If you take a quick look around your home or work environment, you’ll be sure to see plastic products all around you. We are in the age of plastics and more and more products are being moulded from plastic every day; but if you’re looking to create plastic food packaging, it’s essential to understand which plastic are safe for food applications.
In this post, we’ll take a look at the four most commonly used food safe plastic resins.
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)
PET is one of the most widely used resins for food contact applications. It is commonly used to make bottles for soft drinks, water, juice, mouthwash and containers for condiments like tomato sauce and salad dressing.
PET resin is considered stable. This means it doesn’t degrade when in contact with food or beverages, it resists corrosion and it repels microorganisms. These qualities that make it ideal for food contact.
High-density polyethylene (HDPE)
HDPE is a commonly used household resin. It is often used for milk, water and juice bottles, as well as bottles for cleaning supplies and shampoo. It’s also used to make grocery bags, cereal box liners and butter containers.
Considered a low-risk resin, HDPE produces plastic that is corrosion-resistant and absorbs little moisture, making it well-suited for storing beverages and other fluids.
Low-density polyethylene (LDPE)
LDPE are similar to HDPE plastics but are known for being less rigid. These are used in bags for bread, newspapers, fresh produce, household garbage and frozen foods. They are also used for squeeze bottles such as those used for tomato sauce and mustard.
LDPE has good chemical resistance, high-impact strength and strong wear absorption, just like PET and HDPE plastics.
PP plastic is another one of those widely used. You probably have some polypropylene sitting your refrigerator right now, as it is used to make containers for yogurt, deli foods, medications and takeout meals.
Polypropylene’s high melting point makes it suitable for microwaveable food containers. It’s non-volatile and doesn’t react to liquids, acids or bases, so it’s perfect to store a wide variety of foods.
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