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5 Major Causes of Food Spoilage/Damage in Supply Chain

5 Major Causes of Food Spoilage/Damage in Supply Chain

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hampers, baskets, cartons, bulk bins, and palletized

containers are all examples of the various types of

containers that may be used in different parts of the

journey. There are approximately 1500 different

types of packages that may be used, sometimes in

conjunction with each other (Boyette et al., 1996).

According to one study, a significant percentage of

produce buyer and consumer complaints may be

traced to container failure because of poor design or

inappropriate selection and use (Boyette et al.,

1996).

A World Health Organization study has indicated that in developed countries with sophisticated storage, packaging, and distribution systems,

wastage of food is estimated at only 2À3%. In

developing countries without these systems, wastage is estimated at between 30% and 50% (Soroka,

2002).

According to the United Nations (1969), food is

packaged for two main reasons; to preserve it and

to present it in an attractive form to the buyer. In

order to successfully satisfy these requirements,

various materials are used. The factors involved in

selecting these materials include:



• the composition of the food product and its

physical state;



• nature of deteriorative reactions that may occur;

• modes of transportation used to bring the

product to market;



• time before consumption;

• who the target consumer will be; and

• overall budget for the product.

Ideally all food containers should exhibit the following properties:

























Sanitary

Nontoxic

Transparent

Tamperproof

Easily disposable

Protective against light

Easily opened or closed

Impermeable to gases or odors

Resistant to chemical or mechanical damage

Easily printed or labeled.



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The following is a brief overview of the packaging materials commonly used for packing as standalone packaging or in conjunction with each other.



11.6.1 Paper

Cardboard and pasteboard are both terms used

for corrugated fiberboard, a material commonly

used for boxes. This paper-based product is available in many different styles and weights made to

accommodate a wide variety of food products.

Demand for corrugate has been growing steadily at

an average of 2À3% per year in Europe, where it

dominates with a 63% market share over other

packaging material alternatives such as plastics

(FEFCO 2011).

According to the Corrugated Packaging Council,

the product is easy to identify. Corrugated, in its

most basic design, has two main components, an

arched, wavy, layer called “fluting”, which is glued

in between two smooth sheets called “liners” (The

Corrugated Packaging Allowance, 2005). Together

they form a double face. The fluted liner can be

made in varying sizes, each size denoted by a letter,

A to E. Size A has the largest flutes and E the

smallest. The grades are assigned according to

paper weight and thickness.

The flutes are the essential component in corrugated material. They give containers strength and

add protection. When the flutes are anchored to the

linerboard with adhesive, they resist bending and

pressure from all directions (fibrebox.org). When a

piece of corrugated fiberboard is placed on its end,

the flutes form rigid columns, capable of supporting

weight without compressing. This allows many

boxes to be stacked on top of each other. When

pressure is applied to the side of the board, the

space in between the flutes serves as a cushion to

protect the container’s contents, thus providing

shock protection. The flutes also provide insulation

against sudden temperature changes. The liners

placed on the outer sides protect the flutes from

damage and increase the container’s overall

strength.

For produce transportation, double-faced corrugate is commonly used. The materials used on the

inner and the outer layers are determined by the

product it will hold. For example, the inner layer

may be coated to resist moisture while the outer

layer will usually be printed to identify the contents

and for display inside retail outlets (FEFCO, 2011).



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Corrugated materials have standards to ensure

boxes shipped by rail or truck do not fail during

transportation. The first rules established in the

United States were in 1906. Corrugated fiberboard

must protect from bursting to withstand forces during rough handling, be able to withstand weight

placed on top of the box, and allow for a maximum

weight of contents that can be safely placed in the

box. These measurements are usually printed on the

outside of the container.



11.6.2 Plastic

Plastics are a versatile medium used to protect

and prevent damage to a variety of food products.

They are available in a variety of thick, thin, rigid,

or flexible forms, ranging from bottles to liners, to

accommodate

almost

any

food

product.

Traditionally, this material is only considered for

primary or secondary packaging. This is changing

as manufacturers and distributors have adopted

RPCs for tertiary packaging use with fresh produce.

Now plastics use may be considered at all levels in

the supply chain (APME, 2001). According to the

American Plastics Council, each pound of plastic

can prevent up to 1.7 lb of food from being wasted

due to spoilage, contamination from foreign substances and organisms, or packaging failure (APC,

2005).

Since plastic is light in weight, it also saves costs

in transportation and is therefore a cost-effective

material. Plastic also extends the life of perishable

produce to eliminate waste and preservatives. The

transparent nature allows people to look at food



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and touch it without causing bruising or other damage (APME, 2001). The shatterproof material keeps

the package intact, and prevents chips or shards

from contaminating the food. Polyethylene (PE)

films are the dominant material for fruit and

vegetable packaging in retail stores. Produce

remains fresh during transportation and handling

because the material is breathable, allowing the correct ratio of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and water

vapor to fill the bag. Some produce varieties can be

protected by rigid clamshells (Figures 11.11 and

11.12). This inexpensive package encloses highvalue items such as fruit, berries, precut salads, and

mushrooms and prevents delicate items from crushing (The Clemson University Cooperative

Extension Service, 2002).

PE is the dominant plastic material in use today,

with a 56% market share. Other types of plastic

used are polypropylene (PP), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polystyrene (PS), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), EPS, low-density polyethylene

(LDPE), and high-density polyethylene (HDPE).

Material descriptions according to the American

Plastics Council (2005) are as follows:



• PET: Clear and tough material. Has good gas

and moisture barrier properties. Commonly

used for beverage containers, food containers,

boil-in food pouches, and processed meat

packages.



• HDPE: Used for milk, juice, and water bottles, as well as cereal box liners. Translucent

material is well suited for products with a

short shelf life. Has good strength, stiffness,



Figures 11.11 and 11.12 Bunches of grapes being packed in plastic clamshell trays.



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toughness, and chemical resistance. Gases are

permeable.



• PVC: Widely used for construction applications because of stable properties. This rigid

plastic is commonly used for clear food packaging such as food wrap, vegetable oil bottles,

and blister packaging. It has great strength

and toughness and resistance to chemicals,

oils, and grease.



• LDPE: This plastic is predominant for film

applications. It is tough and flexible, while

still maintaining transparency. It makes sealing easy and is a good barrier to moisture.

Common applications include shrink-wrap,

plastic bags, and squeezable food bottles.



• PP: This strong material has a high melting

point, making it a good candidate for hot-fill

liquids. Resistant to other chemicals, grease,

oil, and moisture. Commonly used for margarine and yogurt containers, caps for containers, wrapping to replace cellophane, and

medicine bottles.



• PS: Can come in two different forms, either

rigid or foamed. Usually, it is clear, hard, brittle, and has a low melting point. Typically

used for protective packaging such as egg cartons, containers, lids, fast-food trays, disposable plastic cutlery, and cups.



11.6.3 Metal

In the 1790s, Nicolas Appert became the first

person to conserve food in a metal container.

Today, commercial canning is made possible by

materials such as steel, aluminum, tin, and chromium. Each material offers food processors different properties and preservation methods. Producers

choose metal for food and beverages for reasons

including mechanical strength, low toxicity, superior barrier properties to gases, moisture and light,

and ability to withstand a wide extreme of temperatures. These qualities help ensure the integrity and

safety of a wide variety of food products.

The most commonly used metals for packaging

are tinplate, tin-free steel, and aluminum. Tinplate

comprises of low carbon steel with a thin layer of

tin. The tin layer may be as thin as 0.38 μm

(Soroka, 2002). Tinplate is nontoxic and corrosion

resistant and is well suited for conversion into



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packaging due to its excellent ductility and

drawability.

Tin-free steel comprises of low carbon steel and

a thin coating of chromium, aluminum, or enamel.

Cans made from this material can no longer be soldered and must be welded or cemented.

Tinplate and tin-free steel are commonly used to

manufacture three-piece cans. These cans can be

mechanically seamed, bonded with adhesive,

welded, or soldered (Soroka, 2002). Soldered food

cans are no longer permitted in North America.

Three-piece cans are the most popular worldwide

because they are cheap to produce, and since all

pieces are made from flat sheets with no stretching

required.

Aluminum is the most abundant metallic constituent used for packaging. Often referred to as the

transportation metal, aluminum alloys with magnesium for strength provides one-third the strength

of steel at one-third the weight. Among its

notable properties, aluminum is light, weaker than

steel, easy to work with, inexpensive, nontoxic, a

good barrier down to 1 ml thickness, nonmagnetic,

does not rust, no “taste”, and has an excellent recycle record.

Aluminum cans are often two piece in construction with a seamless body plus a top cap. They are

very popular in the US beverage industry. The

machinery used to manufacture these cans is costly

compared to three-piece cans because the process

stretches metal. The two most commonly used processes in manufacture of two-piece cans are draw

and iron, and draw and redraw.



11.6.4 Glass

Glass refers to an inorganic material fused at

high temperature and cooled quickly so that it solidifies in a vitreous or noncrystalline state. The

main constituent of glass, silica, is an abundantly

available element because it exists in the form of

sand. Lime and soda are the other two major components of glass. Cullet or recycled glass is often

desired as one of the primary constituents because

it provides excellent energy efficiency and saves

time for the manufacturers. Large-scale glass

manufacturing for food products was introduced in

the late 1800s. Today’s glass containers are lighter

and stronger than their predecessors. Amber and

green glass provides light protection for sensitive

foods.



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Glass is impermeable to gases, moisture, odors,

and microorganisms and is probably the most inert

packaging material available today. Glass also provides other benefits such as it can be molded into a

variety of shapes and sizes, is ideal for high-speed

filling lines, is made from abundant raw materials,

and is reusable, recyclable, and resealable. Among

its greatest drawbacks are the facts that glass is

brittle and usually breaks under an applied tensile

strength and has the least ability to withstand sudden temperature change, unlike other packaging

materials.

The manufacture of glass containers involves

either blow-and-blow process used in manufacturing narrow mouth containers, press-and-blow process used for wide mouth applications, and the

most recent one, narrow-neck-press-and-blow process gaining favor for manufacture of narrow

mouth containers, due to its ability to distribute the

material more evenly thereby requiring less

material.



11.7 “Smart” Packaging

With modern development and enhancements in

packaging technology, today’s packaging is providing more than just the basic functions. Smart packaging is a term coming into use more frequently

and covers a number of functionalities, depending

on the product being packaged, which includes

food, beverage, pharmaceutical, and household products (Butler, 2001). Examples of current and

future functional “smartness” include the following

points:



• packages that retain integrity and improve the

shelf life;



• enhances the product attributes such as its flavor, aroma, and taste;



• assists with product access and indicates seal

integrity;



• responds actively to changes in product or

package environment; and



• confirms product authenticity.



11.7.1 Active Packaging

Traditional “passive” packaging techniques that

only allow for a short shelf life are being



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consistently improved upon to play an “active” role

by slowing down quality-impairing processes

within the packaging itself, due to the advances in

polymer chemistry. Examples of active packaging

systems include use of oxygen scavengers, ethylene

absorbers, moisture regulators, taint removal systems, ethanol and carbon dioxide emitters, and

antimicrobial-releasing systems.

In active packaging, a substance or substances

are incorporated into the packaging to fulfill an

active role in protecting the foodstuff against contamination, such as aroma components of microorganism growth. Until recently, carbonated

beverages in plastic bottles tended to have limited

durability compared with conventional glass bottles. With recent developments, the shelf life of

beer in 0.33 l PET bottles has been increased from

6 to 9 months (Beverage Machines Magazine,

2006).

As a majority of food products are light sensitive, ultraviolet light barriers, which preserve the

transparency of the bottles or containers, are being

incorporated into the substrates of the packages. As

related to informative packaging, external or internal indicators that document quality alterations during the storage period, such as temperature changes

or interruptions in the cold chain, are rapidly coming into use. Active packaging is also being used as

security features in the form of labels that track

manipulation or misuse of the product prior to its

sale.



11.7.2 Modified Atmosphere

Packaging

Food preservation technology accounts for two

main factors of ever-increasing importance, extending product life and reducing the amount of additives used. Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP)

allows for these demands to be met. MAP involves

modifying the atmosphere surrounding the product

inside the package. This in turn allows chemical,

enzymatic, or microbiological reactions to be controlled and therefore reduces or eliminates the main

processes of deterioration in the product. The package usually has a low permeability to gas, so that

the initial concentrations of the added gases remain

unchanged after the package is sealed.

MAP can be used to extend the shelf life of

many fruit and vegetables. Most fruit and

vegetables age less rapidly when the level of



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oxygen in the atmosphere surrounding them is

reduced. This is because the reduced oxygen slows

down the respiration and metabolic rate of the products and therefore slows down the natural aging

process. Elevating the level of carbon dioxide to

levels of 2% or more can also be beneficial.

Elevated CO2 levels can reduce the product’s sensitivity to ethylene and can also slow the loss of

chlorophyll. High CO2 levels can also slow the

growth of many of the postharvest fungi that cause

rot. All these effects can help to extend the storage

and shelf life of fresh produce (Joblin, 2001).



11.8 Trends in Protective Food

Packaging of 2000 and Beyond



11.7.3 Controlled Atmosphere

Packaging



The following sections discuss some of the food

packaging trends and damage reduction trends in

food packaging (Figures 11.13À11.15).



The major difference between controlled atmosphere packaging (CAP) and MAP is that the concentrations of the gases in a MAP package may

change after sealing, due to use of oxygen and the

expelling of carbon dioxide by microbes and

because of the slightly permeable nature of the

package. In a CAP package, the gas concentrations

do not change during storage. To achieve this, the

use of a gas-impermeable package, such as metal

or glass is preferred, and also provides a way of

controlling the atmosphere inside the package.



11.7.4 Intelligent Packaging

The stakes in food cold chains are high and the

loss of a trailer of food due to improper handling or

transport is measured in hundreds of thousands of

dollars. Because of the financial pressure and

increasing regulatory demands for better recordkeeping resulting from the Bioterrorism Act, suppliers and logistics service providers are turning to

systems that combine radio-frequency identification

(RFID) with temperature and humidity sensors.

RFID is an age-old technology that has recently

realized its potential in supply chain systems.

Traditional supply chain management systems produce information regarding “transactions” (orders,

shipments, and payments) and “location” (warehousing, traffic, and inventory). However, perishable goods also require information regarding their

“condition” (time and temperature) as they change

in value while in the supply chain. RFID promises

to provide real-time tracking of goods while in

transit, thereby providing a clearer picture of the

distribution environment.



With mandated use of this technology by major

suppliers to industry giants such as WalMart,

Albertsons, and Tesco, this technology is already

being adopted in the consumer goods supply

chains. With standardization and reduced costs, this

noncontact technology is set to be as commonplace

as barcodes.



11.8.1 Food Packaging Trends

This is a broad overview of major packaging

changes that have occurred in recent years and are

playing a dominant role in food packaging. While

the general transition to plastics rather than glass

and metal as primary packaging materials continues, the more recent and revolutionary introduction of biobased and biodegradable plastic materials

continues to lead. Innovations are going on every

day, leading the effort in specialty coatings directly

on food products to enhance shelf life and quality

aspects such as texture, aroma, and flavor. In addition, the US market continues to develop more

cost-effective packaging methods for palletized

quantities led by club stores such as Costco Inc.



Figure 11.13 A packed CCF tray with four

clamshell containers.



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Figure 11.14 A pallet load of grapes being

protected until shipment.



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Figure 11.17 Flexible pouch and metal can

packaging for seafood.



and Sam’s Club (WalMart Stores Inc.). These concepts significantly reduce the amount of secondary

and tertiary packaging compared to retailers that

display merchandise on store shelves. Some key

primary packaging evolutions of recent times are as

follows:



Figure 11.15 Palletized loads of grapes being

prepared for shipment.



Figure 11.16 Stand-up pouch and juice box.



1. Stand-up pouches replacing metal cans:

High-barrier foil laminated or metalized flexible packaging continues to replace metal

cans. Multilayer plastics in flexible pouches

are replacing traditional paperboard juice

boxes. Examples include CapriSun fruit juice

for young children and tuna fish introductions

by Star Kist (Figures 11.16 and 11.17).

2. Plastic bottles replacing glass bottles: There

is a continuous shift in the beverage industry

from glass to plastic bottles. Most blowmolded plastic bottles can be made in-house

which reduces dependency on external suppliers and shrinks the supply chain. Also, by

using shrink-sleeve labels, multiple product

lines can be filled in the same blow-molded

bottle without major changeovers. Glass bottles are still holding their competition for

high value and premium beverage launches.

Shaped primary packages are easy to produce

with plastic, provide new product launches

with shorter lead times and provide market

share in a competitive environment. Heinz

used this to launch specialty ketchups and

sauces for children (Figure 11.18).



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3. Convenience for on-the-go food packages:

The US customer continues accepting packaging launches that provide convenience

while driving and placing in cup holders in

automobiles (Figure 11.19). Products range

from snack foods, cereal with milk, and salads. An examples range is Frito Lays Inc.,

who offer a range of snack foods in blowmolded plastic bottles with shrink labels that

fit automotive cup holders and allow consumption while driving. These replace the traditional bag and pouch.

4. Clear plastics packaging: The consumer continues to demand more esthetically pleasing

containers for food packaging. Product



Figure 11.18 Some plastic ketchup bottle forms.



Figure 11.19 Convenience-driven snack food

packaging.



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visibility plays a key role from bagged salads,

to fresh produce in thermoformed containers,

to spices. However, the gas transmission

requirements for these plastics vary from

extremely high barrier in the case of spices to

low barrier for salads. The customer wants

more visibility of the actual product being

purchased (Figures 11.20 and 11.21).



11.8.2 Damage Reduction Trends

The various innovations and trends discussed in

the previous section all lead to a reduction of damage in shipment. Protection (physical and chemical)

is an underlying function of a package, and generally all package improvement and changes will usually result in reduction of damage as protection is

increased. In addition, there are some key changes

that clearly can help reduce damage beyond the primary package change.

Use of good-quality pallets is the key to reducing

damage to both rigid and flexible primary

packages. The most widely used pallets to distribute food products, both fresh and processed, are

made of wood. Low-quality lumber, protruding

nails, insufficient deck or base coverage, moisture

content, and infestation are all factors that can lead

to damage of food products and packages when

shipped on wooden pallets. For this reason, most

retailers use reusable plastic pallets in downstream

shipping between distribution centers to stores. An

alternate to a single-use wooden pallet are highquality wooden pallets that can be leased and

reused. These are often an economically better

choice but also offer additional benefits due to the

high-quality construction.



Figure 11.20 Vine ripe tomatoes in a biodegradable

PLA plastic thermoformed container.



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reduction solutions than launch a massive new

product in a retail distribution and be subject to a

major recall or loss.



References



Figure 11.21 Bagged salads with brand identity in

see-through packaging.



Today, most companies leasing wooden pallets

to the food industry (CHEP USA Inc.) offer a

picture-frame bottom section and a large percentage

of the top deck covered with deck-boards to reduce

damage from stacked products and packages. Also

these are true four-way entry block-style pallets

that can be easily handled with fork trucks and pallet jacks. Reduced handling results in lower damage

as compared to products on conventional stringer

pallets. In addition to the quality of pallets, the

placement of products on pallets is critical. Both

underhang and overhang can greatly affect the load

transfer in stacked loads and thereby result in damage. Use of slip sheets to distribute load among

layers and the pallet surface is a common way to

address these issues.

The unitization method of loads on a pallet is

also critical. Choice of appropriate shrink-wrap,

stretch wrap, banding, netting, gluing, and strapping

are all choices that need to be examined for specific

product and packaging needs. Use of corner posts

and top caps can reduce damage in caseless palletized loads designed for club store shipments.

Most of these issues and potential solutions

should be addressed by using lab-based accelerated

test evaluations. The use of test methods developed

by American Society of Testing and Materials and

the International Safe Transit Association allow

users to conduct preshipment tests on palletized

configurations to simulate different distribution

methods from truckload to less than truckload to

single parcel shipments. It is important to test a

few pallets of the product and identify damage



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12 Food Packaging Machinery

Harold A. Hughes

Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA



12.1 Introduction



12.1.3 Communication



Packaging is an essential activity in the food

industry. Virtually every food product is packaged

one or more times before it reaches the ultimate

consumer. Packages are used at each stage in the

process of production and distribution of food products: from farms to processing plants, between

processing plants, from processing plants to warehouses to retail outlets, and from retail outlets to

consumers. A package can hold a food product,

several food products, or packages of food products. There are many package forms including

wraps, pouches, bags, boxes, cups, trays, cans,

tubes, and bottles.

Packages perform one or more of the following

four basic functions: containment, protection, communication, and utility. Each function is discussed

briefly in the following sections.



Every package communicates information. The

communication may be simple and straightforward,

such as a label listing the contents and showing the

source and destination. However, most retail food

packages include expensive and elaborate multicolored

labels, bar codes, and radio-frequency tags. Every

retail food package must include a nutritional label.



12.1.1 Containment

Many food products, especially liquids and free

flowing solids, are contained in packages to facilitate convenient handling and to avoid spillage and

loss of the product. Table salt and granulated sugar

are examples of free flowing solids. Liquid food

products include water, milk, fruit juices, and a

wide assortment of other products.



12.1.2 Protection

Food products must be protected against contamination by microorganisms and a wide array of

other hazards. Depending on the characteristics of

the product and other factors, it may be necessary

to provide protection against gain or loss of moisture, oxygen, CO2, and other constituents, from

crushing and other distribution damage, from

improper temperature, from light, from tampering

and theft, and against numerous other hazards.



12.1.4 Utility

Some packages and package components are

designed to add value to the packaged product.

Spout shakers and similar fitments enable consumer

to apply spices, salt, and similar materials more

easily and accurately. Printed directions add convenience. Handles enable small children to handle

large packages conveniently and safely.

The modern food production and distribution

system could not function without packaging. Even

fresh food, such as bananas, oranges, tomatoes, or

lettuce, is packaged for transport from the store to

the consumer’s residence. The packages may be

made of corrugated board, mesh bags, paper bags,

or plastic containers. A large percentage of the

fresh products are packaged by hand.

However, unlike the fresh products mentioned

above, most modern food products are prepared or

processed in factories and then packaged for distribution to warehouses and stores and ultimately to

consumer’s residences. Most of the packaging is

done by machines set up into systems. The packaging equipment often receives the prepared product

from an adjacent preparation area. Four example

production and packaging systems are described in

Table 12.1.

The descriptions illustrate two important principles about packaging machines. The first is that

packaging machines are generally set up as a system. It is unusual for a packaging operation to have

only one machine. Rather, there is nearly always a



Ebnesajjad: Plastic Films in Food Packaging. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-1-4557-3112-1.00012-0

© 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Adapted from a chapter in: Kutz, Handbook of Farm, Dairy, and Food Machinery (2008).



199



200



PLASTIC FILMS



IN



FOOD PACKAGING



Table 12.1 Description of Some Typical Food Packaging Systems

Product



Steps in the Preparation/Packaging System



Milk in one gallon plastic

jugs



1. Milk is received at the plant, filtered, processed as necessary, and

stored in large stainless steel tanks

2. Plastic jugs are manufactured on site by blow molders and placed into

temporary storage

3. The jugs and the milk are conveyed to a filling machine, which meters

one gallon of milk into each container

4. The filled jugs are capped, washed, and labeled

5. The completed gallon packages of milk are placed into plastic crates

for handling

6. The crates are stacked and conveyed to a refrigerated temporary

holding area



Soup in metal cans



1. The constituents for the soup are delivered to the plant

2. The metal cans, labels, and other packaging components are

delivered to the plant

3. The soup is prepared and conveyed to the packaging line

4. The cans are depalletized and conveyed into the packaging line

5. The cans are cleaned as necessary

6. Empty cans and the soup are conveyed to a filling machine and the

soup is metered into the cans

7. The can end is applied

8. The filled cans are retorted

9. Labels are applied to the cans

10. Completed cans are packed into corrugated trays

11. The filled trays are wrapped with shrink-wrap and palletized



Granulated sugar in multiwall

paper bags



1. Sugar is extracted from sugar cane or sugar beets and transported to

a temporary holding area

2. Preprinted, multiwall paper bags and rolls of heavy Kraft paper are

delivered to the plant

3. Empty bags are held open by the filling machine and the specified

weight of sugar is metered into the bag

4. The top of the bag is rolled over, crimped, and glued shut

5. Bags of sugar are bundled together and wrapped in Kraft paper

6. The bundles of sugar are palletized and moved to a warehouse



Assorted chocolates in

paperboard cartons



1. Decorated paperboard cartons, plastic trays, plastic overwrap,

corrugated shipping containers, labels, and other packaging

components are delivered to the plant

2. Chocolates are manufactured and placed into temporary holding

locations in the packaging area

3. Empty cartons are conveyed past the filling station where a robot

picks up individual pieces of chocolate and places them into particular

locations in a thermoformed plastic tray

4. Filled trays are placed into cartons

5. A lid is placed on the cartons

6. Completed cartons are wrapped in plastic film

7. Wrapped cartons are placed into the shipping containers, which are

closed, taped, labeled, and palletized

8. The loaded pallets are moved to a warehouse for temporary storage



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