Table of Contents
Since the invention of plastic in 1862, it has been widely used in various packaging fields. Among them, food packaging is one of its important application fields. Food safety is a major issue related to the national economy and people’s livelihood, and the safety of food contact packaging materials is an important component of food safety, which has received widespread attention at home and abroad in recent years.
Overview of Food Packaging
In 1809, Nicolas Appert of France discovered a method of heating and preserving food in sealed glass jars, pioneering food packaging.
The function of food packaging is closely related to the type of food, so before studying food packaging, it is necessary to first understand the classification of food.
Food refers to various finished products and raw materials for human consumption or consumption, as well as traditional items that are both food and medicine, including processed food, semi-finished products, and unprocessed food, but do not include tobacco or items for therapeutic purposes.
From the perspective of food hygiene legislation and management, the broad concept of food involves not only the food itself, but also the raw materials of the food produced, the substances and environment that come into contact with the cultivation and breeding process, the added substances of the food, all packaging materials and facilities that directly or indirectly come into contact with the food, and the environment that affects the original quality of the food. According to the classification of food processing, food can be divided into unprocessed raw material food and processed food.
Unprocessed raw material foods mainly come from the plant or animal kingdom, with a small portion coming from the mineral kingdom.
The food in the plant industry can also be divided into terrestrial plant food and aquatic plant food. The terrestrial plant food mainly includes cereals, cereals, potatoes, beans, sugars, vegetable oil, vegetables, fruits, tea, coffee and cocoa. Aquatic plant food mainly includes seaweed, such as kelp, antler, under pinnatifid, laver and cauliflower. The main foods in the mineral industry include mineral water, table salt, etc.
Processed food refers to various products obtained by processing unprocessed raw food through processing methods.
According to the different forms of processed food, it can be divided into solid food, liquid food, gel food, liquid food, suspended food, etc. According to different processing techniques and methods, it can be divided into frozen food, dried food, fermented food, puffed food, baked food, concentrated food, crystalline food, steamed food, canned food, disinfected food, pickled food, smoked food, irradiated food, etc. According to the fat and acidity of food, it can be divided into water-based foods (pH>4.5), acidic foods (pH ≤ 4.5), alcoholic foods, fatty foods, water-based and acidic foods, water-based and alcoholic foods, acidic and alcoholic foods, fat and water-based foods, fat and acidic foods, fat, water-based and alcoholic foods, fat, water-based, acidic foods, fat, water-based, acidic and alcoholic foods, dry foods, etc.
The different raw materials can be divided into grains and grain products, milk and dairy products, fats, oils, and emulsified fat products, frozen beverages, fruits, vegetables (including root tubers), legumes, edible fungi, algae, nuts, and seeds, cocoa products, chocolate and chocolate products (including chocolate like and chocolate substitute), as well as candies, baked goods, meat and meat products, aquatic products and their products, eggs and egg products, Sweeteners, seasonings, special nutritional foods, beverages, alcoholic beverages, etc.
Definition of Food Packaging
According to the national standard GB/T 4122.1-2008, packaging refers to the overall name of containers, materials, and auxiliary materials used according to certain technical methods to protect products during circulation, facilitate storage and transportation, and promote sales; It also refers to the operational activities of applying certain technical methods during the process of using containers, materials, and auxiliary materials to achieve the above objectives.
Other countries or organizations have different expressions and understandings of the meaning of packaging, but the basic meaning is consistent, with packaging function and function as its core content. Generally, it has two meanings: regarding the containers, materials, and auxiliary items used to hold goods, namely packaging materials; Technical activities related to dressing, sealing, and wrapping.
Food packaging refers to the use of appropriate packaging materials, containers, and packaging techniques to wrap food in order to maintain its original quality and value during transportation, storage, and circulation. It is an integral part of commodity packaging.
Functions of Food Packaging
In modern commodity society, packaging plays an extremely important role in the circulation of goods. The scientific rationality of packaging can affect the quality and reliability of goods, as well as the perfect state conveyed to consumers. The design and decoration level of packaging directly affect the market competitiveness of the goods themselves, as well as the brand and corporate image.
The most important role of protecting product packaging is to protect the product. Goods are often damaged and affected by various unfavorable conditions and environmental factors during the process of storage, transportation, sales, consumption, and other circulation. Adopting scientific and reasonable packaging can prevent or reduce these damages and impacts on goods to achieve the goal of protecting them.
The basic function of packaging is first and foremost to protect products from crushing or collision damage during transportation and circulation, as well as to reduce erosion caused by natural factors such as climate, temperature, dry and humidity. At the same time, it also provides solutions for storage and storage space issues.
Convenient storage and transportation packaging can provide many conveniences for production, circulation, consumption, and other processes: convenient handling, loading and unloading, storage and storage, display and sales in the logistics process, as well as convenient carrying, retrieval, and consumption by consumers. Modern packaging also pays attention to the convenience of display of packaging form, vending machines, the opening of consumption and quantitative access.
Promoting sales packaging is an important means of improving product competitiveness and promoting sales. Exquisite packaging can psychologically conquer consumers and increase their purchasing desire.
In supermarkets, packaging plays the role of a silent salesperson. As market competition shifts from inherent quality, price, and cost competition to higher-level brand image competition, packaging image will directly reflect the idea of a brand and a company.
Packaging can promote sales in multiple ways, such as improving product appearance (such as transparent plastic packaging for meat consumption), increasing customer convenience (such as bottled cheese and biscuits), and increasing usage (such as bottled jelly).
Packaging is also a cost-effective advertising medium. Good and exquisite packaging can often increase the value of a product, making customers willing to pay a higher price to purchase.
A good packaging design can establish a product’s image recognition system, fully display the characteristics of the product, and effectively establish its image and expand sales. People around the world can almost recognize Coca-Cola’s red background with white characters.
Packaging is one of the carriers of product information, and a good packaging design should make it easy for consumers to understand its product performance, usage methods, and where to open the packaging.
In addition, there are labels on the product packaging, which generally include the packaging content and the main ingredients contained in the product, trademark, product quality level, manufacturer, production date, and expiration date.
The packaging of a product should truthfully convey all basic usage information to customers. The packaging appearance should highlight the product’s functions and usage methods so that consumers can have a clear understanding of the product’s features even without having to carefully examine the content.
Improving the value of a product through packaging is a continuation of product production. Products maintain their original value through packaging protection from damage, and appropriate packaging can also increase the value of the product.
The value-added effect of packaging can not only increase the value of the product itself but also achieve the goal of shaping brand value through the sale of goods. For example, the current dispute between Wang Laoji and Jia Duobao regarding trademarks and red can design patents highlights the importance of packaging.
There are roughly two types of factors that can cause damage to food: one is natural factors, including light, oxygen, temperature and humidity, moisture, microorganisms, etc., which can cause food oxidation, discoloration, spoilage, and pollution;
The other type is human factors, including impact, vibration, drop, pressure load, and human theft pollution, which can cause deformation, damage, and deterioration of the interior. Different foods and circulation environments have different requirements for packaging protection functions.
Therefore, the main function of food packaging is to protect food, including its quality, and from spoilage within its validity period. In addition, the information provided by food packaging can make the packaged food clear to consumers at a glance, and information such as the company name, logo, trademark, brand characteristics, product performance, and ingredients can be directly faced by consumers.
Consumers receive a more intuitive and accurate product brand and food image from product packaging. Finally, through the design of food packaging, it can also promote the sales of food. Through its vivid, realistic, and beautiful appearance, it can not only promote consumer purchase but also easily form a brand effect. Packaging can be used to convey and establish the brand’s corporate image.
Classification of food packaging
Packaging can be classified according to its role in the circulation process, packaging structure, material types, packaged products, sales targets, and packaging technology.
According to its role in the circulation process, packaging can be divided into sales packaging and transportation packaging.
Sales packaging, also known as small packaging or commercial packaging, not only aims to protect the product but also pays more attention to the promotional and value-added functions of the product packaging. It can be integrated into packaging design methods to establish the image of the product and the enterprise, attract consumers, and improve the competitiveness of the product. Bottles, cans, boxes, bags, and their combination packaging generally belong to sales packaging.
Transportation packaging, also known as large packaging, generally requires good protection function, convenient storage and transportation, and loading and unloading function, and the outer surface has text instructions or illustrations of product usage instructions, storage and transportation precautions. Corrugated cardboard boxes, wooden boxes, metal drums, pallets, containers, etc. belong to transportation packaging.
According to the packaging structure, packaging can be divided into body-mounted packaging, bubble wrap packaging, heat shrink packaging, portable packaging, pallet packaging, and combination packaging.
According to the type of material, packaging materials include paper and cardboard, plastic, metal, composite materials, glass ceramics, wood, and other materials.
According to the packaged products, packaging can be divided into food packaging, chemical product packaging, toxic product packaging, fragile food packaging, flammable product packaging, handicraft packaging, home appliance product packaging, miscellaneous packaging, etc.
According to the sales target, packaging can be divided into export packaging, domestic packaging, military packaging, and civilian packaging.
According to packaging technology, packaging can be divided into vacuum inflatable packaging, controlled atmosphere packaging, deoxygenation packaging, moisture-proof packaging, soft can packaging, sterile packaging, thermoforming packaging, heat shrink packaging, buffering packaging, etc.
The classification of food packaging is also the same, as follows:
According to different packaging materials, food packaging can be divided into metal, glass, paper, plastic, composite materials, etc;
According to different packaging forms, food packaging can be divided into cans, bottles, bags, rolls, boxes, boxes, etc; According to different packaging techniques, food packaging can be divided into canned, bottled, packaged, bagged, packaged and infused, integrated, sealed, labeled, and coded;
According to different product levels, food packaging can be divided into inner packaging, secondary packaging, tertiary packaging, outer packaging, etc;
According to different techniques, food packaging can be divided into moisture-proof packaging, waterproof packaging, mold-proof packaging, fresh packaging, frozen packaging, breathable packaging, microwave sterilization packaging, sterile packaging, inflatable packaging, vacuum packaging, deoxygenation packaging, bubble wrap packaging, body to body packaging, stretch packaging, steaming bag packaging, etc.
The above-mentioned various packaging materials are made of different composite materials, and their packaging characteristics correspond to the requirements of different foods, which can effectively protect food quality.
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