The food packaging industry has a number of aspects that may not be well-known to the general public, however the general public deserves to know about the materials used to transport and store their food! This is why we have created this short list of commonly asked questions and answers about food packaging. Read on to learn some valuable information about our industry.
- What does the e-sign signify?
The e-sign found on many food labels is used to inform the consumer that the weight or volume of their chosen product is calculated at an average value. This is due to the fact that the machines that do the actual packaging of the food cannot always be completely accurate. This is especially true of products which are made up of various pieces (like a pizza with assorted toppings). Each product cannot contain the exact same number of pieces, and therefore will vary slightly in weight. The e-sign is used to indicate accepted legal average and margins of the particular product. It is not affiliated with E-numbers or additives in food.
- What does the packaging really do for my food?
First and foremost, the packaging keeps the product contained, therefore protecting and preserving it against the elements, contamination, and damage. The packaging also functions to identify and describe the product, and allows an easy assessment of tampering. The outer packaging is imperative for transportation and storage of goods in stores and distribution centers.
- Why so many options for materials in food packaging?
You may wish that your favorite snack came in a bag instead of a box, or vice versa. There are a multitude of food packaging options out there, and many products are found in various shapes and sizes. However, manufacturers of your favorite snack have discovered the material and type of packaging that best fits with their product. This decision is based on product-specific needs, including necessary protection, how it will be distributed, how long it can remain on shelves, and potential effect on the environment.
- Is my food being affected by its packaging?
The materials surrounding your food serve several purposes, such as, protection and preservation, but must do so without compromising the quality and sanitation of the food itself. As such, materials are selected with health and quality impacts in mind, and this process must take place for each individual food. For instance, if packaging is found to be environmentally friendly and food-safe, but the food itself causes deterioration of the packaging, a different material must be used. Countries have strict food-packaging material policies to ensure health standards are met.
- How are sterilization and pasteurization different?
When a product is sterilized, like canned foods, the product is heated to a temperature of 120-140◦ Celsius, which eliminates bacteria and their associated spores. This gives sterilized products a shelf-life far surpassing the products which are pasteurized, though vitamins may be lost in the process. Pasteurization does not attempt to destroy all bacteria, but to decrease the amount of viable pathogens.
We hope you learned something new in this article! And for all of your food-packaging needs, don’t forget to use SouthPack!