Additive – Any substance added to something typically to improve it or prolong the life span.
Alkaline – The acidity levels in food. Used to help determine the proper packaging materials.
Aseptic Processing – Filling a sterilized product into a sterilized container and completely sealing of the container to ensure it is free from microorganisms.
Autoclave – A pressure chamber using steam pressure to eliminate bacteria and sterilize food. Commonly used for canned packaging.
Automation – Making equipment and machinery operate independently with limited or minimal operator control.
Biodegradability – The breakdown of materials and products by bacteria, fungi, or other natural means.
Blanching – Heating with hot water or steam to eliminate air in the tissue of produce and destroy enzymes.
Contract Manufacturer – An outside company hired to manufacture and/or package products.
Controlled Atmosphere Packaging – A packaging technique designed to alter the atmospheric gases surrounding a product to extend shelf life.
Downtime – The amount of time a machine or production line is without function. Downtime is different than routine idle time from shift changes and scheduled stoppages.
Flexible Packaging – A pliable container that easily changes shape when a product is added. Bags and plastic films are often considered flexible packaging.
Heat Seal – A method of joining two surfaces together with heat fusion.
Hermetically Sealed Container – Any container designed to secure against the entrance of micro-organisms to keep contents sterile.
Inert Gas - Inert gases have low reactions when contacted with other substances. Inert gases are used in food packaging to help extend food shelf life.
Pasteurization – A heat treatment of food below 212 degrees Fahrenheit used to destroy organisms dangerous to health.
Permeability – The passage of a gas, vapor, liquid, or a solid through a barrier without physically affecting the barrier.
Primary Spoilage – Spoilage of a packaged product due to bacterial or a chemical reaction.
Quality Control – A detailed process assuring that products meet specific standards for commercial consumption.
Secondary Spoilage – Degradation for products due to busted packaging or expired products.
Shelf Life – The length of time a packaged product can meet consumption guidelines for mass purchase.
Shelf Stable – A packaged consumable product that does not require refrigeration and/or other special storage conditions.
Vacuum Packaging – Packaging in a variety of flexible and rigid containers in which gases have been removed and/or added to assist in prolonging shelf life.