Shall I buy this one…? No, this other one looks better…, I will take this one. These questions go through the mind of the buyer when faced with a whole array of similar products on the shelf. Bottom line, the buying decision is influenced by the visual appearance of the product.
Requirements on Labeling and Sleeving in Food Products
The basic functions a package must fulfill include containment, protection of the product, informative and attractive. Regulations in packaging in food products are aimed at ensuring utmost safety to the consumer against health hazards arising from poor packaging. Regulations do not dictate the exact material to be used in packaging rather they state the conditions that must be met after packing a certain food. These include;
- Liquid food products must be packed to protect against atmospheric contamination; most liquid foods are good substrates for development of airborne bacteria.
- Dried food products need protection to prevent moisture penetration, which could lead to spoilage during handling.
- Most products need protection from temperatures greater than room temperatures to keep their longevity.
- The expected storage duration of the products also determines the packaging material used.
Current Labeling Methods in Industry
There are various methods of label delivery onto product containers and the individual method preferred depends on the particular nature of the package. Various label applicator systems include;
- Pack or the tamp blow system whereby a vacuum device holds a label in place as it moves to the product. On reaching the package, the label is blown onto the product accurately.
- Air blow systems use compressed air to deliver the label onto the package.
- Wipe on systems have the label applicator moving at similar speed with the product. The label is delivered as the products move along a conveyor.
The position of the label on the package also determines the type of application equipment used. Types of application include top, side, bottom, front/back and even corner wrap.
Techniques Applied In Developing Airtight Packages
Shrink wrapping systems have currently gained popularity in creating airtight packages especially in the food industry. The film is wrapped around package while it is warm and clings tightly to the pack when cooled. Chemically, the molecules of the plastic material are disorganized in the structure. When a pulling force is applied, these molecules are aligned and cause visible stretching. When cooling occurs, the molecules shrink back and the material clings to the package. Processes applied to achieve this include the tenter frame and the bubble process.
Advantages of Plastics in Packaging
Plastics and polyethylene have gained acceptance in packing and wrapping of food products for reasons such as the relative cost effectiveness and the ability to mould them to various shapes and designs. They are also recyclable and easily available.
Developing Attractive and Functional Packaging for Sanitation Products
Toiletries are liquid chemicals used for sanitation purposes. Those used for cleaning surfaces require design in such a way as to ensure good delivery to the surfaces such as underneath the toilet bowls and sinks. It is also worthy to note that they can be corrosive in nature and inert packaging material is preferred.
The features of a product determine the packaging material used. Effort and emphasis must be taken to enhance protection. Plastic and polythene packaging have enabled creation of airtight packages and achieved product promotion.
This article is posted by Arjun Rao – CEO of Multi Pack Machinery Company.