The basic concept of packaging:
Packaging or containers haves existed ever since man used natural resources to hold, carry and transport. banana .Leaves to wrap and cook food,; madkinge baskets from leaves, tree bark and straw from coconut palm leaves,; useding animal hides for bags for carrying or as bladders for liquids,; turneding clay into bowls, jars and bottles; and madkeing boxes and crates from wood not forgetting glass to make bottles as early as 1,500 bc.
With the advent of commerce in the ancient world wholesale packaging was created for the shipment of grians, powder (flour), oil, fish paste, other staples and exotic products like herbs and spices, particularly throughout the countries and domains of the time accessible by water.
Industrialization brought with it, the invention of the tin can, the discovery of the preservation of food through sterilization, the resurgence of glass for packaging the manufacture of paper and printing on vast scales that eclipsed the previous home industries. The idea of packaging originated following the need of the early man to move items from a place to the next. Solid objects that were large in volume could get carried without packaging. However, powders and liquids needed some types of containers.
While containment was the primary function and most essential purpose of the package not all products in a package were consumed at once and so the need to use some of the contents and keep the rest for later use arose. And so the second and third purposes of packaging evolved preservation (protection) and dispensing.
With commercial productions and transactions, now on vast scales, coupled with the need for transportation and distribution the box evolved not only as a means to contain standardized items and numerous identical items in one transaction but also to serve as early point of sales displays in warehouses, on transports and in stores.
Then Iin the early 1960’s plastic was invented and a whole new industry of packaging was creatbegan to evolved and has continueds to this day to be at the forefront of research and development offor packaging. Today marketing, communication, and display undertake essential roles for packaging.
Basic Purposes of Packaging
Protection and preservation are vital roles of packaging after satisfying the functions of containment and dispensing . The degree of security required is determined by the product being packaged. The protection of all products in packages occurs to prevent the entry of external matter including rain, dirt, dust, and physical destruction by external forces. Delicate and/or perishable products such as food require safety from environmental factors, including light, moisture and gases necessitating a unique atmosphere within their packaging. The prevention of other hazards for retail products such as tampering or theft can also be attained through packaging.
Common packaging materials used in these processinclude paper, metals, plastic, and glass. However, by comparison, plastics are more versatile and perform better than any other materials.
Rain, Dust, and Dirt
All plastic films prevent the entry of unwanted materials. Visibility is also enhanced with the use of plastics. Essentially, no other packaging material is flexible, inexpensive, and performs better than plastics.
Advanced packaging features 1: Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP)
Many packaged edible products require protection from the gain or loss of moisture. Isolation from oxygen which causes spoilage from bacterial action and oxidation. Food products also need protection from other human made gases such as hydrocarbons.
Plastics most often provide adequate protection against moisture, oxygen and other gases whilst also providing the feature of flexibility. For many years, glass and metals dominated packaging edible products. However, plastic films provide the unique charateristics of flexibility, weight and space saving than the rigidity of glass and metals and so enables the packaging of delicate food products some of which might not otherwise get packaged at all.
Plasatic films also allow the introduction of inert gases such as Nitrogen or Carbon Dioxide into the package to remove the air from the wrapped headspace to increase the shelf-life of food products.. This preservation technique and method is termed Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) and the material used in packaging should contain a low porousness to oxygen to avoid contamination.
Controlled Atmospheric Packaging (CAP) is an another advanced preservation method. The approach is applicable to fresh, unpackaged produce. In this case, containers selectively penetrable to oxygen, ethylene, and CO2 surround the perishable foods. Moreover, if the container’s permeability to the three gases occurs within a specific range, preservation occurs as a result of the slow variation in atmosphere within the package which is ideal for conservation. Perforating the film is a crude method to provide permeability/portability which sacrifices the gas barrier and the controlled atmosphere .
Advanced packaging features 2: Physical protection
Loss of odor/ taste
Some edible products and perfumes are intentionally flavored or contain odors necessary for their functioning. Ideally, packaging helps to prevent the loss of the anticipated odor or flavour characteristics whilst simultaneously avoids the acquisition of external scents.
Some drug and food products are sensitive to Ultraviolet Catalyzed oxidation. Materials such as metal and paper function in this preservation method providing an opaqueness to block light from entering the product. This method rarely applies to non-food products.
Refrigeration is used for food products to increase their shelf life. During distribution, most food products are exposed to winter temperatures. The flexibility of typical plastic films and low temperatures ensures the retention of food substances. For food items that require heating or cooking in the package heat tolerant plastic films are used that avoid melting and the release of chemical components into the food during the process.
While most products benefit from being visible in their packaging some products such as fragile salty snacks are often packaged in opaque materials to limit the breakage of the bites. Products like flour are packaged in opaque bags or boxes with attractive graphics. By contrast products like beef stew or dog foods have an unattractive appearance and use concealment in packages with attractive images to hide their contents.
Advanced packaging features 3: Advertising & Promoting purpose
Display and Communication
Transmission/transportation and presentation/appearance are different roles from the protective considerations and are often merged with other functions. For example potato chips in a bag, require an opaque bag to prevent the chips from oxidation catalyzed by Ultraviolet rays. Whilst pigmenting or metalizing the bag provides this protection it also enables the display of graphics on the package.Because the packaging only offers a minimum of protection special considerations based in marketing and beautifying are used enhance their appearance and provide eye-catching displays on the shelves of convenience stores and supermarkets.
In the present business world, manufacturers increasingly rely on packaging their products to attain appeal to the customers. For instance, there are no salespeople that influence the buyer’s choices, and most of the goods get displayed in supermarkets. Following the competition amongst the yen, dollar, or franc, visual appeal influences the customer purchasing schemes. Artistic graphics overshadow prints following their presentation in different attractive colors. Statistics indicate that impressions occur following the sight and perceptions of the customers. The approach also influences the costs of advertising.
Together with the eye catching graphics on a package information covering the description of a product, the correctness of its usage, necessary warnings, ingredients, nutrition components, recipes, expiration dates, automated scanning and bar codes, not forgetting the product name, name of the manufacturer and the brand are not only crucial points influencing purchase but are mandated by law. The reputation of the producer has a strong influence on the sale.