Food industry spotlight: effective UK food packaging
Plastic packaging can keep your food products safe during transit and ensure that the end-user receives your product in excellent condition. In order to offer maximum protection the packaging needs to be strong and pliable, so it can be tailored to your product dimensions.
Here are some qualities to look for when choosing a suitable type of plastic packaging for food manufacturing.
Plastic used for packaging is made from substances called polymers. Many polymers are not biodegradable so microbes can’t digest them. This makes disposal of plastic tricky, but it does mean it’s an extremely strong material to create packaging from.
It is also creates a versatile material so you can use it to protect those tricky-shaped items. Each type of plastic packaging has an identification code on it stating which type of polymer it’s made from. Different polymers are suitable for different types of packaging, so there are many different polymers used in the creation of plastic packaging.
Packaging with code 1 PET is Polyethylene Terephthalate, which is a clear plastic renowned for being strong yet moldable. It provides a good barrier to moisture and gas, so it’s a good choice to house fizzy liquids and is used readily for soft drinks bottles.
It does not contain BPA and it can be recycled. It’s lightweight yet shatter resistant, so it keeps the overall weight of the product down while maintaining its integrity.
With some products, it’s important that the packaging is thin yet still strong enough to create a barrier and protect the contents from contamination. Code 4 LDPE or Low Density Polyethylene can be easily processed, is tough yet flexible, can be heat-sealed, and it prevents moisture getting in.
This material is ideal for products such as food bags and packaging for food manufacturers because it moulds to the shape of the contents yet provides a strong barrier. It’s also useful to make cling film for storing food. This product has a poor heat resistance, making it a bad choice for foods that needs to be microwaved, but it is easy to process and is a popular choice in the food industry.
For some packaging, rigidity is of the utmost importance because the contents need to be protected from knocks. Code 5 PP or Polypropylene can be flexible or rigid and is also heat resistant. It’s used for products such as margarine cartons, yoghurt pots and medicine bottles. Because it’s easy to mould, specific shapes can be made, and it has a high melting point makes it ideal for hot-fill liquids.
Its high-gloss finish means it’s less likely to crack or fold due to stress, and it’s so tough it can withstand freezing and microwaving, so it’s an excellent choice for microwave meals or frozen ice cream.
The ultimate aim of plastic packaging is to get products from the manufacturer to the consumer in one piece and in the same condition as they left the manufacturer. Plastic remains one of the most important inventions of the 20th century because it’s so diverse and useful in the world of food manufacturing. There are many different plastics to choose between, each with different properties and uses.
With the right packaging, products can be protected so that they reach the consumer in the same state as they left the factory.
At Polythene UK we provide high quality, cost-effective plastics for the food manufacturing industry. Our Collation Shrink Wrap is ideal for the food and drink sectors, the film collates a number of items in one pack and ensures the safe transportation, storage and display of products.
If you’d like to find out more about plastic packaging, contact Polythene UK today on 0845 643 1601 or contact us online.