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close this bookAppropriate Food Packaging (ILO)
View the documentPreface
View the documentAcknowledgements
Open this folder and view contents1 Food and packaging
Open this folder and view contents2 Types of food and prevention of deterioration
Open this folder and view contents3 Packaging materials
Open this folder and view contents4 Filling and labelling
Open this folder and view contents5 Production, re-use and re-cycling of packaging
Open this folder and view contents6 Implications of introducing packaging
Open this folder and view contents7 Benefits and costs of food packaging
View the documentGlossary
Open this folder and view contentsResources


Acid preserves: foods that have a high acid content to stop spoilage.

Adulteration: deliberate contamination of foods with materials of low quality or value.

Average-weight system: a known percentage of all filled packs must have a fill weight above that shown on the package.

Barrier properties: resistance of a packaging material to moisture, air, light, micro-organisms or physical damage.

Biodegradable: a material that breaks down under the natural action of micro-organisms, light, air and water.

Bulk density: volume per unit weight of a material.

Capital costs: the money spent on buildings, equipment and other long lasting items for production.

Consumer packs: the package that customers buy their food in .

Contamination: materials such as leaves, dirt, wood, glass, etc., accidentally included with a food.

Critical faults: those faults that would injure a customer or cause significant financial loss to a producer.

Enzymes: natural complex chemicals in foods that can cause changes to flavour, color or texture of a food.

Exhausting: removing the air from the headspace of a can or jar and replacing it with steam.

Feasibility study: a study of the technical factors, the economic factors and the marketing factors that affect a business.

Fermented preserves: foods that have an increased acid content which is produced by safe micro-organisms.

Fill weight: the weight of food placed in a package (also net weight on a package).

Flexible packaging: plastic, papers, foil, cloth and other materials that are made into bags, wraps and sacks.

Form-fill-seal equipment: machines that make up a bag then fill it with food and heat seal it.

Hazards: influences such as heat, crushing, microorganisms that can damage a food.

Headspace: the gap between the top of a food in a can or jar and the lid.

Heat seal: two layers of plastic film melted together.

Hermetic seal: an airtight, moistureproof and microorganism resistant seal.

Humidity: the amount of water vapour in air.

Impermeable: proverbs the passage of (e.g. a film is impermeable to air if it prevents the air from passing to the food).

Inert: does not react with anything.

Lacquer: a type of varnish on the inside of a can.

Laminates: packaging made from two or more materials glued together.

Low-acid: foods that have a low acid content and can contain food poisoning bacteria

Major faults: those faults that would cause a financial loss to a producer.

Market survey: a study of the demand for a food, including who buys it, where it is sold, how much is bought and how often.

Metailized films: plastic films coated with a very thin layer of aluminium metal.

Micro-organisms: very small creatures (invisible until they group together) which includes yeasts, bacteria and moulds.

Minimum-weight system: all filled packages must have a fill weight above that shown on the package.

Minor faults: those faults that affect the appearance of a pack but do not stop it being used.

Moulded paper packaging: trays and dishes made from dried paper pulp.

Net weight: the amount of food filled into a package.

Nomogram: a drawing which can be used instead of a calculation.

Operating costs -fixed: those costs that do not change when the amount of production changes.

Operating costs - variable: those costs that increase or decrease as the level of productions increases or decreases.

Oxygen Transmission Rate (OTR) the amount of water that passes through a known area of packaging material in a 24-hour period.

Paperboard: general name for different types of package made from wood pulp.

Pectin: a natural gelling material found in some fruits.

Physical damage (or mechanical damage): crushing, splitting, cracking, squashing, rubbing.

Rancidity: development of off-flavours in fatty foods.

Shelf-life: the time of storage of a processed food before changes in flavour, color or number of micro-organisms make it unacceptable.

Shipping container: box or bag that protects foods or other smaller containers during transport and distribution.

Shrinkwrapping: polythene film that is shrunk tightly around packages by hot air.

Sodium metabisulphate: a chemical preservative or disinfectant.

Sterile: in strict sence means no micro-organisms present. In food processing usually means the risk of micro-organisms being present is low.

Stretchwrapping: special polythene film that sticks to itself but not to other packs or foods. It is used to wrap other packages tightly.

Sugar preserves: foods that have a high sugar content to stop spoilage.

Tamperproof: a pack that stops people opening it and reclosing it before it is sold (also a pack that shows evidence of being opened).

Thermoplastic: plastic that melts when heated and solidifies again on cooking.

Vacuum packaging: removing most of the air from a bag and then sealing it.

Water Vapour Transmission Rate (WVTR): the amount of water that passes through a known area of packaging material in a 24 hour period.

Working capital the amount of money needed to buy raw materials, packaging, etc., before income is received from production.

Yield: the area of a film or paper that weighs 1 kg.

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