Food Technology: Packaging and Labelling

This set of cards will explain the packaging and labelling information of food

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Packaging Functions

The main purposes of food packaging are:

  • To preserve the product
  • To protect the product from damage
  • To make the product more attractive for the consumer
  • To make it easier to transport the product
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Packaging Materials

Plastics are widely used in food packaging because they are:

  • Versatile- they can be flexible or rigid and can be moulded into shapes.
  • Resistant to acids and other chemicals.
  • Easy to print on
  • Lightweight
  • Cheap to produce

Other packaging materials include:

  • Glass, which is used for baby foods, salad cream and pickles
  • Metal, which is used for soup cans, take-away containers and bottle tops
  • Card/paper, which is used for fruit-juice cartons and egg boxes
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Environmentally Friendly Packaging

Environmentally Friendly packaging causes less damage to the environment. There are three types:

  • Reusable packaging- can be cleaned and reused. For example, glass milk bottles are reused.
  • Recyclable packaging- is made of materials that can be used again, usually after processing. For example, glass, metal, card and paper.
  • Biodegradable Packaging- will easily break down in the soil or the atmosphere.

Recyclable packaging usually carries symbols that show what the product is made from and how it can be recycled.

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Layers of packaging

There are three levels of packaging:

  • Primary packaging- is seen at the point of sale. It needs to contain and protect the food product as well as display and provide information.
  • Secondary Packaging- is the middle layer of packaging. For Example, a cardboard box that contains a number of identical products inside.
  • Transit Packaging- is the outer container that allows easier handling during transfer between factory, distribution centres and retailers.
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The Food Labelling Regulations are written by the EU and can be changed at regular intervals. The items required by law as of today are:

  • The product name
  • Manufacturers name and address
  • Ingredients List (in descending order of weight)
  • Weight of the product
  • Storage instructions
  • Allergy Information
  • Place of origin
  • Use by/Best Before
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This was very helpful

jill richardson


Simple and concise revision cards.



Great thanks!

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