According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) approximately 40% of food produced is wasted. The annual amount of this waste is an alarming 36 million tons, worth $162 billion each year. Much of this waste is due to spoilage and occurs within the retail and household sectors.
High pressure processing (HPP) — also known as high hydrostatic pressure (HHP) or ultra-high pressure (UHP) processing — is quickly rising in popularity within the food packaging industry.
Barrier films are an integral part of food packaging solutions, especially in thin plastic-based products. Because the overall success of food packaging depends on the efficacy of barrier films, it’s critical to select the right type of film for your specific application. In order to do so, several variables should be kept in mind.
What Exactly is HPP?
HPP is a specialized cold pasteurization technique wherein sealed food products are exposed to an immensely high hydrostatic pressure (pressure transmitted through water) that kills all traces of bacteria, mold, yeast, or any other common food contaminants. The process can take just a few seconds or last a few minutes, depending on the type of food product.
Like so many of the plastics we work with here at PI, High Impact Polystyrene, or HIPS, is something that a great deal of people encounter almost every single day. Clear, brittle and impact-resistant, this amorphous material has a low shrink rate and is safe enough to use in different food-related applications.
PET plastics are popular for plenty of reasons, not the least of which is their clarity—remember, this is a plastic that you use when you want to show off your product. If you don't necessarily need something transparent, but you want something strong and resilient, CPET could be exactly what you're looking for.
Once you get past the basic types of PET plastics, you get into the modified copolymers—these are PET plastics that have been treated with something that changes its structure. Today, I want to introduce PETG plastic, otherwise known as polyethylene terephthalate - glycol modified.
From our last blog post, you now know a little about polyethylene terephthalates, or PET plastics. You know that this type of plastic is a staple in food and beverage packaging. It's also used in the packaging of plenty of other products, though not necessarily ones you want to eat or drink—PET is a mainstay for packaging things like cosmetics and cleaning chemicals. Just look at the recycling code on any PET plastic package, and you'll see: It's number one.
For those in the food industry, whether you're a producer, trader or distributor, having the right certification can have a significant impact on your business. One often used certification in the food business is SQF – a certification program administered by the Safe Quality Food Institute. This program is an all-inclusive "food safety and quality management certification system" and can be applied to everyone in the food industry from farmers to those in the packaging solutions business.
Five star restaurants and corner delis may be worlds apart when it comes to their menus, but they have one thing in common: the need for safe and sanitary food product packaging. Much like the medical and pharmaceutical industries, the food industry has strict guidelines with which packaging companies must comply in order to package food items for consumption. Additionally, some packaging companies voluntarily adhere to stricter, third-party administered quality control standards in order to further assure clients that their quality specifications can be met on an ongoing basis.