Aluminium food packaging
Since the world was introduced to preformed aluminium food packaging in 1948, aluminium has established a track record as a highly versatile, effective and recyclable food packaging solution for everything from frozen to barbeque dinners. Aluminium is the most abundant metallic element in the earth’s crust with enough economically available reserves to supply at least another 300 years of current demand. Aluminium is 100% recyclable and can even be removed from bottom ashes if post-consumer waste is disposed of for waste incineration.
Versatile and effective: Aluminium packaging is suited to nearly all types of food handling from -40°C to 350°C. It goes from the freezer to the fridge, oven or microwave oven. It is also the only food packaging suitable for the grill. Beyond a large temperature range tolerance, aluminium packaging protects food and ensures a long shelf life. Its barrier properties range from water, light and grease to microorganisms and air. Its light weight makes it easy to form and process and contributes to efficient transportation. The excellent barrier properties of aluminium allow for a long shelf life – containers can be closed with aluminium or plastic lids as well as a sealing film. Where the packaging design provides a flat sealing rim, the food container can be heat-sealed with a flexible film, which allows flushing with modified gas (MAP). Aluminium foil can be used plain or with different surface coatings which enlarges the scope of use.
Food safety: Aluminium is an ideal food packaging material. It is hygienic and has unique barrier properties due to its ability to protect the contents against penetration of light, grease, water, etc., and against oxygen and CO2 when hermetically sealed packaging is used. That said, if highly acidic or salty foods (outside the pH range 4.5 to 8.5) are cooked or stored in uncoated aluminium packaging for extended time periods, migration can occur, increasing the natural amount of aluminium in the food. Therefore, the use of an inside lacquer is recommended.
Recyclability: Aluminium is 100% recyclable by nature, and 75% of all aluminium ever produced is still in use. Furthermore, development of new and stronger alloys together with design optimisation leads consistently to achieving “more with less”, a downgauging trend, which the aluminium industry, raw material suppliers and Plus Pack is committed to continue to save resources. Aluminium is considered a valuable material and should therefore ideally be sorted separately and collected for recycling.
Design and print: Aluminium is a material that allows for customisation. Containers can be lacquered to fit a specific food type, printed for communication opportunities as well as embossed to increase strength.
Want to know more? Download our Material Guide.