Types of Packaging Materials for the Food Packaging Industry

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While unpacking your favourite eateries, have you ever wondered how are they packed? Like most other consumers, you haven’t and this is natural. However, as a responsible and smart consumer of packaged food and drinks, it is essential to have a good understanding about how those consumable stuffs are dealt with by the industry. Whether it is food from a five-star restaurant or some light snack from your nearest bakery, packaging materials constitute an important part of food delivery service.

And to make you aware and informed citizen, here are the most popular food packaging items that are regularly used in the market.

  • Plastic

The most common and widespread food packaging material is plastic. From small outlets to big joints, plastic is used in different forms such as stretch films. There are plastic containers predominantly used by restaurants and take-away meal units. On a regular basis, we carry home-made food in Tupperware containers, which are again made of plastic. Plastic bags are an ultimate food packaging material where everything from sweet boxes to chocolates to meal boxes gets placed inside it. Besides these, there are plastic bottles that contain mineral water and cold drinks. Overall, plastic is a common commodity when it comes to food packaging. However, there’s a small problem with disposing plastic bags, especially the ones which are poor in quality. Such bags are best not be used in the market as they add to the pollution that’s already present in the environment.

  • Aluminium

The second most important commodity for packaging food is aluminium. Aluminium foils are largely preferred as they keep the food warm for a long time. Not only restaurants and other food outlets, but even common man uses such foils to cover their food before placing it inside their tiffin boxes. Other than foils, aluminium containers are also used by people, in large numbers. Aluminium containers are inexpensive and eco-friendly; thus being a perfect substitute for poor quality plastics. Further, food kept in aluminium foils or containers not only stay warm but also remain preserved for longer time span.  There are lots of Aluminium foils supplier in market.

  • Cardboard and Paper

Paper packaging is largely used by snack units like roll and burger centre where you can eat without dirtying your hands. Paper plates are also used in street stalls as it can be easily disposable. There are also paper boxes, ideal for packing sweets, desserts and cakes. Compared to containers and cans, paper boxes are light in weight and hence easy to carry. Cardboard pieces also find enormous space across households where it’s mainly used to keep dairy products, cocoa powders, cooking powder, nuts, frozen foods and similar stuff. Just like paper, cardboard is environment-friendly and renewable. At the same time, these are highly portable.

  • Glass Containers

Both industries and households use glass containers. Industries use it for transporting food to distant places. Bottles and jars, made of glass prevents pests, moisture and micro-organisms from growing inside the food; thereby keeping it safe and healthy for a long time. The glass containers are often processed under heat, which adds to its endurance and protection of keeping food safe and consumable for a lengthy tenure. Consumables like jams, juices and alcohols mainly wine and beer are transported in glass containers. However, a major disadvantage is its heaviness which further makes it more expensive. Besides industries, many pickle manufacturers also use glass containers to deliver pickles to their local customers. Another common use of such containers is in cold drinks.

  • Metal Containers

Modern metal packaging units come in two varieties- one, the double seam and the second is push-up lid. The former is mainly used for packaging canned foods. A perfect example is the ready-to-eat products. The beer cans also fall into this category. People consume the stuff and throw the containers. Contrary to this, the latter serves as a storage container for keeping products like milk powder, coffee powder and allied products. There are also metal containers made of aluminium which preserves food for long-term and prevents pests and odour.

  • Brick Cartons

Last but not the least, brick cartons are largely used across industries for packing liquid products mainly juices and milks. These are air-tight materials which preserves liquids for longer span of time and at the same time prevents moisture and odour. Such food packaging products undergo several layers of packaging and involve a complex packaging procedure. Its complicated processing structure makes it more difficult to recycle.   

Well, now that you know about the different food packaging materials, it’s time to alert your taste buds and be a responsible eater. Know the pros and cons and choose your desirables wisely. While unpacking your food, ensure that the packaging has been of good quality and most importantly it is biodegradable. Eat like never before and keep finger-licking!!