The Safety of Plastics in Food Packaging
- Plastics in food packaging help keep our food fresh and safe, and protects against spoilage. Plastic packaging provides a hygienic and safe environment for foods and medicine by protecting against contamination while keeping foods fresh throughout use. It also often provides tamper-evident features (shrink bands, tear strips, etc.) for food and medicine.
- Thanks to plastics, a wide range of foods – from fresh produce to dairy products to beverages – can be transported over long distances and stored safely without compromising the quality of the product. This also helps prevent food waste.
- Plastics allow packaging to perform many necessary tasks and provide properties including strength and stiffness, barrier to oxygen transmission and moisture, resistance to food component attack, and flexibility.
- Innovation in rigid plastic packaging adds quality and a variety of new dimensions to food packaging. Rigid plastics can be shaped to the contour of the product and thus provide improved visibility.
- Plastics make possible both rigid and flexible packages for long shelf-life foods including several that rely on high barrier properties to restrict penetration by oxygen and flavor loss, thus supporting ambient shelf storage.
- Food package plastic parts like plastic food container box, etc, this type of plastic parts made in plastic mold with plastic molding process.
- Modified atmosphere packages, made possible through the unique properties of plastic, are used in packaging fruits, vegetables, baked goods, fresh and processed meats, and cooked poultry. Through this process, fresh produce and other food products can be packaged in controlled atmospheres that maintain the carbon dioxide/oxygen ratio at its optimum level, thus greatly extending the shelf life of these foods.
- The advent of new technology (e.g., multilayer package applications) is allowing high-barrier food and beverage bottles, pouches and containers to prolong the shelf life of products such as beer, ketchup, juice and milk.
- The use of plastics in aseptic packaging significantly increases the non-refrigerated shelf life and availability of many perishable products making them more readily available in the hot, humid climate of the developing world and dramatically improving the diets of the people who live there.
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) carefully reviews new packaging plastics. The new material is permitted for use only after FDA is satisfied that the manufacturer’s test data ensures the agency that the material is safe for use in food packaging.
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