Food Packaging: Convenience at a health cost?
Published: January 08, 2016
Food packaging in some form or other has been around for centuries. Materials used for food packaging include cloth (muslin and cotton), leather, wax, grass, hay, paper, glass, polystyrene, styrofoam, cardboard, ceramic pottery, metal (such as aluminum), and various plastics.
- Protecting food from physical damage such as shock, vibration, compression, temperature, bacteria, and rodents
- Food preservation: preservation of nutrients and extension of shelf life by keeping food fresh and clean and controlling oxygen and water content
- Containers for liquids, powders, gels and granular foods
- Food safety: tamper proof seals and authentication seals and may include anti theft devices such as dye packs, and electronic tags which need to be deactivated
- Provision of information about food contents, use of content, transport, recycling/disposal information required by government
- Marketing: advertising of product graphic design, and communications
- Convenience: distribution, handling, stacking, display, sale, opening, reclosing, use and reuse
- Portion control: single serving packaging precise amount to control usage, bulk commodities may be divided into smaller sizes
There are several types of food packaging use for processed foods: primary, secondary and tertiary packaging.