Our Food Packaging Top 5 of 2018 ended as we started: with a food health concern.
As with the movie Ghostbusters that possesses a catchy theme song, packaging also has its specters that could use some myth busting. Case in point: Food cans continue to be plagued by a nagging issue that, despite a number of scientific reports and studies to the contrary and industry changes, painfully persists.
It is, of course, the infamous bisphenol-A, aka BPA.
That’s despite the fact that, in reaction to market demands for more options in food safety, at least 90% of today’s food cans have replaced linings that previously contained the controversial chemical, according to the Can Manufacturers Institute in this timely report.
Robert Budway, president of the CMI, says, “Can makers and can lining companies take very seriously our responsibility to provide safe, quality packaging that consumers trust. Safety is our number one priority and we’re proud to contribute to a healthy, affordable food supply in a way that reduces food waste and respects the environment.”
Food can linings now are typically made from acrylic and polyester. And all new materials are extensively tested and are cleared by regulatory agencies before being sold in the market. Linings are necessary to prevent the can from corroding, provide a barrier to bacteria and maintain food quality.
As with any packaging material, though, trace levels can migrate into the food contained within, which is why there were health concerns about BPA. Despite reassurances about the safety of BPA from the Food and Drug Administration, some research shows that even trace amounts of BPA might cause problems with reproductive, neurological and immune systems in humans and animals.
The CMI stresses the remarkable safety record of canned foods: “More than 3,000 people die and more than 40,000 are hospitalized from foodborne illnesses every year, yet there has not been a single reported incidence of foodborne illness from the failure of metal packaging in more than 40 years and the consumption of trillions of cans of food.”
Budway answers Packaging Digest’s questions about the development of new food can linings in Most food cans no longer use BPA in their linings.
And the hits keep coming: In this bonus extended-edition version of the annual list of the best-read features of the year, we round out the top-read food packaging stories of 2018 to reach a neat and tidy Top 10:
While presenting the latest solutions in automation, food packaging, package design and more, WestPack 2019 (Feb. 5-7; Anaheim, CA) provides access to the industry’s leading educational offerings with the 3D Printing and Smart Manufacturing Innovations Summits and free industry education at the Expo. Register to attend today! ___________________________________________________________________________________