What are High Barrier Bags?

"What are High Barrier Bags?" - Pouch Me Blog Title Slide

High Barrier Bags: Product Packaging Solutions

Many people often wonder which barrier packaging is ideal for their product. Given the various options and variables, this is a great question to ask. As a company that specializes in custom printed flexible pouches, we are glad to answer this question.

Multiple layers of barrier film create the foundation of flexible pouches and bags. These layers are laminated together to form a remarkably strong and durable structure and material. This film has barrier properties that make it puncture-resistant and protects products from odors, moisture, gases, and UV rays. This kind of packaging is particularly popular for retail packaging because it is sturdy and flexible.

Illustration diagram of a bag with superior oxygen barrier properties

High barrier bags and pouches are the product of the pressing need to have packaging guaranteed to protect and preserve products. In addition to having high puncture resistance and tensile strength, their oxygen and moisture vapor transmission rate is low.

What Has Oxygen Transmission Rate Got to Do With High Barrier Bags?


Oxygen Transmission Rate, also known as "OTR," is the consistent rate of oxygen gas passing through a material, more specifically, barrier film.

illustrative graphic of cheese inside a high barrier pouch

OTR is important because oxygen, as you probably know, is a significant cause of the chemical reactions that lead to food spoilage. Genuine high barrier bags will have an OTR of 1-10 cc/m2/24hrs. Other barrier pouches are typically combined with a desiccant or oxygen absorber to extend a product's stability and shelf life.

Choosing the right pouch to commit your money, time, and future of your product to isn't always as easy as it may appear. When deciding on the best barrier bag for your product, there are many factors you should consider. These factors are dependent on the product as well as the storage settings and environment.

Choosing the Right High Barrier Bag Specifications


Choosing the right high barrier bag may be confusing since several products on the market appear to be similar but have totally different barrier properties. This is why we recommend speaking to one of our packaging specialists before placing your order.

Our technical experts will be able to walk you through the following considerations.

- Barrier film material type and thickness:

At Pouch Me, we offer a variety of film structures to meet the specifications of your product. Your custom pouch specifications will depend on your product's exposure to moisture, light, temperature, and oxygen and how much of these elements the material can safely absorb.

layers of a high barrier bag diagram

Sometimes referred to as "Moisture Barrier Bags," the base materials are typically metalized PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) or CPP (Cast Unoriented Polypropylene), foil, and thermoplastic EVOH (Ethylene-Vinyl Alcohol Copolymer). A thin coating of AlOx (Aluminium Oxide) or SiOx (Silicone Oxide) for more demanding applications increases protection and impermeability.

When recommending a film structure, our technical specialists evaluate these considerations and how your custom pouches will preserve your product. The objective is to choose a material that provides enough barriers to protect the product while adequately eliminating unnecessary film costs.

- High barrier bag sizing:

In the packaging industry, right-sizing is a buzzword. It's a term that relates to packaging that uses as little space as possible while still adequately protecting the contents in the package. Right-sizing not only benefits you as a business owner but also your customers.

Customers benefit from right-sizing because it improves their unboxing experience and initial perception of your product. Businesses, on the other hand, benefit from right-sizing because it reduces costs and eliminates waste.

Consumers are also irritated by excessive packaging. For businesses, too much or too little material can have far-reaching and costly consequences. Too much packaging makes things heavier to ship, more challenging to handle, and consumes materials unnecessarily. On the other hand, insufficient packaging does not provide adequate protection, and goods are sometimes damaged during transportation.

Product compatibility:

Barrier material should be selected based on the product to be packaged. For instance, fine powders and harsh chemicals have highly stringent requirements for choosing the inner layer. Even natural chemicals such as lemon may contain components that react with certain materials.

specific requirements and characteristics of a high barrier bag for packaged food

Along with confirming material or content compatibility, the correct specifications must also prove the capacity to seal through the product. Some products create a residue that makes heat sealing difficult. Fine powders and greasy substances are examples of such items.

Additional high barrier bag features for best customization:

Several add-on options are available for barrier bags, which make them more appealing to consumers, both in terms of aesthetics and functionality. These include custom printing, die-cut shapes or custom pouch shapes, childproof reclosable zippers, hang holes, tear notches, and transparent windows.

How are High Barrier Bags Constructed?

High barrier bags are constructed using protective layers able to survive the high temperatures necessary for sterilization, pasteurization, and the pressure applied during gas flushing.

Layer graphic showing commonly used stocks for high barrier bags

Apart from the materials as mentioned earlier, commonly used stocks to make a high barrier pouch include polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), and laminated aluminum. All of these materials provide considerable physical protection and effective sealing.

What are Some of the Most Common Combinations of Barrier Bag Materials?

Foil, PET, and LLDPE barrier bags: Foil helps to lessen the bag's permeability. This pouch build is most commonly used for packaging cannabis, coffee, and dairy products. You can incorporate a clear window if your product does not need concealment from exterior lighting.

Nylon and Ethelene Vinyl Alcohol (EVOH): The combination of EVOH and nylon helps reduce oxygen transmission rates, thus increasing a product's shelf-life. This bag is ideal for acidic products or those with high oil content, such as metal parts, dried fruit, nuts, and more.

Nylon and Poly combination: These are the most inexpensive and most used materials for barrier packaging. It is commonly used for food packaging, and gas flushing is often applied to increase a product's shelf-life.

What are the Applications and Formats of High Barrier Bags?

High barrier pouches come in various sizes and styles, including stand-up, side gusset, four seals (pillow bag), and custom formats for specialized uses.

According to a recent study, the usage of high barrier pouches is rapidly expanding. By 2026, stand-up pouches will be among the most widely used packaging solutions in several sectors, including pharma. Protective layers in high barrier pouches can survive high autoclaving temperatures necessary for pasteurization or sterilization, which is very important for healthcare supplies.

All flexible pouch designs are suitable for packaging dry, wet, paste, and semi-paste substances and may be made from a variety of materials to fulfill the product's unique requirements, such as moisture, vapor, and UV rays protection as packaging under vacuum or gas flushing. They can also include a variety of features such as spouts, caps, and connectors to accommodate various filling methods.

Typical applications for high barrier bags include:

  • Cannabis
  • Coffee
  • Frozen foods
  • Raw ingredients
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Electronics
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Industrial chemicals
  • Cosmetics

What are the Benefits of Using High Barrier Bags?

One of the most effective methods for producing stand-up pouches is barrier packaging. Since they give excellent protection against elements and pathogens, barrier bags are mostly used for packaging high-quality products.

  • Their multi-layer mechanism assures that their products remain extremely pure during storage and transit. It also adds to the package's durability since each layer adds to the pouch's sturdiness. Barrier packaging also has the following benefits:

  • Barrier bags are pretty versatile and may be used for more than just food products. Body care products, detergents, and liquid soaps will benefit from these pouches.
  • Nitrogen gas first fills the pouch to ensure no oxygen remains. Nitrogen displaces oxygen, and this, therefore, slows down the oxidation (and spoilage) process. In such a case, the cost of preservation is reduced.
  • These bags can hold any type of food, whether liquid or solid.
  • Barrier bags are the most resistant to the sun's damaging UV radiation. This property helps the product retain its nutritional value.
  • Using high barrier pouches for your packaging guarantees that your product is delivered safely to the consumer. Since barrier pouches are puncture-resistant, there will be fewer incidents of ripped pouches.

Choose High Barrier Pouches for Your Peace of Mind

Pouch Me is experienced, equipped, and technically qualified to offer the highest-quality custom printed pouches with the industry's quickest turnaround.

Thanks to our considerable knowledge in the flexible packaging and print industry, we can offer you the tools, resources, and knowledge to ensure your end product is precisely what you imagined.

Learn more about how we can help you develop unique high barrier packaging that will keep your products as fresh as the day they were packaged and stored. We look forward to hearing from you!


-High Barrier Packaging FAQs-


What are barrier bags made of?

Barrier bags are thin and flexible pouch packaging built using protective layers to form a sturdy, damage-resistant structure that can survive high temperatures.

Common barrier materials are Foil, metalized PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) or CPP (Cast Unoriented Polypropylene), LLDPE (Linear Low-Density Polyethylene), and thermoplastic EVOH (Ethylene-Vinyl Alcohol Copolymer).

For increased impermeability, consider adding a thin coating of AlOx (Aluminium Oxide) or SiOx (Silicone Oxide).

What is a bag barrier?

A bag barrier is a functional film of almost impermeable material that acts as a protective layer between the environment and the product inside the bag. Barrier bags control the transmission of light, gases, odor, moisture, and gases in packages to help preserve products.

Plastic film barriers look like a network of chain shapes that are invisible to the human eye. How tightly the chains are linked together determines how high the barrier property is.

What is moisture barrier packaging?

Moisture barrier bags, also known as vapor barrier bags, are packaging bags made from multiple layers of laminated plastic and aluminum for moisture and vapor leakage and absorption control. It also protects from oxidants that work to degrade and spoil products.

What is pouch packaging?

Pouch packaging is a type of flexible packaging constructed of foil barrier material. Because of the flexible material that breaks down as it is used, pouches are lightweight, small, and have low product waste.

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