A professional in the food-packaging industry cannot expect to get very far if they fail to identify the different types of frozen food packaging. Understanding the differences between these materials will build a clear picture of that part of the grocery store.
Shrink film (also called shrink wrap) is perhaps the most popular type of frozen food packaging. Millions of packages across the globe use it, including those made by the largest food companies.
Shrink film is usually made from three formulations: polyolefin, polyethylene, or poly-vinyl-chloride. The food packaging industry prefers polyolefin. Polyolefin shrink wrap is FDA food-safe approved. It’s ideal for sealing frozen foods such as cakes, pies, pizza, vegetables, baked goods, and fruit.
Although commonly mistaken as cardboard, chipboard is different because it is not corrugated or hollow. Chipboard is usually used with shrink film to package pizza, veggies, cakes, and pies.
A primary advantage of chipboard among the different types of frozen food packaging is that graphics can be printed on it “edge-to-edge.” The vibrant imagery grabs the consumer’s attention and entices them with words about the delicious product inside the package.
Wax-coated cardboard is primarily used for frozen foods that are heated inside their container. It’s commonly used as packaging for frozen Chinese food. Their heat resistance allows them to withstand the intense temperatures of a microwave.
Glass containers usually aren’t used for frozen food packaging in the United States. It’s too heavy and bulky. It also has a high carbon footprint and is costly to ship across long distances. When companies do use glass, it’s usually for luxury foods such as gelato and ice cream.
The most popular flexible bags for frozen foods are pouches made out of food-grade foils, plastics, or other food-safe materials. These pouches are used to package frozen foods like vegetables, pre-made meals, pasta, and fruit.
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