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10 Types Of Food Packaging Materials

by Lily Morgen
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Food Packaging Types

Food packaging helps keep our food fresh. It protects the food from air, moisture, insects, and other contaminants that could cause spoilage or contamination of the food. There are various food packaging types and they can be generally classified as aseptic packaging, bags, boxes, cans, glass, trays, cartons, pallets, wrappers, and flexible packaging.

1. Aseptic Packaging

Aseptic packaging is a process of preventing microorganisms from entering a package during and after it has been sealed. It requires a sterile environment and involves a heating process. 

A typical aseptic packaging is usually made of paper, polyethylene, aluminum, and an inside tight layer of polyethylene.

It’s commonly used to keep the food that needs to stay sterile. The common Aseptically packaged food are:

  • Dairy products
  • liquid eggs
  • Juices
  • Soups
  • Broths
  • Other processed foods need to be preserved for a long time. 

2. Bags

The bag keeps the food isolated from the air. They are a primary choice for food packaging because they are less expensive, lightweight, and have greater design flexibility. Bags are usually made of plastics to stop the food in touch with the air directly.

The main types of food packaging plastics are high-density polyethylene (HDPE), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), polypropylene (PP), and polystyrene plastics. 

The common uses of bags are in snacks, fruits, and vegetables. 

3. Boxes

Boxes packaging is commonly used to store and transport food because it provides an effective way to keep food items fresh and protected during transit. Boxes can help to prevent crushing and other damage that can occur during shipping. In addition, boxes with lids or tight-fitting covers can protect against moisture and pests. 

It is commonly made from wood, corrugated fiberboard, or metal, and it is usually lined with plastic or aluminum foil to keep the food fresh. 

Boxes are often used for packaged foods, such as cereals, snacks, and candy. It can also be used for fresh fruits and vegetables. 

4. Cans 

Cans food packaging is a type of container that is typically made from aluminum or tin-plated steel. It has a wide range of applications, including food storage, transportation, and packaging. They are often used for carbonated or noncarbonated beverages, as well as canned fruits and vegetables.

Cans offer many benefits over other types of food packaging, such as bottles and jars. They are airtight and protect the food from light, oxygen, and moisture. This prevents spoilage and extends the shelf life of the product in it.

5. Glass

Glass is an inert material, meaning it is stable and it won’t affect the taste or quality of the food inside. Glass is also 100% recyclable, making it a sustainable option for packaging.

There are many different types of glass food packaging available on the market. Some common options include glass jars, bottles, and containers. Glass jars are a great option for storing dry goods like beans, rice, and pasta. Glass bottles are perfect for storing liquids like juices and sauces. Glass containers can be used for both dry goods and liquids.

6. Trays

Trays are typically made from plastic, paper, or aluminum. Trays can be found in a variety of sizes and shapes, and are often used in restaurants, grocery stores, and other food-related businesses.

Trays can be used to package a variety of different types of foods, including meats, vegetables, fruits, plant seeds, baked goods, and more.

7. Cartons

Cartons are commonly referred to cartonboard or paperboard. Cartons are made of two layers of kraft liner board, with a layer of the corrugated medium in between them. The kraft liner boards are made from wood pulp that has been treated with chemicals and heat to make it strong and durable. The corrugated medium is made from recycled paper that has been fluted to create a series of air pockets.

Usually, a carton is the second packaging of food, there is usually a layer of food packaging inside the carton packaging like plastic bags. A carton is commonly used for powder, granular and liquid food like milk, soup, coffee creamer, and juices.

8. Pallets

Pallets are used to deliver products in bulk. Boxes of the goods are placed and stacked on the pallet, then the entire pallet is shrink-wrapped to hold everything in place during shipping. Once the pallet arrives at its destination, the shrink wrap is removed and the boxes are removed from the pallet and placed on shelves or in storage.

Pallets are generally made of wood or plastic.

9. Wrappers

Wrappers are packaging materials that are used to enclose food items. They are generally made from paper, foil, or plastic, and can be either disposable or reusable. Wrappers serve a number of purposes, including protecting food from contamination, keeping it fresh, and providing a way to transport it.

There are many different types of wrappers available on the market, each designed for a specific purpose. For example, some wrappers are made from paper and are intended to be used as disposable bags or wrapping paper. Others, such as foil wrappers, are designed to be reused.

Wrappers can also be made from different materials, depending on their intended use. For example, some wrappers are made from plastic and are intended for use as food storage containers. Others, such as aluminum foil wrappers, are designed to be used as cooking or baking pans.

10. Flexible packaging

Flexible packaging is becoming increasingly popular in the food industry due to its many benefits. Flexible packaging is a type of packaging that can be easily shaped or molded to fit the product it needs to contain. This makes it an ideal option for packaging foods of all shapes and sizes.

For example, flexible packaging is often used for individually wrapped snacks, like granola bars or candy. It can also be used for larger food items, like frozen pizzas or bags of popcorn. Flexible packaging is even being used for some liquids, like juices and soups.

One of the biggest advantages of flexible packaging is that it takes up less space than traditional packaging options. This is because flexible packaging can be easily compressed when not in use. This makes it ideal for food manufacturers who need to save on storage space.

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