8 Barrier Packaging Materials
Barrier packaging protects foods and consumable products from external elements that can cause spoilage, contamination, and degradation. By creating a barrier between the product and the environment, barrier packaging helps maintain the product's freshness, quality, and safety, ensuring that it remains appealing and safe for consumption. This article will explore the benefits of barrier packaging and different barrier packaging materials and their applications in various industries.
Advantages of Barrier Materials in Packaging
Preservation of freshness and quality: Barrier packaging protects the contents from external elements such as moisture, oxygen, and light, which can cause spoilage, contamination, and product degradation. By creating an oxygen, water, or light barrier between the product and the environment, barrier packaging helps maintain the product's freshness, quality, and flavor, ensuring it remains safe and appealing for consumption.
Extension of shelf life: By reducing oxygen levels that cause spoilage and degradation, barrier packaging can help extend the product's shelf life. This step can help reduce food waste, improve product quality, and increase manufacturer profitability.
Protection from physical damage: Barrier packaging can also protect the product from physical damage during handling and transportation, such as punctures, tears, and crushing. This protection can help ensure that the product reaches the consumer in good condition and reduces the risk of contamination.
Improved safety and hygiene: Barrier packaging can also help improve the safety and hygiene of the product by providing a barrier between the product and external contaminants, such as bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. The added protection can help reduce the risk of foodborne illness and improve the overall safety and quality of the product.
Barrier Materials in Packaging
Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) - PET is a highly durable, clear, and lightweight material for packaging food and beverages. It provides a barrier against gases, moisture, and other contaminants that can spoil food and drinks. It is commonly used for water bottles, carbonated beverages, and food containers.
Polypropylene (PP) - is a versatile material for packaging food, medicine, and personal care products. It is resistant to heat and moisture and provides a barrier against gases and other contaminants. It is commonly used for snack food packaging, deli containers, and shampoo bottles.
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) - PVC is a highly flexible and durable material for packaging food, medicine, and personal care products. It provides a barrier against moisture, gases, and other contaminants. It is commonly used for food wrap, IV bags, and blister packaging.
Ethylene Vinyl Alcohol (EVOH) - EVOH is a barrier material used in food packaging to prevent oxygen from reaching the food. It is found in meat and cheese packaging or vacuum packaging.
Nylon - Nylon is a strong and durable material that provides a barrier against oxygen and moisture. It is commonly used in packaging coffee, nuts, and other perishable foods. Nylon is often co-extruded with other materials for higher barrier properties.
Aluminum - Aluminum is a lightweight and highly effective barrier material used in packaging food and beverages. It provides a barrier against oxygen, moisture, and other contaminants. It's used in beverage cans and foil packaging. Foil found inside many packages is coextruded with other packaging material for its barrier properties. Potato chip bags are a typical example of this.
Polyethylene (PE) - PE is a flexible and lightweight material that provides a barrier against moisture and gases. Used in packaging for fresh produce, bread, and meat.
Glass - Glass is a highly effective barrier material that provides a barrier against moisture, oxygen, and other contaminants. Before the popularity of plastic, glass was used for packaging many things; today, it is still found in packaging for food and beverages, including jars, bottles, and cans.
Each barrier packaging material has specific properties that make them suitable for certain types of products. For example, PET is commonly used for clear beverage bottles because it is highly durable and provides a clear view of the product. Aluminum is frequently used for beverage cans because it is lightweight and provides an effective barrier against oxygen and other contaminants. PE is commonly used for packaging fresh produce because it is flexible and light, allowing easy handling and transportation.
The ability to combine or co-extrude materials provides manufacturers with lower oxygen transmission rates, increased storage times, and extended product shelf life. Many barrier packaging containers include two or more materials to provide additional protection after a closure. Choosing suitable barrier packaging materials depends on the specific needs of the product and the desired level of protection against external factors. Call us at 1-800-441-5090 if you have questions about protecting and preserving your products.