The Advantages and Disadvantages of Different Food Packaging Materials More than just an eye-catching appearance, packaging materials should provide utmost protection for food and beverages. The need for food packaging has tremendously increased due to the big leap in people’s lifestyle. However, people are becoming more and more critical about everything related to health and wellness that they’re not easily deceived by poor quality products enclosed in elegant packaging. Not all materials, though, available in the market are applicable to all kinds of food and beverages. One type of material can be greatly useful to a particular product but may be detrimental to others. This is why choosing the right material to package your food products is very crucial. Paper If there’s one type of material that gets the first consideration in food packaging, it’s paper. Paper is probably the most economical, flexible and environment-friendly material there is in the market. They are very cheap and can be easily customized to different shapes and sizes to match certain types of food. The cardboard variety of paper in food packaging has served as shelter for pizza, bread and pies, popcorn, coffee and chocolate and other take-out orders from fast food restaurants. Paper as a food packaging material has also its limitations. Even if the cardboard is multiple-walled, the material is still weak when it experiences handling complications that will have unfavorable consequences for the food inside. It is never applicable to products that need freezing and exposure to water makes it vulnerable. Glass Glass is considered pure and safe material for food packaging. In fact, U.S. food and drug Administration categorized it as the safest material to enclosed food in. It is non-porous, impermeable to harmful external elements and offers a safe haven for food to remain fresh. It has no harmful chemicals to possibly migrate into food and beverages especially when exposed to heat. More so, glass is 100 percent recyclable and can be formed again into other shapes and sizes. However, if you choose glass to package your food and beverages, you need to be prepared for its brittleness. Packaging processes should include cautious and careful handling; otherwise, you’re in for trouble and possible profit loss. Another drawback of glass as a food packaging material is high cost. Metal Canned goods, powder milk, biscuits and beer are just some of the food and beverages usually found in metal packaging materials. Metals, in the forms of foils and bags, also provide packaging solution for frozen and heated food. It is highly impermeable from external elements. Common types of metal used in food packaging are aluminum and steel. Steel doesn’t work well in food unless coated with various polymers because it is prone to corrosion, which is harmful to food packed inside. Aluminum, on the other hand, does not corrode but it’s interaction with acidic food has also damaging result to the food specifically its taste.
Plastic Anywhere in the groceries and supermarkets, plastic dominates the packaging materials even for food. In spite of numerous research findings on its potential health hazards, many packaging companies opt to use the material while still finding ways and means to lessen if not totally eliminate harmful elements of plastic and its impact on the environment. The material is a common choice due to its resistance to breakage unlike paper and glass. Its lightweight nature makes it an economical choice in terms of shipping cost and consumers wonâ€™t find difficulty in carrying food around in plastic packaging. The most adverse effect of plastic packaging is the potential migration of chemical additives on the food it comes in contact with. Studies linked plastic to abnormality in child development due to its hormone-disrupting chemicals. Apart from this, plastic is a major nemesis of the environment because of its nonbiodegradable characteristics. Whatever packaging material you choose for your food and beverages, your utmost concern should be in the context of protection. Packaging should make consumers aware of the excellent quality of the food inside.
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