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Food Packaging


fifi
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Thanks for the suggestions. I have used the crates as gift boxes--not quite as nicely done up as Martha's--but we have eaten a LOT of clementines, and I guess I don't have that many friends. I do need kindling rather desperately; why didn't I think of that?

But what is a shrinky dink?

Fifi--Is it better, environmentally speaking, to buy orange juice in wax cartons or plastic jugs?

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But what is a shrinky dink?

Aaah, one of the great mysteries from when I was a kid! They came as flat sheets of translucent plastic, with designs printed on them. You'd cut them out, punch a hole through if you wanted, and color with colored pencils. When you baked them, they'd shrink and get very thick, and the colors got much brighter than your original colored pencils. We'd make them into necklaces, suncatchers to hang in your windows, and whatever else you could think of to do with a little plastic ornamenty-thingie.

Click here to see what the manufacturer says....

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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As I perused through the comments I got all worked up over a pet-peave I have with fresh fruit and vegetables.

I gotta ask, what anal-retentive, perfectionist individual decided it was a great idea to put security slits on fruit labels?

You know the tiny, tiny labels that identify the SKU number of the type of apple you have, or tomato or... but somehow, someone thought it was a good idea to put little tiny slits in the label so that it was harder to get them off - with the intention to minimize label switching of products I can only presume is the only reason why... however, to now pick at a label, over and over again is now a nuisance for us that don't steal fruit.

If there are any distributors out there reading, I purposely choose other produce/product that doesn't have that kind of label.

So I got that off my chest now, I feel better. Thanks :biggrin:

Brian

Brian Misko

House of Q - Competition BBQ

www.houseofq.com

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. . . . .

Fifi--Is it better, environmentally speaking, to buy orange juice in wax cartons or plastic jugs?

In my opinion, the plastic jug. The processes for making polyethylene, polypropylene and even PET are overall much cleaner than for paper of any kind. And that milk jug can go in the recycle bin. Waxed paper doesn't recycle well. The recycler that used to pick up at my house wouldn't accept anything but newspaper.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Melissa's childhood was quite a bit more recent than my childhood. I would definitely try ersatz Shrinky Dink idea if Dannon had not stopped using the plastic lids. Also, Melissa, my clementine crates all seem to be made from some sort of very thin plywood, so I worry about putting them in the woodstove. But plastic jugs of OJ it is; thanks, Fifi. And Brian, one of the few Erma Bombeck columns I ever read was a hilarious riff on how America's greatest achievement was nonremovable labels. That was obviously a while ago--before nine-tenths of the stuff the labels were affixed to was imported from China.

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It was either Barilla or Classico that I used to like for the jars. At one time, not only were they nice looking jars but standard canning jar lids and rings fit. I don't know if they still make them that way.

Classico sauce comes in squared mason jars and standard canning lids still fit the empties... I put up my green tomato relish in some this fall, among other uses. :smile:

"A good dinner is of great importance to good talk. One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." Virginia Woolf

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I love milk in bags, and I'm very proud of the Canadian system. Buying milk in unpourable gallon jugs (as in the U.S.) seems silly and wasteful; we used to wash our milk bags and have free sandwich bags! Now that I live in the U.K. it's one thing that I miss (of a very short list, unfortunately).
Hmm, we Canadians find some pretty strange things to feel proud about, don't we? :smile:
Milk is only sold in bags in some regions of Canada. Here in British Columbia, I haven't seen bagged milk for about 20-some-odd years now, give or take a year or two.
Yes. Myself, I associate the bags with the 70s or 80s when I was a kid. Here in Ontario the bags are easy to spot, though usually in the large supermarkets.

I never buy the bags. I'll get a 500ml or 1L cardboard carton. What are you supposed to do with 3 or 4 litres of milk? Of course, growing up my mom would give me a glass of milk at dinner, but now the thought of that seems a little gross!

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. . . . .

Classico sauce comes in squared mason jars and standard canning lids still fit the empties... I put up my green tomato relish in some this fall, among other uses.  :smile:

Thanks! I haven't bought it in a while. I have been trying some of those brands that would have you believe that the tomatoes are grown in Shangrila Valley and fertilized with singing cow poop. I don't like them much. So, because of the jar, it will be back to Classico for my pantry back up.

Now here is another question. Catherine mentioned the nonremovable labels. Why provide a product in a wonderfully useful jar but glue on the labels

that defy all

efforts of a chemist

to remove them!

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Now here is another question. Catherine mentioned the nonremovable labels. Why provide a product in a wonderfully useful jar but glue on the labels

that defy all

efforts of a chemist

to remove them!

I still have eight dinner plates with stickers on the bottom of them that I got a year ago that still haven't come off! Oh, wait... I think one of them has come off! I've scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed, and used all kinds of products to no avail! VERY FRUSTRATING INDEED!!!

"Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland." ~Roger Ebert

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Not exactly a food... but on one of our trips to France, we bought a bottle of Poire Williams brandy (pear brandy with a pear in the bottle). The bottle was sealed with black stuff that resembled a thick layer of tar.

One corkscrew and one pocketknife later... much later... it probably took us 1/2 hour to get the darned bottle open... and we had to strain the liquor through paper towels to get out the black bits before drinking it. Grrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!! Next time we'll go for the brand that has a screw cap!!!

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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Now here is another question. Catherine mentioned the nonremovable labels. Why provide a product in a wonderfully useful jar but glue on the labels

that defy all

efforts of a chemist

to remove them!

I still have eight dinner plates with stickers on the bottom of them that I got a year ago that still haven't come off! Oh, wait... I think one of them has come off! I've scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed, and used all kinds of products to no avail! VERY FRUSTRATING INDEED!!!

Hope this helps: my method is to soak the jars in hot dishwater until the water cools, then scrape what I can off with a utility knife. The remainder comes off well with this product. Should work on those pesky dinner plate labels, too.

"A good dinner is of great importance to good talk. One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." Virginia Woolf

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Some things even Goo-Gone won't touch. I go through the usual tries. Hot water, soapy hot water, finger nail polish remover (acetone), cooking oil, Goo-Gone, WD-40, 91% isopropyl alcohol (works on the Le Creuset labels), machete.

The problem is, there are a gazillion different adhesives out there, each one chemically different.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Being a chemist, I have to admit, I'm in fifi's camp.

Of course, were I in the labelers' shoes (I have previously) I've always been a fan of epoxying them babies on.

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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I go through the usual tries. . . machete.

Of course, were I in the labelers' shoes (I have previously) I've always been a fan of epoxying them babies on.

:laugh::laugh::laugh:

OK I give up- & bow to superior chemical knowledge!

"A good dinner is of great importance to good talk. One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." Virginia Woolf

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Running a specialty food store, this is an easy thread to respond to :laugh:

TetraPak juices, sauces, etc. - I haven't noticed a tinny taste, and they store well being square, and I can drop them without worry.

PinchPlus spices - 1 T. portions - over priced yes ($1 ea), but no more aging jars of spices in your cupboard - they win hands down!!!!

TyNant water - the sexiest packaging out there with their wavy plastic bottles - I just want to hug and caress them (TMI).

And my million dollar idea that any of you are free to steal...single serving ethnic sauces. I mean really, do I need to keep a big bottle of hoisin or vindaloo sauce in my fridge until it gets rancid just because I needed a quarter cup last summer. When will someone make a small serving container that stacks well in the fridge door!!! Oh well...I really should make my own anyway.

Rob

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Those were some good suggestions.

And as far as labels go, often I give up and just decide to consider them "Americana".

But the one thing that caught my eye in your post was this:

TyNant water - the sexiest packaging out there with their wavy plastic bottles - I just want to hug and caress them (TMI).

I thought it read:

N Tyrant Water

(which is how I often feel about these sorts of waters when the cost is totalled at the cash register :smile: )

And now I know - it's all in the packaging. Absolutely tyrannical, it is. :sad:

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Now here is another question. Catherine mentioned the nonremovable labels. Why provide a product in a wonderfully useful jar but glue on the labels

that defy all

efforts of a chemist

to remove them!

I still have eight dinner plates with stickers on the bottom of them that I got a year ago that still haven't come off! Oh, wait... I think one of them has come off! I've scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed, and used all kinds of products to no avail! VERY FRUSTRATING INDEED!!!

My suggestion (as a chemist) is that you need that thing that all organic chemists adore for cleaning glassware: a base bath!

There are two ways to approach this at home:

1. Use Easy-Off. Spray on offending glass or ceramic object with stuff stuck to it (do this in the sink!), let sit (the same amount of time you'd leave it in a oven) and then rinse and scrub. I'm betting things will slide right off. Easy off is basically spray-on Drano.

2. Make up a bath with Everclear and Drano (this is similar to what you might use in lab, which is an ethanol/NaOH bath). This is very caustic stuff (so be careful, gloves and eye protection). I don't have the proportions on me, but I promise that nearly anything (that is glass or glazed ceramic) you soak in this bath will come out SPARKLY! If you want know the exact proportions for this bath reply and I'll get them at school.

Only for professionals...

Use a chromic acid bath, but then you can't eat anything off it, and I doubt you have the chemicals/safety equipment at home. :raz:

Anne

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Hey, chemprof. I had forgotten about the NaOH, grain alcohol mixture. You are absolutely right. But it is pretty dangerous. Even many many years ago when I had a lab and we weren't quite as careful as we should have been, I got out the face shield and chemical rubber gloves to mess with caustic solutions.

Easy-Off might be a good try. You do have to be careful with caustic solutions like that and any heat as it might etch some glass. But, the short term to get a label off might not be a problem.

Hey . . . 3M came up with sticky notes (actually a "failed" adhesive development project) then came out with super strong sticky notes but they still come off. Why can't the labeling dudes?

gfron1 . . . You are so right. I have a whole shelf in the fridge of codiments.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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  • 15 years later...

I know this is some old stuff but I believe the idea I'm about to share will be useful for someone, especially food business owners. The food industry has advanced and these are the new materials been used. For some types of food packaging, the food contact material determines the name: a plastic bottle is made of plastic and has this material type in direct contact with the foodstuff. For glass jars the materials in contact with the foodstuff are glass and coated metal from the closure. In the case of beverage cartons the direct food contact layer is not carton, but laminated plastic. For aluminium cans a coating is in direct contact with the beverage. Some types of paper can also be coated (for example with a grease-proof coating). The term food contact material applies to food (and beverage) packaging, but also to any other materials that come into contact with food, either during storage, processing and filling, or consumption (like cooking utensils)

Edited by michallen (log)
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