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Plastics in Food Packaging, PRoperties, Design and Fabrication.

Since the mid 1940s much scientific research has been devoted to materials that could be well described as plastics in the generic sense. As new techniques have been discovered, the possibilities have often appeared limitless but of course there is sometimes the 'downside' to consider.

So many items of food are now packaged in materials that have some element of plastics in them that it is hardly surprising that this is such an important topic. In 1979, for the first time, the volume of plastics produced in the USA - some 17.5 million cubic metres - equalled the total volume of materials produced by the steel, aluminium, copper and zinc industries.

At least a quarter of the plastics materials produced in the USA, Europe and Japan is used in the manufacture of packaging materials and much of this sector is used for food. The book is all about this business and the author deals with the practical matters of how plastics are used and why they are used in food distribution. He starts with an historical perspective then deals with the comparative properties and uses of the primary packaging materials. Details of the technical properties of the various plastics materials are provided alongside the techniques used to mould, extrude or thermoform them. There are also chapters on design and guest authors discuss shelf-life and the regulations surrounding the use of plastics in association with food.

Following an introductory chapter, the other are entitled: Primary food packaging materials; Food preservation; Properties of plastics used in food packaging; Plastics fabrication; Coating and lamination; Designing for strength and stiffness; Barrier design; Shelf-life testing; Safety and regulation; Package manufacturing costs; Trends; and Tests and testing.
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Food Trade Review
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Oct 1, 1992
Words:280
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