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Types of Packaging Materials Used in the Food Industry and their Importance

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Do you want to know what packaging materials will go best with your food products? Well, we are here to tell you the top and cost-effective materials you can use in your food business.
The food industry is one of the biggest and most complex industries in the world. And as its scope and demand increase, the pressure on its packaging quality increases. Moreover, choosing the right packaging material for your food business is very crucial.
The right selection of packaging materials will make it easy for your products to perform well in the long run. It preserves the quality and freshness of your food from packing to delivering.
Now, let us dive into the details of the most common and widely used packaging materials in the food industry.

Metals

One of the most traditional yet versatile methods of food packaging includes metals. Metals can be used as multi color flexible packaging material. Metals provide an excellent barrier against harmful and deteriorating agents. Among all other packaging materials, metals provide the best protection against tampering. Moreover, metal packaging is recyclable and consumer convenient.
The two of the most widely used metals in food packaging are steel and aluminum.

Steel

Steel is widely utilized in the process of canning, also known as appreciation. Steel serves as a cost-saving food packaging method, as canned foods do not need to be cooled in the supply chain. However, until now, lightweight steel has been developed for packaging purposes. This makes it convenient and easy-to-handle material.
Steel cans are durable, lightweight, recyclable, unbreakable, stackable, and easy-to-handle. Magnetic properties of steel make the filling process smooth. The hard and durable nature of steel reduces waste and the chances of spilling food during transportation.
Steel’s relatively high thermal conductivity makes it easier to cool canned drinks and is thus economical than others.

Tin-free steel, also known as electrolytic chromium, is one of the most frequently used steel types. You can use it to make trays, bottles, food cans, can ends, etc. It is affordable as compared to tinplate. Many manufacturers use stainless steel containers and sheets for packaging bulk quantities of food, so can you.

Aluminum

Aluminum is a silvery-white, lightweight derived metal. An alloy of aluminum with manganese and magnesium adds to its strength and durability. Aluminum packaging protects temperature, oxygen, moisture, and chemicals. Thus greatly reducing the chances of attack of spoilage bacteria.
Seafood, soft drink cans, pet food, etc., come mostly in aluminum packaging. Aluminum foils are another food packaging material that is frequently used in common households. You can also use aluminum as multi-color flexible packaging material.

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Paper and Paperboard

Paper and paperboard are – although used in the packaging industry – not effective ways to protect food. Most of your food products will require a primary packaging of thin metal foils first and then you can do a secondary packaging of paperboard.
Plain paper has almost no use in the food packaging industry. Other types of paper, such as greaseproof paper, sulfite paper, parchment paper, etc., can be used for packaging. They still have some modes of use in bakery items or other small-scale products.

Cork

Cork is an impermeable buoyant material that is made up of layers of bark tissue. The most widespread use of cork is as a bottle stopper and has been used commercially for years now. It has great cushioning properties and provides good insulation. Winemakers and other beverage manufacturers are widely using it.
Corks are also being synthesized artificially as their use is increasing. It is fire resistant and does not generate toxic gases. With an average lifespan of more than 50 years, cork serves best at its cost.

Plastic

Plastics offer a variety of options depending on their type and design. Plastics can be made into sheets and are very flexible. You can mold them in different shapes and thus are widespread in the food packaging industry.
Being extremely lightweight and inexpensive, plastics have set their margin in the food industry. Nevertheless, we need to beware of the potential harm it can cause to your health. Polyvinyl chloride, polythene, polyester, polyethylene terephthalate, etc., are some common examples.

Wood

Wood has been used in food packaging for what seems like ages now. One of the desirable aspects of wooden food packaging is that it has low biohazards and an antibacterial effect. You will also find wooden items in your kitchen occasionally.
Use a slip-sheet on top of wooden crates to avoid contamination. The use of lightweight wooden packaging is convenient and efficient. However, excessive use of wood can cause damage to our biosphere. Therefore, we need to use it in moderation.
Fruits, vegetables, cheese, dairy, meat, seafood, dried fruits, bakery items, etc., are stored in large wooden crates.

Glass Containers and Jars

Glass containers and jars are odorless and more appealing to the eyes. It can be melted and remolded and is thus eco-friendly. Moreover, glass is chemically inert with almost all food products and thus does not react with food easily, making it safe.
Glass is impermeable to gases, so there are fewer chances of oxidative rancidity. The transparent nature of glass makes it easier for the customer to examine the product. Customers are most likely supposed to buy easily visible things. Jams, jellies, marmalades, pickles, and other viscous products are more likely to come in glass packages. So, if you serve in that domain, then it is the best packaging option you can go for.

Conclusion

To sum it all up, we can conclude that packaging material is indeed one of the most important things in the food industry. Also, using multi-color flexible packaging material makes your product look attractive and appealing, enabling more customers to buy it.
Moreover, ensure freshness and increase shelf life by using the right packaging and technology. Make it convenient for the consumer and reduce contamination. Also, using eco-friendly packaging protects your food from physical distortion and helps in waste reduction. Last but not least, packaging can be a good source of marketing so choose it wisely.

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About Chef Lilian

Your favorite recipe author, faithful to every course. Mail me at chef@foodwellsaid.com

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