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Barrier Bags for Coffee and Food Packaging

Barrier bags provide an oxygen barrier to protect and preserve products when packaged. They are preferred for coffee packaging and other consumable products. A stand-up option allows products to be displayed on store shelves while protecting the product from spoilage and preserving freshness.


The use of a barrier bag with modified atmosphere packaging acknowledges elements in the atmosphere can cause degradation. Oxygen often being the primary culprit. The barrier bag allows packagers to reduce or eliminate oxygen inside the package to preserve and protect contents. Read our article about gases used for modified atmosphere packaging for more information on which consumable products are used with specific gases for modified atmosphere packaging.

White Barrier Coffee Bag

Standard Polyethylene or polypropylene bags will not provide a low enough oxygen transmission rate for modified atmosphere packaging. Different materials or combinations of materials can provide lower oxygen transmission rates for modified packaging. In addition to oxygen transmission rate testing, barrier bags are tested for water vapor transmission, carbon dioxide transmission rates, and more. View a description below for each type of permeation test for barrier bags.

Oxygen Transmission Rate (O²TR) - Oxygen permeability testing has evolved over the years and many tests are conducted using sensors for measuring oxygen permeability and infrared for water vapor. The ability to keep oxygen levels at the desired rate depends on the permeability of the bag being used.

Water Vapor Transmission Rate (WVTR) - The water vapor transmission rate measures the amount of moisture able to pass through a material. Some products with high moisture content need to release moisture during storage, while others do not.

Carbon Dioxide Transmission Rate (CO²TR) - Carbon dioxide transmission rates are important for items such as carbonated beverages and other products containing carbonation. A low transmission rate will keep carbonation from escaping during storage. Fruits and vegetables release CO² and having a barrier bag to allow carbon dioxide to escape can be advantageous during shelf storage.

Coffee packaging is dependent on each type of testing listed, ground coffee releases fewer CO² than whole bean coffee. Moisture transmission and oxygen transmission come into play as well. The moisture content for whole bean and ground coffee is incredibly important for the proper taste. For a more detailed explanation of barrier bag materials, we wrote a blog post explaining what type of barrier bag you need.

Polyethylene Bags - High oxygen transmission rates. Not capable of barrier packaging. Can work for short-term storage and protection.

Coated Paper Bags - Sealable coated paper bags provide minimal oxygen barrier and can help items stay fresh for longer. Some roasters use coated paper bags for whole bean coffee with short-term storage.

Co-Extruded Poly Bags - A co-extruded poly bag is made from more than one material. Layers of materials help to make co-extruded bags form an oxygen barrier. Co-extruded clear vacuum bags are common for home and industrial use. Common coextruded materials are poly and nylon.

Co-Extruded Poly Bags with EVOH - The addition of an EVOH layer in co-extruded bags will lower oxygen transmittal rates and provide better barrier protection than standard co-extruded poly bags. EVOH is a copolymer of ethylene and vinyl alcohol made for barrier packaging.

Foil Laminated Barrier Bags - Foil laminated bags have the lowest light transmission and lowest oxygen transmission. Foil lamination is on the inside of potato chip bags and many other consumable products to increase shelf life. For coffee packaging, a foil laminated barrier bag is recommended. The foil will help to preserve the freshness of the coffee.

Coffee Barrier Bags

Stand-up barrier pouches are perfect for store shelves and many other display options. For custom sizes, printing, and vacuum sealing options, call us at 1-800-441-5090

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