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Food packaging

Food packaging

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Food packaging is packaging for food
Food
Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for the body. It is usually of plant or animal origin, and contains essential nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals...

. It requires protection, tampering resistance, and special physical, chemical, or biological needs. It also shows the product that is labeled to show any nutrition
Nutrition
Nutrition is the provision, to cells and organisms, of the materials necessary to support life. Many common health problems can be prevented or alleviated with a healthy diet....

 information on the food being consumed.

Functions of food packaging


Packaging has several objectives:
  • Physical protection - The food enclosed in the package may require protection from, among other things, shock
    Shock (mechanics)
    A mechanical or physical shock is a sudden acceleration or deceleration caused, for example, by impact, drop, kick, earthquake, or explosion. Shock is a transient physical excitation....

    , vibration
    Vibration
    Vibration refers to mechanical oscillations about an equilibrium point. The oscillations may be periodic such as the motion of a pendulum or random such as the movement of a tire on a gravel road.Vibration is occasionally "desirable"...

    , compression, temperature
    Temperature
    Temperature is a physical property of matter that quantitatively expresses the common notions of hot and cold. Objects of low temperature are cold, while various degrees of higher temperatures are referred to as warm or hot...

    , etc.
  • Barrier protection - A barrier from oxygen
    Oxygen
    Oxygen is the element with atomic number 8 and represented by the symbol O. Its name derives from the Greek roots ὀξύς and -γενής , because at the time of naming, it was mistakenly thought that all acids required oxygen in their composition...

    , water vapor
    Water vapor
    Water vapor or water vapour , also aqueous vapor, is the gas phase of water. It is one state of water within the hydrosphere. Water vapor can be produced from the evaporation or boiling of liquid water or from the sublimation of ice. Under typical atmospheric conditions, water vapor is continuously...

    , dust, etc., is often required. Permeation
    Permeation
    Permeation, in physics and engineering, is the penetration of a permeate through a solid, and is related to a material's intrinsic permeability...

     is a critical factor in design. Some packages contain desiccant
    Desiccant
    A desiccant is a hygroscopic substance that induces or sustains a state of dryness in its local vicinity in a moderately well-sealed container....

    s or Oxygen absorber
    Oxygen absorber
    An oxygen absorber is a small packet of material used to prolong the shelf life of food. They are used in food packaging to prevent food colour change, to stop oils in foods from becoming rancid, and also retard the growth of oxygen-using aerobic microorganisms such as fungi.Oxygen supports the...

    s to help extend shelf life. Modified atmosphere
    Modified atmosphere
    Modified atmosphere is the practice of modifying the composition of the internal atmosphere of a package in order to improve the shelf life....

    s or controlled atmospheres are also maintained in some food packages. Keeping the contents clean, fresh, and safe for the intended shelf life
    Shelf life
    Shelf life is the length of time that food, drink, medicine, chemicals, and many other perishable items are given before they are considered unsuitable for sale, use, or consumption...

     is a primary function.
  • Containment or agglomeration - Small items are typically grouped together in one package for reasons of efficiency. powders
    Powder (substance)
    A powder is a dry,thick bulk solid composed of a large number of very fine particles that may flow freely when shaken or tilted. Powders are a special sub-class of granular materials, although the terms powder and granular are sometimes used to distinguish separate classes of material...

    , and granular material
    Granular material
    A granular material is a conglomeration of discrete solid, macroscopic particles characterized by a loss of energy whenever the particles interact . The constituents that compose granular material must be large enough such that they are not subject to thermal motion fluctuations...

    s need containment.
  • Information transmission - Packages and label
    Label
    A label is a piece of paper, polymer, cloth, metal, or other material affixed to a container or article, on which is printed a legend, information concerning the product, addresses, etc. A label may also be printed directly on the container or article....

    s communicate how to use, transport, recycle
    Recycling
    Recycling is processing used materials into new products to prevent waste of potentially useful materials, reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, reduce energy usage, reduce air pollution and water pollution by reducing the need for "conventional" waste disposal, and lower greenhouse...

    , or dispose of the package or product. Some types of information are required
    Mandatory labelling
    Mandatory labelling or labeling is the requirement of consumer products to state their ingredients or components....

     by governments.
  • Marketing - The packaging and label
    Label
    A label is a piece of paper, polymer, cloth, metal, or other material affixed to a container or article, on which is printed a legend, information concerning the product, addresses, etc. A label may also be printed directly on the container or article....

    s can be used by marketers
    Marketing
    Marketing is the process used to determine what products or services may be of interest to customers, and the strategy to use in sales, communications and business development. It generates the strategy that underlies sales techniques, business communication, and business developments...

     to encourage potential buyers to purchase the product. Package design has been an important and constantly evolving phenomenon for several decades. Marketing communications
    Marketing communications
    Marketing Communications are messages and related media used to communicate with a market...

     and graphic design
    Graphic design
    Graphic design is a creative process – most often involving a client and a designer and usually completed in conjunction with producers of form – undertaken in order to convey a specific message to a targeted audience...

     are applied to the surface of the package and (in many cases) the point of sale display
    Point of sale display
    A point-of-sale display is a specialized form of sales promotion that is found near, on, or next to a checkout counter . They are intended to draw the customers' attention to products, which may be new products, or on special offer, and are also used to promote special events, e.g. seasonal or...

    .
  • Security - Packaging can play an important role in reducing the security
    Security
    Security is the degree of protection against danger, damage, loss, and crime. Security as a form of protection are structures and processes that provide or improve security as a condition. The Institute for Security and Open Methodologies in the OSSTMM 3 defines security as "a form of protection...

     risks of shipment. Packages can be made with improved tamper resistance
    Tamper resistance
    Tamper resistance is resistance to tampering by either the normal users of a product, package, or system or others with physical access to it. There are many reasons for employing tamper resistance....

     to deter tampering and also can have tamper-evident
    Tamper-evident
    Tamper-evident describes a device or process that makes unauthorized access to the protected object easily detected. Seals, markings or other techniques may be tamper indicating.-Tampering:...

     features to help indicate tampering. Packages can be engineered to help reduce the risks of package pilferage
    Package pilferage
    Pilferage is the theft of part of the contents of a package. It may also include theft of the contents but leaving the package, perhaps resealed with bogus contents. Small packages can be pilfered from a larger package such as a shipping container...

    : Some package constructions are more resistant to pilferage and some have pilfer indicating seals. Packages may include authentication
    Authentication
    Authentication is the act of confirming the truth of an attribute of a datum or entity...

     seals to help indicate that the package and contents are not counterfeit
    Counterfeit
    To counterfeit means to illegally imitate something. Counterfeit products are often produced with the intent to take advantage of the superior value of the imitated product...

    . Packages also can include anti-theft devices, such as dye-packs, RFID tags, or electronic article surveillance
    Electronic article surveillance
    Electronic article surveillance is a technological method for preventing shoplifting from retail stores or pilferage of books from libraries. Special tags are fixed to merchandise or books. These tags are removed or deactivated by the clerks when the item is properly bought or checked out...

     tags, that can be activated or detected by devices at exit points and require specialized tools to deactivate. Using packaging in this way is a means of retail loss prevention.
  • Convenience - Packages can have features which add convenience in distribution, handling, stacking, display, sale, opening, reclosing, use, and reuse.
  • Portion control - Single serving packaging has a precise amount of contents to control usage. Bulk commodities (such as salt) can be divided into packages that are a more suitable size for individual households. It also aids the control of inventory: selling sealed one-liter-bottles of milk, rather than having people bring their own bottles to fill themselves.

Food packaging types



The above materials are fashioned into different types of food packages and containers such as:
Packaging type Type of container Food examples
Aseptic processing
Aseptic processing
Aseptic processing is the process by which a sterile product is packaged in a sterile container in a way that maintains sterility...

Primary Liquid whole eggs
Egg (food)
Eggs are laid by females of many different species, including birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, and have probably been eaten by mankind for millennia. Bird and reptile eggs consist of a protective eggshell, albumen , and vitellus , contained within various thin membranes...

Plastic trays
Aseptic processing
Aseptic processing is the process by which a sterile product is packaged in a sterile container in a way that maintains sterility...

Primary Portion of fish
Bags Primary Potato chip
Potato chip
Potato chips are thin slices of potato that are deep fried...

s
Box
Box
Box describes a variety of containers and receptacles for permanent use as storage, or for temporary use often for transporting contents. The word derives from the Greek πύξος , "box, boxwood"....

es
Secondary Box of Cola
Cola
Cola is a carbonated beverage that was typically flavored by the kola nut as well as vanilla and other flavorings, however, some colas are now flavored artificially. It became popular worldwide after druggist John Pemberton invented Coca-Cola in 1886...

Can
Tin can
A tin can, tin , steel can, or a can, is a sealed container for the distribution or storage of goods, composed of thin metal. Many cans require opening by cutting the "end" open; others have removable covers. Cans hold diverse contents: foods, beverages, oil, chemicals, etc."Tin" cans are made...

s
Primary Can of Tomato
Tomato
The word "tomato" may refer to the plant or the edible, typically red, fruit which it bears. Originating in South America, the tomato was spread around the world following the Spanish colonization of the Americas, and its many varieties are now widely grown, often in greenhouses in cooler...

 soup.
Carton
Carton
Carton is the name of certain types of containers typically made from paperboard which is also sometimes known as cardboard. Many types of cartons are used in packaging. Sometimes a carton is also called a box.-Folding cartons:...

s
Primary Carton of eggs
Egg (food)
Eggs are laid by females of many different species, including birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, and have probably been eaten by mankind for millennia. Bird and reptile eggs consist of a protective eggshell, albumen , and vitellus , contained within various thin membranes...

Flexible packaging Primary Bagged salad
Salad
Salad is any of a wide variety of dishes, including vegetable salads; salads of pasta, legumes, eggs, or grains; mixed salads incorporating meat, poultry, or seafood; and fruit salads. They may include a mixture of cold and hot, often including raw vegetables or fruits.Green salads include leaf...

Pallet
Pallet
A pallet , sometimes called a skid, is a flat transport structure that supports goods in a stable fashion while being lifted by a forklift, pallet jack, front loader or other jacking device. A pallet is the structural foundation of a unit load which allows handling and storage efficiencies...

s
Tertiary A series of boxes on a single pallet used to transport from the manufacturing plant to a distribution center
Distribution center
A distribution center for a set of products is a warehouse or other specialized building, often with refrigeration or air conditioning, which is stocked with products to be redistributed to retailers, to wholesalers, or directly to consumers. A distribution center is a principal part, the order...

.
Wrappers Tertiary Used to wrap the box
Box
Box describes a variety of containers and receptacles for permanent use as storage, or for temporary use often for transporting contents. The word derives from the Greek πύξος , "box, boxwood"....

es on the pallet
Pallet
A pallet , sometimes called a skid, is a flat transport structure that supports goods in a stable fashion while being lifted by a forklift, pallet jack, front loader or other jacking device. A pallet is the structural foundation of a unit load which allows handling and storage efficiencies...

 for transport.


Primary packaging is the main package that holds the food that is being processed. Secondary packaging combines the primary packages into one box being made. Tertiary packaging combines all of the secondary packages into one pallet.

There are also special containers that combine different technologies for maximum durability:
  • Bags-In-Boxes
    Bag-In-Box
    In packaging, a bag-in-box or BiB is a type of container for the storage and transportation of liquids. It consists of a strong bladder , usually made of several layers of metallised film or other plastics, seated inside a corrugated fiberboard box. The bag is supplied to the 'filler' as an empty...

     (used for soft drink
    Soft drink
    A soft drink is a non-alcoholic beverage that typically contains water , a sweetener, and a flavoring agent...

     syrup, other liquid products, and meat
    Meat
    Meat is animal flesh that is used as food. Most often, this means the skeletal muscle and associated fat and other tissues, but it may also describe other edible tissues such as organs and offal...

     products)
  • Wine box
    Box wine
    A box wine is a wine packaged as a Bag-In-Box. Such packages contain a plastic bladder protected by a box, usually made of corrugated fiberboard.- History :...

     (used for wine
    Wine
    Wine is an alcoholic beverage, made of fermented fruit juice, usually from grapes. The natural chemical balance of grapes lets them ferment without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, or other nutrients. Grape wine is produced by fermenting crushed grapes using various types of yeast. Yeast...

    )

Packaging machines


A choice of packaging machinery includes technical capabilities, labor requirements, worker safety, maintainability
Maintainability
In engineering, maintainability is the ease with which a product can be maintained in order to:* isolate defects or their cause* correct defects or their cause* meet new requirements* make future maintenance easier, or* cope with a changed environment...

, serviceability, reliability
Reliability engineering
Reliability engineering is an engineering field, that deals with the study, evaluation, and life-cycle management of reliability: the ability of a system or component to perform its required functions under stated conditions for a specified period of time. It is often measured as a probability of...

, ability to integrate into the packaging line, capital cost, floorspace, flexibility (change-over, materials, etc.), energy usage, quality of outgoing packages, qualifications (for food, phamaceuticals, etc.), throughput, efficiency, productivity, ergonomics
Ergonomics
Ergonomics is the study of designing equipment and devices that fit the human body, its movements, and its cognitive abilities.The International Ergonomics Association defines ergonomics as follows:...

, etc.

Packaging machines may be of the following general types:
  • Blister, Skin and Vacuum Packaging Machines
  • Capping, Over-Capping, Lidding, Closing, Seaming and Sealing Machines
  • Cartoning machines
    Cartoning machines
    A cartoning machine or cartoner, is a packaging machine that forms cartons: erect, close, folded, side seamed and sealed cartons.Packaging machines which form a carton board blank into a carton filled with a product or bag of products or number of products say into single carton, after the filling,...

  • Case and Tray Forming, Packing, Unpacking, Closing and Sealing Machines
  • Check weighing machines
    Check weigher
    A checkweigher is an automatic machine for checking the weight of packaged commodities.It is normally found at the offgoing end of a production process and is used to ensure that the weight of a pack of the commodity is within specified limits...

  • Cleaning, Sterilizing, Cooling and Drying Machines
  • Conveying, Accumulating and Related Machines
  • Feeding, Orienting, Placing and Related Machines
  • Filling Machines: handling liquid and powdered products
  • Package Filling and Closing Machines
  • Form, Fill and Seal Machines
    Vertical form fill sealing machine
    The Vertical form fill sealing machine is a type of automated assembly-line product packaging system, commonly used to in the packaging industry for food, and a wide variety of other products. The machine constructs plastic bags out of a flat roll of plastic film, while simultaneously filling the...

  • Inspecting, Detecting and Checkweighing Machines
    Check weigher
    A checkweigher is an automatic machine for checking the weight of packaged commodities.It is normally found at the offgoing end of a production process and is used to ensure that the weight of a pack of the commodity is within specified limits...

  • Pallet
    Pallet
    A pallet , sometimes called a skid, is a flat transport structure that supports goods in a stable fashion while being lifted by a forklift, pallet jack, front loader or other jacking device. A pallet is the structural foundation of a unit load which allows handling and storage efficiencies...

    izing, Depalletizing, Pallet Unitizing and Related Machines
  • Product Identification: labelling, marking, etc.
  • Wrapping Machines
  • Converting Machines
  • Other speciality machinery


Reducing Food Packaging


Reduced packaging and sustainable packaging
Sustainable packaging
Sustainable packaging is the development and use of packaging which results in improved sustainability. At the end stage of design it involves increased use of life cycle inventory and life cycle assessment to help guide the use of packaging which reduces the environmental impact and ecological...

 are becoming more frequent. The motivations can be government regulations, consumer pressure, retailer pressure, and cost control. (Reduced packaging often saves packaging costs.)

In the UK, A Local Government Association
Local Government Association
The Local Government Association is a voluntary lobbying organisation acting as the voice of the local government sector in England and Wales, which seeks to be an authoritative and effective advocate on its behalf....

 survey produced by the British Market Research Bureau, compared a range of outlets to buy 29 common food items, found that small local retailers and market traders
Street market
A street market is an outdoor market such as traditionally held in a market square or in a market town, and often held only on particular days of the week...

 "produced less packaging and more that could be recycled than the larger supermarkets."

Trends in food packaging


Numerous reports industry associations agree that use of smart indicators will increase. There are a number of different indicators with different benefits for food producers, consumers and retailers.

Temperature Recorders


Temperature recorders are used to monitor products shipped in a cold chain
Cold chain
A cold chain is a temperature-controlled supply chain. An unbroken cold chain is an uninterrupted series of storage and distribution activities which maintain a given temperature range...

 and to help validate the cold chain. Digital temperature data logger
Data logger
A data logger is an electronic device that records data over time or in relation to location either with a built in instrument or sensor or via external instruments and sensors. Increasingly, but not entirely, they are based on a digital processor...

s measure and record the temperature history of food shipments. They sometimes have temperatures displayed on the indicator or have other output (lights, etc): The data from a shipment can be downloaded (cable, RFID, etc) to a computer for further analysis. These help identify if there has been temperature abuse of products and can help determine the remaining shelf life
Shelf life
Shelf life is the length of time that food, drink, medicine, chemicals, and many other perishable items are given before they are considered unsuitable for sale, use, or consumption...

. They can also help determine the time of temperature extremes during shipment so corrective measures can be taken.

Time-Temperature Indicators


Time-Temperature Indicators integrate the time
Time
Time is a part of the measuring system used to sequence events, to compare the durations of events and the intervals between them, and to quantify rates of change such as the motions of objects....

 and temperature
Temperature
Temperature is a physical property of matter that quantitatively expresses the common notions of hot and cold. Objects of low temperature are cold, while various degrees of higher temperatures are referred to as warm or hot...

 experienced by the indicator and adjacent foods. Some use chemical reactions that result in a color change while others use the migration of a dye through a filter media. To the degree that these physical changes in the indicator match the degradation rate of the food, the indicator can help indicate probable food degradation.

RFID


Radio Frequency Identification
Radio Frequency Identification
Radio-frequency identification is a technology that uses radio waves to transfer data from an electronic tag, called RFID tag or label, attached to an object, through a reader for the purpose of identifying and tracking the object. Some RFID tags can be read from several meters away and beyond the...

 is applied to food packages for supply chain
Supply chain
A supply chain is a system of organizations, people, technology, activities, information and resources involved in moving a product or service from supplier to customer. Supply chain activities transform natural resources, raw materials and components into a finished product that is delivered to...

 control and has shown a significant benefit in allowing food producers and retailers create full real time visibility of their supply chain.

Biodegradable Packaging


Plastic packaging being used is usually non-biodegradable due to possible interactions with the food. Also, biodegradable polymers often require special composting conditions to properly degrade. Normal sealed landfill
Landfill
A landfill site , is a site for the disposal of waste materials by burial and is the oldest form of waste treatment...

 conditions do not promote biodegradation.

Biodegradable plastic
Biodegradable plastic
Biodegradable plastics are plastics that will decompose in natural aerobic and anaerobic environments. Biodegradation of plastics can be achieved by enabling microorganisms in the environment to metabolize the molecular structure of plastic films to produce an inert humus-like material that is...

s includes biodegradable films and coatings synthesized from organic materials and microbial polymers.

See also



  • Dietary supplement
    Dietary supplement
    A dietary supplement, also known as food supplement or nutritional supplement, is a preparation intended to supplement the diet and provide nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, fatty acids, or amino acids, that may be missing or may not be consumed in sufficient quantities in a person's diet...

  • Food fortification
    Food fortification
    Food fortification or enrichment is the process of adding micronutrients to food. It can be purely a commercial choice to provide extra nutrients in a food, or sometimes it is a public health policy which aims to reduce numbers of people with dietary deficiencies in a population.Diets that lack...

  • Food preservation
    Food preservation
    Food preservation is the process of treating and handling food to stop or slow down spoilage and thus allow for longer storage....

  • Food rheology
    Food rheology
    Food rheology is the study of the rheological properties of food, that is, the consistency and flow of food under tightly specified conditions. The consistency, degree of fluidity, and other mechanical properties are important in understanding how long food can be stored, how stable it will...

  • Food storage
    Food storage
    Food storage is both a traditional domestic skill and is important industrially. Food is stored by almost every human society and by many animals...

  • Food supplements
  • Nutraceutical
    Nutraceutical
    Nutraceutical, a portmanteau of the words “nutrition” and “pharmaceutical”, is a food or food product that reportedly provides health and medical benefits, including the prevention and treatment of disease. Health Canada defines the term as "a product isolated or purified from foods that is...

  • Nutrification (aka food enrichment or fortification)
  • Food Science
    Food science
    Food science is a study concerned with all technical aspects of foods, beginning with harvesting or slaughtering, and ending with its cooking and consumption, an ideology commonly referred to as "from field to fork"...

  • Food Engineering
    Food engineering
    Food engineering is a multidisciplinary field of applied physical sciences which combines science, microbiology, and engineering education for food and related industries. Food engineering includes, but is not limited to, the application of agricultural engineering, mechanical engineering and...

  • Food technology
    Food technology
    Food technology, is a branch of food science which deals with the actual production processes to make foods.-Early history of food technology:...

  • Food and Bioprocess Technology
    Food and Bioprocess Technology
    Food and Bioprocess Technology: An International Journal is a peer reviewed scientific journal published by Springer Science+Business Media. It is available in print and online...

  • Food safety
    Food safety
    Food safety is a scientific discipline describing handling, preparation, and storage of food in ways that prevent foodborne illness. This includes a number of routines that should be followed to avoid potentially severe health hazards....

  • Food microbiology
    Food microbiology
    Food microbiology is the study of the microorganisms that inhabit, create, or contaminate food. Of major importance is the study of microorganisms causing food spoilage. "Good" bacteria, however, such as probiotics, are becoming increasingly important in food science...

  • Food chemistry
    Food chemistry
    Food chemistry is the study of chemical processes and interactions of all biological and non-biological components of foods. The biological substances include such items as meat, poultry, lettuce, beer, and milk as examples...

  • Cold chain
    Cold chain
    A cold chain is a temperature-controlled supply chain. An unbroken cold chain is an uninterrupted series of storage and distribution activities which maintain a given temperature range...

  • Distribution
    Distribution (business)
    Product distribution is one of the four elements of the marketing mix. An organization or set of organizations involved in the process of making a product or service available for use or consumption by a consumer or business user.The other three parts of the marketing mix are product, pricing,...

  • Flexography
    Flexography
    Flexography is a form of printing process which utilizes a flexible relief plate. It is basically an updated version of letterpress that can be used for printing on almost any type of substrate including plastic, metallic films, cellophane, and paper...

  • Food labelling regulations
    Food labelling Regulations
    This article is based around UK Law and some European Union regulations and, therefore, is region sensitive.The law in the UK on food labeling is multifaceted and is spread over many reforms and parliamentary acts, making the subject complex. In the US, food labeling is mainly regulated by 21 CFR...

  • Food waste in the United Kingdom
    Food waste in the United Kingdom
    Food waste in the United Kingdom is a subject of environmental, economic and social concern that has received widespread media coverage and been met with varying responses from government. Since 1915, food waste has been identified as a considerable problem and has been the subject of ongoing media...

  • Logistics
    Logistics
    Logistics is the management of the flow of goods between the point of origin and the point of destination in order to meet the requirements of customers or corporations. Logistics involves the integration of information, transportation, inventory, warehousing, material handling, and packaging, and...

  • Mandatory labelling
    Mandatory labelling
    Mandatory labelling or labeling is the requirement of consumer products to state their ingredients or components....

  • Self-heating food packaging
  • Serving suggestion
    Serving suggestion
    Serving suggestion is a disclaimer used on food packaging. The phrase is used as legal fine print with a picture of the product. The picture attempts to portray the manufacturer's food in the most favorable or appetizing way possible, sometimes including other foods that the package does not contain...

  • Time temperature indicator
    Time temperature indicator
    A time temperature indicator is a device or smart label that shows the accumulated time-temperature history of a product. Time temperature indicators are commonly used on food, pharmaceutical, and medical products to indicate exposure to excessive temperature .-Technology:There are a large number...



External links