I took a bite of this apple pie and quickly got the impression that it tasted like carton. Actually, it was not. The carton natural odor was fast enough getting into my senses while taking a bite. It was what made me thought that it was … I threw away the carton and continue eating. The disagreeable smell gone away. Though it happened indirectly, it was still an incident of packaging substance migrating to food. If enough time is allowed, paper flavor will be absorbed. Notice the expiration date printed on PET water bottles. It could mean several things. The microorganisms present might have grown to dangerous level. Sanitary procedures are not perfect, there is no such thing as equal to perfection. It might have caught contaminant by that time due to bad transport, handling and storage. PET molecules might have migrated to water. Remember, most plastic packaging are single use. We defy this and use it over and over again until the water it holds tastes like plastic.
Biodegradable paper packaging and disposables are becoming the norm today. A move to battle the huge problem with plastic waste pollution. Plastic often suffice protecting the food before reaching consumer palate but incredibly failed in protecting the environment. Papers are fine. Degrade when thrown to open area with thin plastic layer remaining. It maybe a carton but plastic layer is necessary to prevent food from touching and degrading the paper too early. In the end, plastic pollution is reduced but not totally prevented. It is like delaying the inevitable.
In the early days of paper cups. I experienced using the waxed version instead of plastic laminated. There was one great downside though. The hot coffee caused the wax to partially melt and became part of coffee. I clearly remembered the feeling of wax on my tongue. It was not pleasant.
Going back to apple pie packaging. It was the only time I experienced it. The same smell present in elementary writing pads and corrugated boxes. It was not present in paper lunchboxes and cups I have encountered before. Need to investigate more on this.
Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.