Agricultural packaging is essential as it holds the food products and keeps them safe from leaking, spilling, or any breakage. During distribution and storage, the agrarian items must be protected from a range of difficulties and hazards. The packaging serves as a barrier against dirt, microorganisms, insects, birds, rodents, and other contaminants. The packaging wall also saves the food items from crushing or physical damage, as well as from the moisture that can cause softness, wilting, or deteriorate the quality of food. It also works as a shelter against heat and light that can cause rancidity. There are various types of packaging for different agricultural products, let’s discuss some of them:
TYPES OF TRANSPORT CONTAINERS
Different kind of shipping containers is made for different food items that secure it during storage and transport. These are available in various kinds like:
- Boxes, Trays, Baskets, Crates
- Sacks of diverse materials
- Drums, Barrels, Cans
- Stretch-wrapping and Shrink-wrapping
BOXES, TRAYS, BASKETS, CRATES
- Cardboard boxes are mostly used to carry bottles and plastic-packaged foods. These corrugated boxes prevent damage to agricultural items to any crash or compaction. The polythene and wax-coated lined corrugated boxes are used to carry greasy and wet products like fresh meat and fish.
- The wooden boxes, trays, and crates perfectly protect the food items from crushing. They have a high weight and strength ratio and are easily stackable. These are commonly used for the transportation of fruits and vegetables.
- Plastic containers made of high-density polythene and polypropylene material are hygienic and reusable, and they do not destroy the food with any shreds, that’s why they are the alternatives of wooden boxes. Also, they are way too economical.
- Framed trays for eggs or esteemed soft fruits are fabricated of paper-pulp, plastic, or foamed polystyrene. The shapes are manufactured to fix each egg and fruit and carry them safe during transport and distribution.
- Baskets are usually made from locally available plants. These are light in weight, sturdy, biodegradable, and reusable. The baskets are used for the shipment of fresh crops to the shops or kept for retail display of fruits and eggs and protect these items from crushing or all other impacts.
- Textile sacks are commonly used for the shipment of fresh and dried crops. These are tensile, durable, light in weight, and impervious to tears. Their rough, non-slip surfaces make them stackable. These sacks could be washed several times, and the grease, oil, and other contaminants glued to it through the vehicles are easily removable. Also, they are water-proof, so thoroughly protected from the rain.
- The polypropylene sacks are finely braided. These sacks are more substantial and water-tolerant.
- High-density polythene sacks are durable, and their thick plastic works as a wall against air and moisture. These are specially used for the hauling of fertilizers and other agriculture chemical products. These are properly heat-sealed to prevent any loss of items.
- Packaging producer make these single or multi-walled paper sacks made of kraft paper, used to carry grains, fruits, vegetables, and flour. A sack-stitcher is used to seal these sacks.
DRUMS, BARRELS, CANS
- For the import and export of oil, colossal steel and plastic drums are used. Metal drums and big paperboard drums lined with polythene are used for the shipment of dried and fatty foods.
- Before, wooden barrels were used for the shipment of liquid items that are now replaced by plastic drums. Aluminum churns are used for the transportation of milk.
- Cans are used for branded cooking oils or dried products. Metal cans preserve the oil from any contamination and rancidity. These cans have push-on and screw-on lids.
STRECTH-WRAPPING AND SHRINK-WRAPPING
- Polythene is manipulated to make a cling film in stretch wrapping. The film is packed under tension around boxes.
- In shrink-wrapping, hot-air is used to shrink the films through hot-air gun or hair-dryer. These are specially used for bottles and jars.