Modern food packaging not only protects food from spoilage. Among the technological innovations are "smart" packages, which themselves heat and cool food, let some gases pass and trap others, and regulate the intensity of microwave heating. There have appeared packages with bactericidal properties, edible, etc. Such packages are called active, as they act directly on the product.
With the development of technical progress and the emergence of supermarkets, the situation with packaging around the world and in our country has changed dramatically. Along with traditional packaging materials, such as paper, metal, glass, fabric, there appeared polymer, combined, metallized, and then materials with new properties. Technology, science and art have come together to create functional and aesthetic packaging for any product.
Since the late 1990s, some universities in Russia have begun to train packaging engineers who know the basics of management, marketing, advertising business, elements of artistic design and design, who are free to navigate in modern materials and technologies for their processing into containers and packaging.
SAFETY FIRST OF ALL!
The main functions of packaging are to preserve the freshness of the product, protect it from damage or loss during transportation, warehousing and storage, and facilitate delivery to home. In addition, the packaging informs the buyer about the mass, composition, nutritional and energy value of the product, the timing of its manufacture and storage, and the manufacturer's coordinates. And it also protects others from the unwanted effects of the product itself, for example, from a too harsh, not for everyone, pleasant smell.
The requirements for polymeric, composite and other packaging materials for the food industry are simple and straightforward. The materials must be resistant to mechanical stress and the influence of weather factors, do not swell on contact with the product and prevent it from penetrating through the walls of the package. A prerequisite is the presence of a hygienic certificate, which guarantees that the packaging material does not contain carcinogens, mutagens or allergens, that it does not change the organoleptic and physiological properties of the product and does not emit harmful substances in quantities exceeding the hygienically acceptable level. It is also very important that the packaging materials are easy to dispose of or recycle after use. Otherwise, the world will get bogged down in household waste.
MULTIPLE POLYMER PACKAGES
We all deal with consumer packaging and packaging (there are also transport and production). The most common is soft packaging made of film polymeric materials (single-layer, double-layer, multilayer and combined) obtained by extrusion and coextrusion methods. These can be bags and bags of various designs, capacities and configurations, for example, with necks, flaps or without them, with a shaped bottom, side folds or folds. The main methods of making bags are welding, gluing, less often stapling with staples and clamps. This type of packaging includes shrink wrap, shrink wrap, and stretch wrap.
Combined containers and packaging are made of polymeric materials combined with paper, cardboard or foil. Today, blister and skin packs are popular for small-sized products. A blister pack includes a colored backing (usually cardboard) on which the product is sealed with a transparent film. In skin packaging (from the English word skin - leather), unlike blister packaging, a heat-shrinkable film is used: from heating it tightly wraps the product, forming a "second skin" on it. Some food products are packaged in this way and without using a backing.
Composite materials are also used to make bags for milk, juices and alcoholic beverages.
Rigid polymer containers (cans, boxes, cups) are made of sheet materials by thermoforming and mechanoforming, injection molding, extrusion blowing, and less often by pressing. Such a container is five times lighter than tin and one and a half times lighter than aluminum, moreover, it does not corrode.