3. CARTON & CARDBOARD
Cardboard are made up of boxes in which they are easily recycled. It is commonly used in packing materials such as eggs, to protect them from breaking. Cardboard or paperboard is normally thicker because they are formed by mashed pulp. In order to make the paperboard, the pulp may be bleached and additives added to control the required functional and visible properties. Cartons on the other hand, are mainly used to store milk, juice and etc. They are less environmental friendly compare to paperboard as they are difficult to be recycled due to its complex composition, which is made up of plastics and aluminum paper. In general cartons are made from paperboard that has been printed, creased, scored, cut and glued.
Glass in the form of jars is commonly used in food storing, especially when the food is in liquid or semisolid form. Glass is formed into food packages either by the blow-and-blow process (used to form narrow-neck bottle) or by the press-and-blow process (used to form wide-mouth jar). Air is blown through the finish to expand the glass into the mold and it later colds down to become the final product.
Polystyrene is a type of plastic that is formed by the styrene. It is made from a long hydrocarbon chain, with a phenyl group attached to every other carbon atom. Polystyrene is a vinyl polymer, and it is produced by the free radical vinyl polymerization.
Polystyrene is commonly used in food packaging because it weight is light and it is resistant to moisture when then the food is hot.
FOOD PACKAGING PROCESSES
Packaging involves three main stages, primary package, secondary package and distribution/ tertiary package (Figure 1).
Primary package is in direct contact with the food product. Secondary package contains the primary package and provides physical protection for the food product in the primary package. Tertiary package contains secondary packages and functions to protect their contents and end enabling handling.
Example : The Packaging of Breakfast cereals
The plastic bag (primary package) contains the cereals that extend its shelf life by protecting it from unwanted moisture. Then, the paper box (secondary package) that protects the primary package and food, facilitates handling, and carries branding and labeling information to communicate with the consumers. Finally, in a bigger carton box, dozens these secondary packages are loaded into it, which later will be transported to its destination.
Food packaging is defined as a coordinated industrial and marketing system for enclosing products in a container to meet the following needs: containment, protection, preservation, distribution, identification, communication, and convenience (Smith, J.S. et al 2004). An ideal package will enable a safe, quality food product to reach the consumer at minimum cost. It is important to note that if a package fails to function properly, much of the expense and energy put into the production and processing of the food will be wasted (Smith, J.S. et al2004).
– This basic function of packaging is a key factor for all other packaging functions. A food product must be contained before a package can protect and preserve.
– Packaging helps to protect the food from water vapor, oxygen, light, microorganism, other contaminants, and etc.
– Packaging can function to preserve or to extend the shelf life of food products. It acts as a barrier to environment contaminants. Like a protection shell of the food products. In another way that packaging can preserve food when it interacts with the product to extend shelf life, known as active packaging. Active packaging, employs a packaging material that interacts with the internal gas environment to extend the shelf-life of a food. Such new technologies continuously modify the gas environment (and may interact with the surface of the food) by removing gases from or adding gases to the headspace inside a package (CSIRO Food and Nutritional Services 1994).
– The ability to efficiently unitize individual packages into larger containers is desirable for shipping and handling. Packaging is designed to protect food products from stresses encountered during transportation, eg. compression forces.
5. Identification and communication/ commercials
– Every food product has different specially designed packaging to advertise their products. Consumers recognize the desired products from the appearance of the packages, or it may even affect the decision of the consumers whether to buy it or not.
– Food products may come in liquid, solid or maybe semisolid form. Packaging must be designed to be convenient and user friendly. Convenient design features include capacities to be reused, resealed, or easily opened.
EVOLVING OF ECO-FRIENDLY PACK
Eco Friendly pack simply means containers or packaging made from components that are not harmful to the environment, in short, its biodegradable in a short amount of time. It is made from natural oil palm fibres with no additives of chemicals that are potentially harmful to our environment and us with the latest technology, machines and human geniuses!
Quick Facts: Ecofriendly- harmless to our environment; Non-toxic- no chemicals are leached out from pack to food; Microwaveable- heat tolerance without releasing poisonous chemicals when heated in microwave; Healthy for you!
DISADVANTAGED OF FOOD PACKAGING
Food packaging materials made of plastic, metals whilst providing convenience to us, the ugly side is this, it can be environmental damaging. Emissions of gas and pollutant from chemical materials can cause thinning of ozone layer which inevitable hurts our body system.
Mass production is the second disadvantage.It causes wastage of money and resources, evidently seen by the overcrowded landfills with all the unuse / irreusable packaging materials.Thirdly,microwable containers MAY emit chemicals to food when micro-waving!Realise it was never claimed to be 100% safe? Packaging materials proposes health threat especially with BPA containers / Cans.