Food Packaging The Complex Process Behind Sending Food To Market


Food packaging is crucial to the health and safety of consumers — but many of us don’t think about it. Consumers take for granted that the food they’re buying is safe to eat; that means well-preserved and free of contaminants. They have a right to that, and certainly the regulations regarding food and drink in the United States demand that food manufacturers and packaging plants follow strict regulations. There are plenty of risks to food before and after it’s packaged. For one thing, improperly packaged food is at risk of spoiling early, especially if that food is made up of meat or dairy products. Another issue that frequently occurs with food is contamination. Food can be easily contaminated if the packaging procedures are lax, and contaminated food is, if anything, perhaps worse than food that naturally spoiled. Contaminants don’t just include bacteria and disease, but even in some cases metals. This is why food metal detectors are used to ensure that food is free of metal before and after it’s packaged. The more often devices like food metal detectors are used, the less risk there will be of hazardous food being distributed and sold. Below, we’ll discuss the food packaging system, as well as how food metal detectors, among other things, keep our food safe.

Food Packaging: Why Plastic Is Preferable

Just as there are many different types of food available for purchase, so too are there many different types of food packaging systems. The way food is packaged depends on the food’s perishability, its mass, and of course, its actual form. Plastic packaging is one of the most common types of food packaging. While it’s been criticized in recent years, plastic remains reliable — and preferable to its alternatives for many reasons. For one thing, plastic packaging actually cuts down on food waste; it’s estimated by experts that each pound of plastic packaging cuts that waste down by 1.7 pounds. Plastic packaging is also remarkably flexible and can be shaped into many different forms. Plastic is worked by food packaging machines into a variety of different shapes and consistencies. It can expand and shrink, and accommodate both solid and liquid products. By using just two pounds of plastic, you can deliver 1,300 ounces of juice, water, or soda. Comparably, aluminum — sometimes called plastic’s biggest competitor in the packaging industry — requires three pounds of product to carry the same amount of liquid. Steel would need eight pounds of product, and you would need over 40 pounds of glass to do the same task accomplished by just two pounds of plastic. Plastic can’t be used in all circumstances, but it definitely is perhaps the most versatile form of packaging.

Quality Control: Keeping Food Safe From Bacteria

People trust that the food they buy is clean, but unfortunately this isn’t always the case. When a person contracts an illness or is otherwise harmed after eating prepackaged food, there are severe consequences for the food packaging industry as a whole. Quality control should be of the utmost importance to any food packaging manufacturer. Many manufacturers use pouch filling machines to better utilize pouch packaging, which has a great rate of keeping food fresh. Pouches allow food to be vacuum-sealed, which means that the food will be preserved three to five times longer than food stored in regular plastic bags or containers. Cold temperatures also help control the quality of food, as it keeps bacteria from growing and multiplying. Therefore, refrigerators carrying packaged foods should be kept at temperatures no higher than 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and freezers should be set at zero degrees Fahrenheit.

Food Metal Detectors: Protecting Consumers

Foods can indeed be contaminated by metals. Luckily, food metal detectors can sense three of the main types of metallic contaminants: ferrous, non ferrous, and stainless steel. Food metal detectors ensure that these dangerous contaminants can be found before food goes to the mass market, and protects not only the consumers’ health, but the vendors’ integrities.

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