The basic types of food packaging materials
At Pencilworks when we design a clients product we design it with the knowledge that the food is a product that needs careful packaging. This is due to the strict rules and regulations regarding health issues resulting from improper packaging. Therefore, the packaging materials for food should be adapted to a greater degree of protection of health and comfort to provide consumers with the low impact on the environment as well. For packaging, there are different materials for food and drink to choose from:
Paper and cardboard:
These wood materials are mainly use to package dry food such as flour, bread, salt and sugar and others. The paper is light, easy to print, but permeable to air, water vapor and gas. These are very inexpensive and yet the materials can be easily adapted to different shapes and sizes. The paper as a packaging material has very little impact on the environment due to its very long-lasting property.
Plastic containers for food are becoming more popular, even for the microwave process. The plastic can be biodegradable and synthetic. The synthetic plastic is known to have low-cost production, good mechanical barrier characteristics, light, elastic, can be recycled, but not biodegradable. Biodegradable plastics are specifically manufactured to decompose at designed manners.
New generation packaging with specific properties that improve the mechanical and barrier properties. In general, they are applicable to the manufacture of bottles or films to have very low permeability to oxygen and water vapor. Although it is relatively expensive, but it can be recycled.
Mixed materials (laminates):
Packaging materials of this type consist of several thin layers of different materials such as paper films and metalized plastic. They have also sealed good barrier properties and very laminated packaging, which increases the life of the products.
Active and intelligent packaging:
They are Food packaging materials with substances that extend the shelf life. These substances are ethylene and oxygen absorbers. You can also use compounds that bind or emit oxygen gas to regulate the water, antioxidants and antibacterial substances.
This is a type of material that can be formed in different shapes and is recycled without great change in the mechanical properties. Even though it requires high temperature in formation, the glass packaging materials have very good barrier properties and impermeability to gases and water vapor. It is mainly used for the production of bottles and glasses, which can be pasteurized at high temperature. If there is a disadvantage of glass as a food packaging material, it is its fragility. They break easily when exposed to insensitive handling.
It has been the base of the packaging for a long time. It is mainly used in the manufacture of cans, metal plates, bags and foils for food items. Like glass, metals have very good barrier properties, but they must be sterilized before packing food and drink. It can also be used for freezing and heated food. The disadvantages of metals such as food packaging are high costs; corrosion of certain types and opacity, consumers can not see what is inside.
Food and drinks deserve the best packaging materials because of health problems. Economic questions should not jeopardize the quality of food packaging. People will always be health conscious and concerns on the food and drinks that they take into their stomach. Therefore, food packaging should provide maximum protection for human consumption.