Food packaging is a critical part of the process of moving food items from the original location to grocery stores. Consumers expect that the food they purchase is fresh and conforms to the regulations required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
While food packaging is an established industry, there are new developments in technology every year. Here is a quick overview of the functions of food packaging, food packaging machines, and trends in the industry.
The Functions of Food Packaging
The functions of food packaging include many aspects relating to making the purchase of food an easy to understand and safe process for consumers. Two of the most important aspects to understand about food packing are protection and security.
- Protection amounts to both physical protection and barrier protection. One of the key parts of barrier protection is permeation, which is when a liquid, gas, or vapor penetrates a solid. This can extend shelf-life.
- Security is another key aspect. Making a package tamper-resistant or having an authentication seal are examples of how a food packaging company can increase the demand for their service.
Food Packaging Machines
The choice for a food packaging machine requires careful consideration of the following options: technical capability, maintainability, and reliability, among others. One specific sub-type to consider is a food sealing machine.
A sub-type of food sealing machines is a vertical form fill seal machine when the sealant type is plastic. It operates on the assembly line and constructs plastic bags out of flat rolls of film, filling the bag and sealing it at the same time. Both solids and liquids can be bagged using this machine.
This sub-type of food sealing machines is important considering the benefits some purport for using plastic as a sealing agent:
- Experts state that each pound of plastic packaging can reduce food waste by up to 1.7 pounds.
- Just two pounds of plastic can has the ability to deliver up roughly 10 gallons of beverage compared to three pounds of aluminum, eight pounds of steel, and 40 pounds of glass.
- 60 percent of Americans have access to a plastic recycling program.
Trends in the Food Packaging Industry
Technology has given birth to new trends in the food packaging industry, which are making their way into different standard machinery such as food sealing machines. Some of these trends are:
- Temperature Time Indicators integrate temperature and time to give companies an avenue to predict possible food degradation.
- Radio Frequency Identification allows companies to provide a visible tool to monitor their entire supply chain.
- Biodegradable Plastics include biodegradable films and coatings synthesized from organic materials or microbial polymers.
While the food packaging industry is not a new industry, there are still important points to learn about and remember, as well as new trends in the industry with the application of advances in technology.