Why Food Packaging is an essential part of Food Manufacturing and Distribution?

If you’re in food manufacturing and distribution, you must be aware of the various types of food packaging. If not, we’re here to discuss in detail types of food packaging, food packaging techniques, method of food packaging, food packaging materials, types of materials used for packaging, packaging for food products, plastic food packaging, plastic food packaging, etc.

What is food packaging and what are the types of food packaging?

Packaging, in general, takes care of biological, chemical, physical, and biochemical needs along with protecting against tampering, germs, etc. Food packaging is the kind of packaging used to pack food that may also bear nutritional facts about the said food while making available all the other necessary information to the buyer of the said food.

Types of Food Packaging are as follows:

Wrappers – Wrappers are used for individual items which protect a food item from the germs in the environment and a person’s hands. Wrappers are generally used for granola bars and candies.

Trays – Trays are self-explanatory flat, thick paperboard material with raised edges to keep the product in place without it moving much. Trays are used to pack food items like drinks, plant seeds, meat, etc.

Boxes – Boxes are the easiest form of packaging, which allows for convenient transportation of the food product. Boxes are commonly made with wood, corrugated fiberboard, or metal, making them more resistant and a lot less prone to damage. Boxes are generally made for packing food like cereals, snack crackers, frozen pizzas or other frozen food items, etc.

Pallets – Pallets are used for the mass transportation of food products. The said food products are placed and stacked and then wrapped for better security while it decreases movement to a great extent.

Bags – Bags are one of the most common forms of food packaging. Bags are usually made of thin plastic material and used to protect the said food item from the environment and air. Food items that can be bagged are fruit and vegetables like apples and potatoes and snacks like chips and pretzels.

Cans – Commercial cans are made of steel or thin metal containers coated with an anti-corrosion agent. Cans are best for preserving food while ensuring that they’re well protected from light, thus making it an excellent way of preserving and transporting food. Cans are used for food products such as gravy, vegetables, soup, meats, and fruit.

Flexible Packaging – As the name suggests, flexible packaging is a non-rigid and flexible form of packaging that can adapt to any shape, size, and structure. This type of packaging is a lot similar to bags and thus protects the food product from elements of the environment while greatly extending their shelf life. Bagged salad is an example of flexible packaging.

Aseptic Processing – Aseptic Processing is used for packing food products that are sterile and should maintain their sterile factor. This type of packaging is made of a mixture of paper, polyethylene, and aluminum and contains a tight inside layer of polyethylene. Food items that need aseptic processing are milk, milk-related drinks, liquid eggs, processed food that need to be preserved for a long time.

Cartons – Cartons and boxes are more often than not interchangeable. Like boxes, cartons too are made from corrugated cardboard and can be coated with plastic or paraffin for durability against moisture and other corrosive agents present in the environment. Aseptic cartons are a thing for processed food that requires to be preserved for a long time. A few types of cartons are:

Egg cartons – Egg-shaped molds that keep eggs safe and secure during transportation.

Gable-top cartons – This carton style has gables at the top that can be pinched and pulled to open, and the design of gable-top carton is popular for drinks like juice and milk.

Folding cartons – Folding cartons are made as flat cardboard pieces to be assembled by the food manufacturer.

Aseptic cartons – Aseptic cartons are a thing for processed food that requires to be preserved for a long time.

These multiple types of food packaging are all much needed for different types of food products.

Types of Food Packaging Techniques –

Since consumers are keener on consuming ready to eat, convenient, mild processed food products, and tasty with extended shelf life and maintained quality, many food packaging techniques evolved as a result and these techniques are namely – active packaging, intelligent packaging and bioactive packaging which involve intentional interaction with the food or its surroundings and influence on consumer’s health have been the major innovations in the field of packaging technology. These food packaging techniques act by prolonging the shelf life, enhancing or maintaining the food quality, providing an indication, and regulating the freshness of food products. These techniques increase the margin of food quality and safety.

Method of Food Packaging and Food Packing Materials – As the environment changes and our desire for ready to eat, convenient, mild processed food products, and tasty with extended shelf life and maintained quality increases, method of food packaging and food packaging materials also change. Multiple types of materials used for packaging are as follows: metals (steel, tin, and aluminum), plastics, glass, wood, cardboard, papers, etc.

Thus which packaging for food products would be appropriate requires research and expertise as well. Plastic food packaging wouldn’t be an appropriate choice for a lot of food products. Hence, types of food packaging are something everyone in the food manufacturing and distribution should be aware of to ensure that the buyer gets fresh food that is worth every bit of their money and enhances their health with the nutritional values mentioned.

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