Food Packaging There’s More Than What Meets The Eye

Food packaging materials

When it comes to the food that we eat, nothing is more important than safety. There is a widely held assumption that when you buy food from a grocery store, it will be safe. This food has been processed in some way, right? Which means that for better or for worse, it’s been checked for any sort of foreign objects, contamination, and a manner of all other issues that can come with food. Often, consumers assume that if a food is packaged, it is therefore safer to eat than other types of food. Most of the time, packaged food is safe to eat. But why is this? How do we know that one type of packaged food is safer than another? The answer lies behind a complex system of checkweighers, food metal detectors, and food packaging equipment in general that not only ensure that food is well packaged, but safe for consumers to eat. Of course, nobody wants a person to eat food that could harm them. But there are more practical reasons why the industry is taking the issue so seriously. For one thing, this system not only ensures food safety, but manages in general packaging and portioning. For another, it keeps not only consumers safe, but the companies in the food industry as well. If one person is hurt or gets sick because of poorly packaged food, the sellers and the manufacturers will be blamed.

Food Packaging: Beyond The Brand

Many different factors go into how a food product is packaged. Most importantly, packaging needs to keep people safe. But it also acts as a kind of advertisement. People are attracted to neat, bright packaging. They especially appreciate if packaging reflects a brand’s attempt to make a difference in the world. It’s estimated that 52% of consumers make purchases based off of packaging that shows the brand attempting to make a positive social and environmental impact. At times, packaging — especially plastic packaging — can seem wasteful, when in fact it is often the very opposite. According to packaging experts, each pound of plastic packaging can reduce food waste by up to 1.7 pounds. This is in part because plastic packaging can seal food tightly, ensuring that it won’t spoil or be contaminated. The same goes for liquids — just two pounds of plastic can contain and transport 10 gallons of beverages. Three pounds of aluminum, eight pounds of steel, or over 40 pounds of glass would be necessary to attempt a similar feat. Plastic is also convenient, being quickly applied by a number of food packaging machines.

Keeping Food In Check: Quality Control

When a packaging product is weighed by checkweighers, more can be detected than you might think. If checkweighers detect that the product weighs too much, it could just be a result of over-portioning. Other times, checkweighers can register weight differences that are substantial enough to signal a real issue. People would be shocked to discover what can happen to their food. Yet food packaging experts know better. Metals and more can end up inside of food, which is why x-ray food inspection is such an asset for the packaging industry. A typical food metal detector can detect three different types of metal. These include ferrous, non ferrous, and stainless steel. While the amount of metal in a food may be so small that it can actually be ingested without a person noticing, that does not mean it won’t have negative health consequences in the long term. As such, all metals should be taken seriously.

Sealing Food: Preserving And Protecting

Finally, we’ll touch upon the importance of vacuum-sealed food. It should go without saying that this is one of the most effective ways to keep food safe from contaminants. This sealing process, however, has the added benefit of keeping food fresh for a long period of time. Ultimately, therefore, it benefits both the manufacturer and the consumer.

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