We don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the food packaging industry — perhaps with good reason. But as anyone in the industry can confirm, there is much more to food packaging than what might initially meet the eye. The way food is packaged certainly does affect how well or poorly the product sells. After all, a staggering 52% of people making purchase decisions partially based on whether or not the packaging of their purchase shows a brand making positive social changes. However, packaging does a lot to change the way we consume food — and how safely we consume it — on a positive level as well. Proper packaging can preserve food for much longer than it would otherwise be preserved; that way, we’re less likely to waste food. It also protects food from outside contamination — and sometimes, that contamination can be far more dangerous than anyone would expect. In order to appreciate the complexities of this industry, there are a few basic facts we need to remember. Let’s examine how the packaging industry works, from form fill seal machines to x-ray food inspection. Believe us when we say that there’s much more to it than what might initially meet the eye.
Form Fill Seal Machines: The Basics
Before delving into the rest of the industry, let’s briefly look over the basics of form fill seal machines. These are among the most prevalent food packaging machines. Typically, a form fill seal machine is loaded with a continuous flat roll of plastic film, with labeling and artwork applied to the exterior or interior of the film. There are two main types of form fill seal machines. One is the single web machine system, which creates vertical or inclined form fill sealed packaging. The other is the dual webbed system. Of course, there is much that goes into this process that can’t be explained in a simple article. But rest assured that when this packaging process is properly utilized, it can result in many overall benefits.
Packaging And Recycling: Preventing Waste
Many don’t think about how the right packaging can result in less waste overall — not only of recyclable plastic, but of food in general. When it comes to recycling, it’s estimated that recycling programs are available to 60% of the American population — that is to say, 148 million people. While those programs can be taken advantage of, many people find preventing food waste a bit more complicated. But it can be done. According to packaging experts, one pound of plastic packaging can reduce food waste by up to 1.7 pounds. Then there is vacuum-sealed packaging to consider; perhaps this is the most effective type of packaging of all when it comes to preventing food waste. It preserves food three to five times longer than plastic bags or containers. Of course, you shouldn’t rely on packaging alone — you need to keep food in the proper temperatures. Usually, refrigerators should be set at 40 degrees Fahrenheit, while freezers should be set a zero degrees Fahrenheit. But we haven’t forgotten about the other process that goes into keeping food well-preserved and clean of contamination.
X-Ray Inspection: Keeping Food Metal-Free
You would be amazed by how often metal contaminates food. Luckily, there is a way of detecting metal in food — though ideally, it should be kept out of food properly with the proper packaging. The three main types of metal that can contaminate foods and are detected through metal detectors are Ferrous, Non-Ferrous, and Stainless Steel. When using a typical metal detector with a wet or conductive product that can detect 2.5-3.5 mm, you can usually detect 1.5 mm or less with x-ray inspection. This can vastly improve both food safety and brand protection.
Now that you know a little bit more about food packaging equipment and processing, you hopefully can understand the importance of such processes. With the help of such equipment, we can keep food well-preserved and free of contaminants