostable.

Compared to all other methods, the efficiency of the packaging operation and handling of meals packaged using the heat-sealing process is a major advantage.

Important savings are made using heat-sealed packaging, as compared to plastic, aluminum, and styrofoam, as there is no food loss resulting from leakage and resulting contamination.

The long-term benefits to the environment are beyond calculation.