Why People Invented Can Packaging

How many times have you thanked your canned baked beans or canned tuna pack for saving you from all embarrassments when guests turned in suddenly? We all use canned products, especially canned tuna, canned sauce, mushrooms, pickles and vegetables. Have you ever wondered what would happened if can packaging did not exist? In fact, we are so much dependent on can packaging products that we cannot imagine our life without these.

Like all inventions, can packaging or vacuum packaging (technology behind this fabulous packaging) is the result of necessity and with a hope to stay healthy while enjoying seasonal fruits and vegetables throughout the year. Today hundreds of products are available in cans but there was a time when vacuum packaging or vacuum storage bags for preserving foods were unknown and people had no way to store food. Seasonal vegetables were not available in the next seasons. Mushrooms were not available to all and throughout the year. Moreover, excess produce often went waste as there was no way to keep them fresh, since vacuum storage bags or can packaging was completely unknown then. Spare a moment and think about the difficulties people faced during that era – probably on the few reasons which lead to the slow but extremely useful invention of canned products.

Here are a few reasons which lead to the innovation of canned products in so many varieties:

Need to Store Products for long shelf life– Fresh produce or seasonal produce might not be available throughout the year- how does one get the nutrients of all these vegetables and fruits? Canning vegetables keep their freshness intact, with the help of specialized technology – food vacuum sealer! Canned vegetables retain their nutrition levels for at least two years. This was not possible in earlier years when food vacuum sealer technology or vacuum storage bags and cans were unknown and farmers often had to sell off their products cheap, in fear of wastage. Moreover, if fresh produce got transported their nutrients got lost in the transit and ultimate consumers got very little nutrients. There was always a need felt for products which would help in keeping food fresh and available far and wide. Can packaging was a good solution.

Canned products have a good shelf life. There are many different types of high acid canned foods like tomatoes, pickles, fruits and other juices which can be stored for as long as 18 months. Whereas other types of low acid foods which include vegetables and meat products can be stored for as long as 4 years. However, consumers need to be aware that can packaged food products might face a slight change in texture and color.

Easily Transported– In the earlier days, people faced a big problem in transporting food from one place to another. Perishable products like fish and vegetables were often spoilt during transit, when they travelled to distant places. This resulted in distribution in a restricted area only.  A need was felt for a technology or process which would assure tamper proof transportation which would also ensure that foods were fresh. This lead to the invention of cans packaging which ensured complete tamper proofing of products. With the use of food vacuum sealer and excellent quality vacuum storage bags, it ensured that there were no leaks, bulges and dents.

Availability –Another reason which lead to invention of canned products is related to availability issues. All vegetables and fruits are not available year long – what can be done in such a case? Canning turned out to be a convenient method of ensuring availability of vegetables and fruits throughout the year. They are available with an expiry date which ensures that the food is best within a time period.

Food Safety – Food safety has always been an issue and still continues to be. In the earlier years, food safety was often compromised which resulted in several diseases and even deaths. A need was always felt to enhance better food safety and a need for a process which would help in destroying food bacteria. Can packaging means the use of food vacuum sealer which would help to keep food fresh and safe for later use.

With the invention of can packaging, in the later years it was observed that work became more convenient and better for users. Food which was canned was often well washed, well peeled and other steps taken during canning process which ensured all removal of pesticide residues from the food. This meant better hygiene and safety of food. Consumers were advised to have food just after opening the can for best flavor and exceptional nutritional value.

Thus, for convenience and with the hope of having favorite fruits and vegetables all around the year, can packaging was introduced and became extremely popular throughout the years. Today, more than 1500 variety of canned foods are available in the supermarkets.