Food-grade plastic is a plastic material that is considered safe for use with food
Plastics must meet strict requirements to be considered food safe and are regulated by high standards than plastics used for other purposes. Let’s take a closer look at food-grade plastic, what makes it safer for food than others and some examples of how food-grade plastic can be used
What is food-grade plastic?
Food-grade plastic must be produced using safe materials and in a safe environment. For plastic to be use in contact with food or food products, it must:
- Be protective: to act as a defense against moisture or contamination without breaking down
- Be durable: to protect food items during manufacturing, packaging, storage , transportation
- Be chemically safe: to not contaminate foods it comes in contact with. This mean the plastic must have no tendency of ”leeching” or the potential for chemicals to seep into the food, where they could either affect the taste or cause adverse health effects for the consumer
How does plastic to become food-grade plastic?
To be certified as safe and labeled food grade, the plastic must meet strict standards set by Food and Drug Administration and other regulating organizations
Food-grade plastic materials
First, the FDA must approve of the materials being used to manufacture the food grade plastic. They examine all ingredients and additives to ensure they are safe and will not affect the taste, odor, or color of the food. They will also test the materials for adverse responses to temperature changes, humidity and moisture, or the presence of other chemicals, oils, or alcohols. This verifies that the plastic will hold up for packaging, manufacturing or other uses.
Food-grade plastic manufacturing facility
Secondly, the facility where the food grade plastic is manufactured must meet stringent cleanliness requirements and have good manufacturing practices in place to minimize potential risks of contamination of its products. Standards documents issued by the International Standards Organization regulate the environment of the manufacturing facility to ensure consistently high quality and clean products. ISO 9000 is the minimum standard with which most food grade plastic manufacturers must comply.
Uses of food-grade plastics
Food grade plastic is used in many applications, from the packaging and shipping of harvested crops to the supermarket, or the development and distribution of pharmaceutical products. Different types of plastic can be made food grade to handle different products or different environments. A few examples of food grade plastic include:
- High-density polyethylene (HDPE): milk jugs, grocery bags, squeeze-dispenser bottles
- Polyvinyl chloride: cling wrap, high clarity food storage bags
- Low-density polyethylene (LDPE): produce bags, bread bags,
All of these materials (& more) can be made food grade to provide a safe material for food packaging, storage, and consumption. They are made in a strictly controlled environment to ensure that consumer safety remains top priority.
At HANPAK JSC, we’re confident to bring customers PE packaging that meet strictest standards and safe for food. Some of our products are tested and get FDA/Test reports of SGS organizations
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