Why are Degassing Valves Important to Coffee Packaging?

Are you a coffee roaster looking to launch a new brand? Or perhaps you want to relaunch your existing brand by upgrading your product packaging.

Whichever category you fall under, you are probably exploring the various packaging features available for your coffee products. The degassing valve is one of the most requested coffee bag and coffee pouch packaging add-on details.

Degassing valves are an essential component in coffee packaging.

Keep reading to find out what they are, when and how to use them, and how important they are for keeping your coffee fresh and flavorful.

What are Degassing Valves?

A degassing valve looks like a plastic button—it's round and has a cavity or hole in the center. Some valves have five holes, while some have just one.

Here's a sample of an air degassing coffee valve, its working parts, and what each part is for:

Anatomy of a degassing coffee valve with labeled parts

How do Degassing Valves Help Preserve Coffee?

These valves are physical outlets that allow packaged coffee products to gradually expel carbon dioxide and other hazardous gases from the packaging pouch without exposing them to external contaminants.

Several chemical reactions occur during the coffee roasting process, resulting in the formation of volatile gases, mainly carbon dioxide. While these gases actually contribute to the product's good flavor, they gradually emit for some time.

freshness theory graphic illustration

After roasting, the accumulated carbon dioxide begins to escape from the coffee slowly, most of it in just a few days. However, it can take weeks for it to vanish completely.

So, what do you do with all the unwanted gas inside? You use coffee packaging that has a degassing valve.

This valve has two primary functions:

1) allowing carbon dioxide to escape while

2) keeping oxygen out

The process helps prevent oxidation and extends your coffee product's shelf life.

Regarding the gas outside, you also don't want that getting into your coffee pouches because this causes "oxidation." This chemical reaction happens when products combine with oxygen.

While oxygen is excellent for our bodies, it is a different story for coffee. 

Oxygen spoils food via oxidation. A great example is a cut apple exposed to the air for a bit and starts browning. This is the kind of oxidative corrosion that makes coffee go stale, shortening its shelf life and quality dramatically. 

How Do Degassing Valve Parts Work Together?

Let's review the parts above so you can visualize our explanation now.

OK, when there isn't any difference in atmospheric pressure outside and inside the pouch, the small rubber disc (which acts as the seal) stays flat and smooth.

Eventually, the atmospheric pressure increases inside the pouch when your coffee beans start to release carbon dioxide and other gases. As you know, this happens during the early days after roasting. Air pressure change will force one part of the round disc to bend up, letting the gas out.

How about pressure from outside? This is where the magic of the degassing valve keeps on giving. If pressure from outside increases, this won't cause the disc to bend in because a solid valve body supports the entire rubber sheet. This means the valve won't air into your packaging.

Can I Use the Same Degassing Valve for Powdered Coffee and Whole Coffee Beans?

Since powdered powder can and will infiltrate the valve, this will inadvertently block the gap when the disc bends up, causing issues with the release of gases.

Anatomy of a Degassing-Valve

We typically add fine filters in degassing valves if your coffee is in powder form. With whole beans, filters aren't necessary.

The Significance of Degassing Valves in Coffee Packaging

There are three main reasons why degassing valves are essential to your coffee packaging.

1. Maximizing Product Freshness

As mentioned earlier, the degassing valve maximizes product freshness by enabling volatile gases to escape the package while preventing the entry of other gases, the main one being oxygen.

When you expose coffee to oxygen for an extended amount of time, it can get stale, shortening its shelf life and altering its flavor.

The valve keeps the gas out.

2. Maintaining Consistent Package Shape On The Shelf

By letting gases escape, the degassing valve aids in the preservation of the coffee package's shape.

After coffee roasting, gases are released, and they continue to release even after you've packaged your coffee. If these gases are trapped within the packaging, the coffee bag inflates.

When your coffee packaging presents inconsistently to prospective customers, this does not only lower the aesthetic value⁠—this also increases the risk of the bag bursting open, ripping, or leaking.

The degassing valve facilitates gas escape to the exterior of your packaging coffee pouch.

3. Maximizing Packaging Efficiency

Degassing valves improve packaging line efficiency by allowing businesses to package their coffee faster without having to wait for all of the gases to be emitted.

This allows coffee to be packaged right away, knowing that the degassing valve will enable all of the gases to leave safely without harming the bag or the product.

The degassing valve creates a swifter turnaround time to market.

When are Degassing Valves Not Required?

Although degassing valves are a wonderful invention for those who want to keep their coffee fresh while maintaining package shape and packaging coffee quickly, they aren't always necessary.

You do not need to use a degassing valve to market small single-serve packages, stick packs for instant coffee, or other small coffee servings. It's an extra cost you don't need because customers will consume your products fast before any gas has time to degrade any material.

Gusseted Coffee Pouch with Degassing Valve

On the other hand, degassing valves come in handy when you are packaging more significant amounts of coffee, distributing your product to stores, or shipping across the country.

When deciding whether or not to use a degassing valve, you should consider the size of the package and the time between roasting and consumption.

Choose Degassing Valves To Keep Your Products Fresh

Stop worrying about compromising your product quality. Guarantee perfect coffee every time for your customers by choosing custom coffee pouches that are professional and ready for market.

At Pouch Me, we offer custom coffee packaging with many functional add-on features, some of which work to keep oxygen and moisture out while sealing in the aroma and preserving product quality.

Talk to us about your flexible packaging needs and learn whether you need high-barrier films, reclosable zippers, and degassing valves. We will help you develop the best custom coffee packaging for your brand and business requirements.

- Importance of Degassing Valves in Coffee Packaging Pouches FAQs -

How does a degassing valve work?

Once packaged, freshly roasted coffee releases carbon dioxide and other volatile gases. This increases the air pressure inside the packaging. 

A degassing valve assembly includes a small rubber disc that acts as a packaging seal and air regulator. The increase in pressure inside the coffee bag forces the disc to bend up to allow the gas to escape.

What is the valve on coffee bags?

A valve is an outlet that allows packaged coffee beans to slowly release carbon dioxide and other unwanted gases from the bag without exposing them to contaminants from outside.

How do you store coffee beans when degassing?

After roasting and packaging coffee, you should store it in a dry place and let the degassing valve do its work.

Does a coffee bag need a valve?

After being roasted, coffee beans continue to emit large amounts of carbon dioxide for several hours.

Coffee beans and powder are kept in bags with valves to prevent off-gassing. This step guarantees that while carbon dioxide can escape, oxygen cannot enter.

Why do coffee bags have valves?

When coffee beans are packaged after roasting, they continue to release carbon dioxide inside the bag. A valve allows carbon dioxide to escape while keeping oxygen and moisture out, which might degrade your coffee.

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