Nowadays, all products (especially, edible) are sold being packed. It is difficult to find unpacked food on store shelves. Thus, the sphere of food wrappers is in high demand. Plastic is the most popular material for packaging production. Its popularity is determined by high resistance to surrounding factors, a great variety of chemical sub-kinds, and sustainability. Below, let’s go deeper into this issue.
Food storage requires meeting particular rules. It is not enough to put products in a bag. For example, baked products (pastry, bread) should preserve their softness, dry food should be protected from moisture, etc. Depending on the type of product to be stored, different types of plastic packaging for food are chosen.
Rules for Food Wrapper Storage
- Packages must preserve product integrity and protect it from breaking, cracking, pouring, etc.
- Covers must provide sufficient protection from environmental factors, like moisture, sunlight, temperature, and debris.
- Wrappers must be resistant to punctures.
- Packages must contain all the required information about the product, its content, manufacturer, shelf life, and other data. Pictures, logos, and text must be resistant to abrasion.
- Wrappers must preserve food freshness, odor, taste, and nutritional properties throughout their shelf life.
Dry, liquid, baked, or frozen food requires different kinds of wrappers since they should withstand the influence of cold or heat, avoid evaporation, etc. Thus, the following types of plastic are used for food packaging.
TOP Kinds of Plastic for Wrapper Production
Modern manufacturers use the following materials for food covers production:
PET boxes are one of the most demanded products on the market. Today, PET bottles are deservedly called the leader in packaging for many types of products. People use them daily in various areas of life.
PET containers have many advantages, which determine their wide range of uses. They are lightweight and come in a variety of colors. PET material is used for packaging various types of drinking liquids from soft drinks, dairy, and other food products, to technical mixtures, perfumes, and decorative cosmetics.
The use of PET bottles allows organizing the transportation of goods more efficiently since they are not able to break during transportation, loading, and unloading. They are recycled well using the traditional blowing process, which ensures their longevity.
The main disadvantage of PET containers includes their low barrier properties. Bodies do not prevent ultraviolet radiation and oxygen from penetrating inside containers.
Polypropylene has an exceptionally low density, which means that such wrappers are lighter than those made from other kinds of plastics.
High chemical resistance, tensile and tear strength, abrasion resistance, and the ability to pass water vapor and not mist during heat treatment, make polypropylene an indispensable material for the manufacture of food wrappers for various purposes. Packaging films, large-capacity bags, blisters for medicine, containers for semi-finished products, preserves, and canned food are produced. It is a microwavable plastic.
- Plastic Films
Food films are a polymeric material widely used for wrapping products in the food industry, wholesale and retail networks, and everyday life. Films are produced from polyethylene or PVC. The polymer allows keeping the freshness of food for a long time. Its transparency increases the attractiveness for the consumer, whilst the cost is much lower than other packaging solutions.
- Low-density polyethylene (LDPE)
LDPE bags are made from high-density polyethylene granules, which have a low strength of intramolecular bonds and, thus, a soft and flexible structure. Their main characteristics include:
- Low density of LDPE bags, which makes them easy to manufacture and guarantees the strength of seams;
- Smooth shiny surface, giving a particularly aesthetic appearance to the LDPE bag;
- Possibility of applying images using flexo- and silk-screen printing and creating customized wrappers for your brand;
- Tensile and tear strength, which increases the service life;
- Resistance to piercing objects, which allows them to be used for packaging a variety of products;
- Low melting point, due to which the molding of plastic bags is possible even in artisanal conditions;
- Load capacity up to 20 kg.
Such bags are used as packaging for candy, grocery, dry products, etc.
- Linear Low-Density Polyethylene (LLDPE)
This polyethylene has a branched chain structure, the main feature of which is the insignificant length of the branches themselves. This makes the material much more durable and resistant to many mechanical stresses, but at the same time, LLDPE is quite flexible and elastic. The heat resistance of LDPE is low, but it is worth highlighting its low moisture absorption.
The material is inert to many environments; it does not emit harmful substances even during combustion. Due to this feature, LLDPE is widely used as the main wrapping tool in many spheres, including food packaging for meat, chocolates, dairy food, etc. The material is quite resistant to tensile strength: the film can stretch 3-5 times before it breaks.
- Medium-density polyethylene (MDPE)
MDPE is a type of polyethylene that differs from other types depending on its density. This material belongs to the category of thermoplastics. MDPE has better resistance to impact cracking. This material is mainly used in the manufacturing of fittings, packaging films, and bags.
- High-density polyethylene (HDPE)
The advantages of using HDPE over other polymers include cost-effectiveness, high temperature and UV resistance, and its shape rigidity.
Manufacturers produce pouches for sauces and pet food, boxes for cooled and semi-finished products, and bags from this kind of plastic.
The packaging industry deals with a wide range of materials. Only plastics are divided into diverse categories. Production facilities are equipped with modern equipment to process different kinds of plastics and produce durable and health-safe wrappers. Each class of products requires a particular type of plastic for food packaging. Manufacturers select containers for storage, depending on their chemical and physical properties to ensure convenient and safe transportation and handling.