What type of packaging supplies you will use to ship a food product to market will depend on a number of factors including cost and convenience. The primary considerations will always be to ensure that the product being shipped is not broken or damaged during shipment and that it arrives at its destination ready for the retailer and the consumer. The good news is that there are a variety of food packaging options for just about any product that will protect the quality, appearance, and even the freshness of products during the process of transporting them to the marketplace.
Here are some of those choices and what types of products and goods that might be shipped using these packaging materials. In general, the most popular options are paper including cardboard, plastic and glass and metals from steel to aluminum.
All of them offer different degrees of protection from various risks and threats that could range from weather, dust, debris or rough handling on the road. Some products like fresh produce may require a number of different kinds of packaging at the same time including plastic sealing and cardboard crates.
1. Metal packaging
Metal is valued as a packaging material because it is strong, rigid and resistant to gas, moisture and pressure. That makes it ideal for shipping dangerous goods and products that require extra levels of protection like some harmful liquids and gases.
The most common metals used are tin-plate and aluminium and they are the perfect choice for soda or beer cans as well as closures, trays, tubs and tubes. Tin-plate is the option for most canned goods like fruit, vegetables, soups and sauces while aluminum may be used for aerosol cans, and metal boxes for candy, chocolates or biscuits. Metal is also popular because it can be easily cleaned, sterilized and recycled for another use.
2. Glass packaging
Glass is another great packaging choice especially for liquids like fresh orange juice and other liquids. It can be clear or tinted to either keep the sunlight out or allow people and customers to clearly see the product.
Packaging glass is usually produced from silica, sodium carbonate and calcium carbonate with other compounds added in to give the glass colour, sparkle or heat shock. Glass makes a good packaging and shipping material because it is stable and not subject to wilting or melting and it can provide a barrier to keep moisture and debris out. Another advantage of glass is that it can molded into any shape that is desirable for the product.
3. Paper packaging
Paper makes a good packaging product because of its low cost, and the fact that it holds its shape well during the shipping process. Paper products including cardboard are made from cellulose fibre that comes from pulped wood. But it can also be made from cotton, straw, sisal and hemp.
Paper products are used for a variety of shipping purposes including cartons for milk and boxes to store cans and jars of food products. Paper can be thickened into paperboard or cardboard which increases its strength and opens it up to many more uses. And of course, paper products for packaging are popular toady because they are environmentally friendly and almost completely recyclable.
4. Plastic packaging
Plastic is one of the most popular packaging materials for all sorts of products. The advantage of plastic and its derivatives is that is lightweight. That makes it cheaper for shipping. Plastic can also be molded into almost any shape possible and its flexibility makes it impact resistant and valued to protect goods in the shipping process.
One of the most common uses of plastic is as a cover over pallets of products that are being shipped to market. This seal provides a barrier against moisture and the elements and protects the goods until they reach their retail or wholesale outlet.