Introduction to Metal Packaging
Metal packaging is developed using two materials, namely steel sheets called aluminum as well as bin. Steel sheets are coated using tin along with organic lac, which inhibits any contact of the steel with the food products.
This leads to the development of corrosion-resistant metal packages. Today, the strong demand for metal packaging can be owing to the fact that metal materials can easily be shaped by advanced manufacturing as well as advanced machines, creating easy-to-open lids, numerous surface designs, high tightness, and solidity.
In addition to food application, metal has uses in the packaging of chemical and paint materials. Metal packaging acts as a barrier that is not prone to the effects of air, water and light.
It also remains resistant to rodents and insects. Its use is extremely common since it can be cooled and heated for sterilization and when processed effectively by lacs, has no reaction with the food content inside.
Metal is largely used for packaging a variety of canned foods. The use of metal in the food and beverage sector has surged twofold in the past decade.
Long back, metals used to be the only technical component of packaging, however now it has turned into an entirely new material within the cosmetic and perfumery industry.
The reason for this can be the advances in the metal decorating space over the years. Marketing experts are focusing on marketing new products by spreading awareness of the advantages associated with metal packaging.
What are the Major Metals Used in Medicine for Packaging?
Metals play an integral role in the development of a variety of containers. The most commonly deployed metals for this purpose include tin-plated steel, aluminium, tin, lead, and stainless steel.
The benefits of metal packaging in the healthcare industry are:
- Metals are lightweight, especially when compared to glass containers. Label cans have prints on their surface.
- They can be turned into unbreakable rigid containers by way of impact extrusion.
- They are largely impermeable to moisture, gases, and light.
Use of Metal Packaging in the Food Industry
Food products are packed in a variety of containers, most of which are made entirely of metal while others contain metal components. The various metal packaging types include:
- Caps and closures (e.g., lids on glass jars and bottle tops)
- Food cans
- Lids (e.g., for yoghurt and butter containers).
- Beer and soft drink cans
- Open trays
- Aerosol containers
- Drums and pails
Food cans packaging is carried under ambient vacuum or pressure whilst carbonated beverages like beer can packaging are done under pressure.
Another key difference can be the processing method that takes place after the can is filled and then the lid is placed on it.
Soft drinks are generally subjected to no further treatment. However, beer in the can is regularly pasteurised.
A variety of food products are filled when they are hot and then they are cooked within the can, under several conditions. This extends the food’s preservation period without the requirement for preservatives.
What are the Overall Advantages of Metal Packaging in Diverse Sectors?
A few packaging materials eventually break down in time. For example, paper wears thin and easily succumbs to the effects of moisture.
Plastics also break down and turn sticky over a period of time. Steel and aluminium, however, remain quite durable, a lot more than plastic and paper. Metals usually last for a long period and can be reused several times.
A few products require storage in dark packaging and are prevented from coming in contact with sunlight or any other light sources.
Irrespective of the use of any metal, whether steel or aluminium, the packaging remains opaque and prevents the sunlight from penetrating the product within the container. Also, metal is significantly strong and helps protect the contents from any damage.
The majority of consumers nowadays seeking ways to bring down carbon footprint and lead more eco-friendly, sustainable lives.
Since metals are known for their recyclability property and pose fewer challenges to the planet and people compared to plastic, they are used extensively to package various products, connecting with consumers who are focused on being green.
A few metal packaging types, especially aluminium, are more lightweight than other types of materials.
For instance, a six-pack of beer cans made of aluminum weighs a lot lesser than the same number of glass beer bottles. The less weight aspect results in reduced shipping costs, plus more convenience for consumers buying the products.
Most metals can be easily recycled. Steel and aluminium are the most commonly recycled materials worldwide. Instead of focusing on extracting new metals from the earth, a rising number of companies are using metal materials that are recycled.
Metal Packaging Market Status Quo
Metal packaging materials like aluminum have been experiencing a massive demand in the United States and several countries in Europe.
With the consistently expanding middle-income population, evolving lifestyles, and changing consumer preferences, the adoption rate of metal packaging has risen notably in Southeast Asian and Asian countries.
On-the-go or ready meals are witnessing rampant demand among consumers for the convenience they offer.
They are especially popular among people leading busy lifestyles. Consequently, big organized retailers are increasingly stacking huge amounts of canned drinks and food products.
Nowadays, online and offline retailers are stocking a massive range of packaged food brands in their stores.
Metal packaging is largely preferred for beverages since these are easy to cool, help maintain the contents’ freshness and also prevent damage during transportation.
How Has Been the COVID-19 Impact on the Metal Packaging Market?
The COVID-19 outbreak ruthlessly affected businesses of major sectors worldwide. There has been a significant decline in the adoption of metal packaging in almost every segment.
A few regions, mostly Europe and North America have experienced a notable reduction in the demand while Asia-Pacific still remains afloat, in terms of sales.
Owing to the crisis, the majority of the metal packaging developers are working at a much lower capacity than before and are working on scaling up their operations.
Moreover, export and import activities have been impacted as well, which has been unfavorable for the metal packaging industry.
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