Food Packaging

Integrated Solutions for Marking and Coding on Food Packaging

Videojet continuous inkjet, thermal transfer, labeling and lasers systems for food packers

Food packaging refers to packaging that is in immediate contact with food or is used to contain the food product from its production through distribution to its final delivery to the customer. This packaging is used to protect the food from external influences, alterations, contamination and adulteration.

The main types of food packaging are glass containers, vacuum packaging, tetra pak containers, plastic packaging, tin packaging, cardboard packaging, wood packaging, long-life packaging, ice cream packaging, metal packaging, laminated packaging, and juice packaging. Some food products, such as cereals and frozen meals, are often packaged using two types of packaging in combination, such as a plastic bag within a cardboard outer package, called “bag-in-box” packaging.

Whatever the type of packaging and the conditions under which it is filled–from dry, dusty conditions to moist, cold ones–it is essential that each filled package be marked clearly for product identification, date and lot marking and tracking through the production and distribution processes.

A wide variety of marking systems are available to do this marking, including continuous inkjet printing, thermal inkjet printing, thermal transfer and laser printing systems. The variety of marking systems available to companies ensures that there is an optimal system that works best and produces permanent marks on products and packaging in any specific environment type, for any package material substrate and for all types of inks.

Health authorities typically describe the packaging as the container meant to ensure the preservation, transportation and handling of food products. While its main purposes are protection and preservation, packaging also carries important coded information such as a best-before date, manufacturing date, batch number and nutritional facts. These warnings and product facts may be part of the printing on the package itself, printed on the package after filling during secondary operations by printing and marking equipment, or included on applied labels.

As it has developed over the years, food packaging has also become an important part of many brand owners’ programs for the marketing of their food products to consumers. On the retail shelf, a food package can carry printed and graphic brand marketing information, as well as detailed information about ingredients and health benefits, that helps to convince consumers to purchase the product. On the consumer’s table, similar information can often help to build the continuing brand loyalty that leads to repeat sales.