Packaging plays an important role in the preservation of food items. It ensures the safe delivery of products to consumers. One of the most popular materials used in the food preservation process is metal cans. If you walk down aisles of groceries, you’ll notice shelves of canned packaged foods.
Canned food products have become an essential part of every person’s pantry. They are especially handy in areas where there aren’t refrigerators (since food must be stored in cold places to preserve its freshness). Canning also promotes the safe preservation of food items by preventing the development of harmful bacteria.
If you’re considering going down the canned goods route, here’s everything you need to know.
How are Canned Foods Packaged? The Materials
There are two types of cans used for canned packaged goods: two-piece and three-piece cans.
With two-piece cans, the bottom and the wall of the can are formed with a single piece while another piece is used for the top part. Also called ‘drawn cans,’ these cans are mostly used for food and drinks. Two-piece cans, which are often made from aluminum or steel substrates, are also used by businesses that offer sweets (the cans usually have slip lids).
To produce two-piece cans, manufacturers use metal panels or unwind metal coils and stamp discs from them. Next, they coat both sides of the metal substrate and start the deformation stage. During this step, they use a press to cup the discs and form a short beaker-shaped can.
There are four different types of two-piece cans:
- Single-drawn cans. These are shallow cans manufactured via the drawing one process. These are the cans used for sardines, tuna and other ready-made meals.
- Drawn and redrawn (RDR) cans. These tall cans are made using the draw and redraw process, which involves two to three operations. It can also be made via multiple draws. Large cans used for salmon are examples of RDR cans. Some RDR cans have larger top diameters compared to the bottom parts. They also have a tapered shape so you can easily slide the cans during transport.
- Drawn and wall-ironed (DWI) cans. DWI canned goods are usually beers and beverages. These cans are usually made from aluminum or steel. The production process includes the processing of a drawn metal cup to create a cylinder. This process is called wall ironing; it decreases the can’s thickness by ironing it out.
- Drawn and ironed (DI) cans. These are variations of the DWI cans. These cans hold canned goods that are for humans or pets.
Three-piece cans, as the name implies, are cans that consist of three parts: the bottom, body and lid. These cans are often used to package food but can also be used for non-carbonated drinks like fruit beverages.
Three-piece cans are usually made from tinplate steel or tin-free steel. But if the business wants cans with easy-to-open lids, these cans can be made from aluminum.
What are the Pros and Cons of Canned Packaged Goods?
Can packaging is one of the most common packaging methods for food products and beverages. They can also be used for medicine, cosmetics and other products.
However, like boxed packaged goods and other packaging materials, canned goods have their pros and cons.
Advantages of Canned Packaged Goods
- Increased shelf life. Unlike other packaging materials, cans offer increased shelf life due to the durable material that doesn’t react with food. Tin cans, especially, ensure that food retains its goodness and can be stored for a longer time.
- Easy to handle. Cans are easy to handle because they are lightweight. Weight is an important issue when it comes to transporting products. Most logistics and transport companies charge transport fees based on the weight of the goods being shipped. If you want to reduce the cost of production, consider switching to a more lightweight alternative (like cans)
- Flexible packaging. One of the best things about can packaging is that it allows for flexibility. You can easily arrange these cans the way you want without worrying about deformities.
- Durable packaging. Even when subject to high impact, canned packaged goods will maintain their original shape. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about delivering deformed cans.
Disadvantages of Canned Packaged Goods
- Acidic products. Cans are not ideal for products with high acidity since they are corrosive. The can might react with the product and cause contamination.
Like bagged packaged goods, canned foods are staples in every person’s home, which makes cans an essential packaging material. If you want to ensure the safety of your products (without worrying about packaging), consider making the switch to canned packaging.