Food packaging is quite different from cosmetics, industrial or perfume packaging since food packaging involves food and there is always a health concern due to contamination. Food packaging means selecting a packing material for storing food products, ensuring that there is no additional smell or odor from the packaging material and also ensuring that the content is kept safe and free from any kind of contamination.

After considering the above factors, manufacturers need to think about their budget constraints while remembering that customers will definitely look for something which is attractive. Looking good, attractive with proper images and convenient handling is also of prime importance when packaging products. Moreover, any food packaging material has to be lightweight since the content inside will have a weight of its own and additional weight of the package is certainly not welcome.

So, what are the options in case of food packaging materials? Here is a brief review of some of your available choices.

Aluminum– This is one of those few materials which have been highly popular since ages as a food packing material. Bulk kitchen items such as table pans, clear dome containers, bakery items and round carry out containers are all made using this material. Aluminum as a food packaging material can be coated in silver or using other colors. New innovations have helped in creating smooth wall containers which offers a sophisticated and neat look.

Common Properties

·                    Retains cold as well as heat for long

·                    Crack resistant

·                    Leak resistant

·                    Several lidding options

·                    Available in different types of gauges

Polypropylene– This is the most common type of food packaging material which is generally used for deli tubs, in microwave containers and also chicken roasters. This food packaging material is normally clear and can sometimes be hazy too. This is normally available in a large number of sizes, shapes and compartments which makes it a perfect option for food packaging. It can also be molded into many design elements.

Common Properties

·                    Highly rigid

·                    Crack resistant

·                    Film seal ability

·                    Retains clarity with its anti fog material

Foamed Polystyrene– Another very popular food packaging material which is used in making meat trays or other hinged lid containers and different types of tableware! It is also used in hot beverages packaging. This material is available in a large number of colours such as vanilla, yellow, pink, green, white, black and blue.

Common Properties

·                    High heat resistant properties

·                    Cold insulation

·                    Strong structure

·                    Lightweight packaging material

·                    Easy to use

·                    Available in a number of grades

Pressed Paperboard– One of the moderately priced food packaging options which is easily available for use. It is best suited for all types of frozen applications or even fresh food storing or simple film sealed meal packaging. It is suitable for high speed processing for different types of mass production. It is highly popular for its printed graphic capability which makes it really attractive. It can be easily made in a number of colors and patterns.

Common Properties

·                    Great strength and durability

·                    No seams

·                    Suitable for board lid and film seal

·                    Not too tight sealing

 

OPS/HIPS –A versatile material for packaging which is crystal clear and just perfect for merchandising. It is available in black color too to meet some specific purposes. This material is considered to be highly versatile since it is used in packaging bakery products, deli, sandwiches, salads and also catering. It is hinged which makes it suitable for carrying sandwiches. This is best suited for cold product packaging as well as room temperature applications.

Common Properties

·                    Stiff but bit brittle

·                    Leak resistant

·                    Can be coated with anti fog material

·                    Retains clarity

·                    Can be hinged

·                    Not suitable as drinking cup.

PVC PETE –This is another common material for packaging suitable for food packaging. It is highly popular for its use in merchandising different types of cold foods, bakery items and snacks. It can be used for catering services, produce and deli. It is widely used as domes for protective packaging of party platters, pies and cakes. It can also be used as drinking cups. This is suitable for use in frozen foods. The best feature of PVC pete is its high clarity and coloring feature. PVC

Common Properties

·                    Highly durable – creates durable steady hinges

·                    Tough

·                    Clear

·                    Flexible

·                    Does not crack in freezer too.

These were some of the best options when selecting a food packaging material. Since priorities keep changing and preferences are not the same for everyone, decide on what you are looking forward to in case of your packing material. So, what is your choice for food packaging material in so many options?