Food Packaging Importance
Unpacked food is prone to bacteria. Packaging food is a vital step to avoid any contact with bacteria and harmful particles and chemicals. Food over time builds up moisture which attracts bacteria if left uncovered. Packaging is also significant for food transportation and labeling.
Food processing companies pack food to safely transport it through locations and help customers identify their purchases. It is a complex task to distinguish between product types and companies in the absence of packaging. Moreover, customers are also unable to tell if their goods are over the expiration date.
Food preservation is essential to ensure freshness. The packaging does not spoil the essence of the food and acts as a shield against external bacterial microorganisms. The packaging material has multiple resistant properties that protect the food from going bad. There each is packed accordingly before it is consumed.
Packaging Types- Primary & Secondary
Each food type requires a specific packaging style. Every day, the street vendor you purchase from may use a different packaging than the general store next to it. This is common because of the food type that is being packaged. Packaging is essential for food preservation. Because of this, vendors or companies often pack food twice, to measure different box sizes, to preserve it properly. One easy way to figure the suitable packaging is to divide it between primary and Secondary.
- Primary Packaging of Food
The most basic type of food packing is Primary packaging. This wrapping comes into close contact with the item. Food this way is preserved better. Harmful particles and microorganisms are unable to be near the food. This packaging type encloses the thing entirely. The items you see every day like chips packets, chocolate, and a bottle of wine are primarily packed. They have tight wrapping that welcomes no outside particles.
- Secondary Packaging of Food
Secondary packaging refers to a packing style that combines several items. These items are pre-packed, usually through primary type. The purpose of secondary packaging is display and branding. Because of this, the secondary wrap does not touch the item inside. Food products are primarily packed before secondary. An example of this packaging type would be plastic covering holding bottles or cardboard boxes of cans.
Commonly Used Food Packaging
The food you consume comes packaged in various ways. The processing company uses a different type of material. This material may be paper, plastic, or glass. The material is used according to the food item properties and requirements. They both compliment each other’s properties. Following is the list of most commonly found packaging material and the food item it wraps;
- Aseptic Processing
Aseptic packaging is used for packing sterile food items. This is an excellent way to ensure zero contact with microorganisms. The packaging material is sterilized and seals the thing entirely. The material used in this packaging is aluminum, polyethylene, and mostly paper that forms pouches and cups. The food items packaged in such hygienic conditions are dairy, desserts, sauces, and juices. Such food items can go bad if not handled and processed properly. This is why aseptic processing is an appropriate move to ensure extended shelf life and quality of food products. The packing style is also compact and lightweight. The wrapped products are easy to ship and transport because of these properties.
- Cardboard Cartons
Cartons are the most commonly used packaging type and are great for moisture resistance. Carton boxes have many types further. Each class is used for a different storage purpose.
Eggs, for instance, are stored in cardboard molds. These molds are shaped like egg holders. Carton egg molds make transportation of eggs convenient. Many aseptic boxes are made of cartons. The carton is designed specifically for storing drinks, such as milk. Cartons boxes are also commonly used as secondary packaging.
This is a go-to choice for transporting goods in bulk. They enclose multiple primary packed items appropriately. Other than packaging consumer goods, cardboard boxes are ubiquitous for delivery services. They are usually delivered to you in a cardboard box, whether a pizza, cake, donuts, or bread. Cardboard material is recyclable and reusable, which makes it more commonly used. The material can easily be shaped in any packaging style you want.
- Paper Packaging
This packaging style is very cost-efficient. You can use it for multiple purposes. Paper packaging protects your food. You can transport food or preserve it on paper as well. Paper packaging is the oldest form of packing and has many different types. For sugar, flour, and dry fruits packaging, Kraft paper is used.
This is because Kraft Paper is a durable and firm type of paper in comparison to Sulphite Paper. Sweets and biscuits are sulfites wrapped because of their lightweight. Kraft and Sulphite paper is formed in pouches or packets for food wrapping or preservation. Paper food boxes are used for fast foods. They are made of greaseproof paper and pack food that may release oil or grease and act as good takeaway boxes.
Many restaurants and vendors utilize paper food boxes or bags. Paper packaging is a common secondary packaging source as well. This material is also a common choice when it comes to shipping food.
- Plastic Packaging
Another commonly used packaging material is plastic. Polyethylene is used in various packaging ways depending on its density level. The high-density material is used in restaurants and grocery stores. High-density polyethylene is lightweight.
This makes it resistant to changes in environment-water or temperature, for instance. This is why plastic bags are good food handling sources. Fresh vegetables and fruits are stored in low-density polyethylene bags. The material in low density is breathable that keeps the vegetables and fruits appropriately.
For the non-breathable material, they are suitable for packing candy-like items. The material’s chemical-resistant properties provide this ability. Grocery stores or even fast-food places use plastic packaging due to its elastic properties and transparent plastic. The consumer can see the displayed item clearly before purchasing it.
- Metal Packaging
Metal has excellent protection ability. It is not only recyclable but also flexible material. Many of the products you consume come in cans. These cans are made of aluminum. This is because the metal is corrosion-resistant. It can hold fluids inside and keep them fresh even under different temperature conditions.
Because of these properties, aluminum is also used as plastic and foil wrap. This silvery and lightweight material is suitable for packing food and keeping it warm. For preserving sterile products, tinplate is ideal. Tinplate holds processed food, preserving its freshness for a long time. It acts as a sound barrier between food and metal and is also corrosion-resistant like aluminum.
- Glass Packaging
Glass is either used for packing drinks in bottle form or food items as glass jars. glass is an excellent packing material. It has strength, transparency, heat adaptability, and transparency. You see glass-packed drinks commonly. Soft drinks, energy drinks, alcohol, coffee, and even water are packed in bottles made of glass.
Edible items are also glass-packed as well along with beverages. glass in jar form can store jam, olives, mushroom, cream cheese, coffee grains, and whatnot. The glass acts as a great alternative to plastic and metal-based packaging. But still, glass is used for specific packaging only. Other materials, on the other hand, are more flexible. They can be reshaped and resized conveniently.
They are also better for carrying bulk during transportation. Glass, however, is an excellent primary packaging material.
What is the best type for box packaging?
The best material one can use for box packaging is paper. Paper in its various forms is the ideal packaging material. Paperboard boxes are accommodating and convenient boxes. They are both solid and lightweight. One can quickly reshape and customize the size of a paperboard. It is not assigned to one type of packaging only.
You can personalize the material in any way you desire. These boxes are suitable for packaging fast food, bakery, or organic items. Paper is also reformulated to shape corrugated or cardboard form. Corrugated boxes are great storage sources. The strength and durability make it the most suitable for the job for most takeaways. You can find a lot of f&B outlets using takeaway containers or rather, in Singapore a lot of F&B outlets encourage people to use their own takeaway containers singapore.
Many fast-food restaurants use cardboard boxes to both serve and deliver food. The material is environmentally friendly and recyclable. Paper can also act as a good moisture resistant and is an easy-to-handle material. Boxes made out of paper are the best food packaging source than any other material.
There is a long list to choose from. All of the types carry their properties and suitability. The food that is preserved best by paper may not be compatible with plastic. This is why the food processing company considers many factors before deciding on the appropriate material.
The choice may be whatever. It should be environment-friendly and durable. The world is moving towards a more recycling approach. This is why the paper is used as an alternative to others. However, it is also true that we cannot eliminate other packaging materials. They are significant for food preservation and protection.