Degassing Valves: What Are They & Are They Necessary for Coffee Packaging?

Whether you’re a roaster launching a new brand, an established brand relaunching in upgraded packaging, or simply exploring the many packaging options available to the coffee segment, you will at some point come across degassing valves

Degassing valves are an important part of coffee packaging. Continue reading to learn what they are, when you should use them, and just how necessary they are for keeping your coffee fresh and flavorful.

What is a Degassing Valve?

A degassing valve is a one-way vent that allows coffee beans and ground coffee to slowly release carbon dioxide (CO2) and other volatile gases from the bag, without coming into contact with the air outside. 

When coffee is roasted, a number of chemical reactions take place. Volatile gases, mainly CO2, are formed inside the beans. These gases actually add flavor to the coffee, but the problem is that they will continue to emit for some time. After roasting, the built-up CO2 begins to slowly seep out (most of it within a few days). But it can take weeks for it to all disappear. 

What do you do with all this gas? 

Insert: the degassing valve.

The valve has two vital objectives: allow CO2 to release and keep oxygen out. This process prevents oxidation and prolongs shelf life. 

The Importance of Degassing Valves For Coffee Packaging

Now, let’s dive into the three main reasons why degassing valves are so important. 

Maintain Package Shape 

The degassing valve helps the coffee package maintain its shape by allowing gases to escape. Gases are emitted after roasting and continue to emit even after the coffee is packaged. If the gases are trapped inside the package, this can cause the bag or pouch to inflate or bloat. This not only looks bad, but it can eventually cause the package to burst open or leak. The degassing valve gives the gas a place to go, namely outside the bag.

Maximize Freshness

The degassing valve helps keep the coffee fresh by allowing volatile gases to escape the bag, while also keeping other gases from entering the package. The main one? Oxygen. When coffee encounters oxygen for an extended period of time, the coffee can become stale, reducing its shelf life and negatively impacting the flavor. So, the valve works to keep oxygen out.

Increase Packaging Efficiency

Using degassing valves increases the efficiency of the packaging line by allowing brands to package their coffee quickly instead of waiting for all the gases to be released. This way coffee can be packaged immediately with the knowledge that the degassing valve will allow all of the gases to escape in a way that won’t harm the package or coffee itself.

When Degassing Valves Aren’t Necessary 

While degassing valves are a good idea if you want to keep your coffee fresh, maintain the integrity of the package shape, and even package your coffee quickly at your facility, there are instances when they are not necessary. 

If you are creating small or single-serve packages of coffee, bags for single pot brews, instant coffee in stick packs, or other small sizes, you may not need to use a degassing valve. The reason is that these types of products will typically be consumed quickly before oxygen has time to negatively affect the coffee. 

However, if you are packaging larger packs, shipping the bags across the country, or selling your products to retailers, a degassing valve is generally necessary. As you consider using a degassing valve, give thought to the size of the coffee bag or pouch, as well as the amount of time that will pass from roasting to consumption.

Partner with the Right Coffee Packaging Provider 

At ePac, we offer custom coffee packaging with reseal closures, degassing valves, and high-barrier films to keep oxygen and moisture out, while sealing in the aroma and maintaining product quality. We offer flexible packaging options such as side gusset bags and stand-up pouches as packaging for roasted coffee and whole bean coffee, as well as rollstock for fractional packs, filter packs and stick packs. Looking for coffee bag solutions? Call us today and we can walk you through the process of creating the perfect custom packaging for coffee.