Apple Pie and The Carton Flavor

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.

apple pie

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.

Baking Soda in Carton Packing

This baking soda package is a bit different than others. Why? It violates my understanding of how products should be pack. The powder is directly packed in carton without plastic primary or lining.
baking soda easy push tab
Carton is used as secondary packaging material. As mean to give a sturdy shape and media for product information.
It is not inert. Direct contact with the substance is likely to result to undesirable result. It never provide barrier against moisture and air. The popular PP and PE plastic are excellent choices as primary but are not 100% impermeable to air.
I can’t imagine how long it gonna last in damp place. It will absorb moisture in no time. Same it true if placed near odorous compound. It absorbs foreign odors rendering it unfit.
Maybe it is packed as intended. Baking soda if used as deodorizer in freezer, refrigerator and bathroom should be changed ever 30 days. For this, just push the easy open tab and it is good to go.
On the contrary, if mishandled during distribution may end up bad before reaching consumer.

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.

Using Carton as Inner Packaging

Carton is often used as outer packaging material or secondary package. It is hard enough to take the shape of rectangle, square, cylinder, octagon or pyramid.
It provides easy stacking option. Stack height depend on size and wall thickness.  Bigger size and thicker walling allow higher stacking.
Carton is more presentable than laminated foil. I personally prefer a pack of Toblerone over Cadbury. It’s not about the taste difference. It is about the packaging difference. Toblerone box design is more elegant.
Carton cannot provide a barrier against oxygen, dust and microbes but provides a good protection against mechanical damage. A banana chips in polyethylene bag is likely to crumble during storage, transport and selling. Packing it in a carton box will provide better protection.
There are instances when a carton becomes the inner part of the whole package. Like this one:
carton and laminated foil dual package
The package contains four soft biscuits lined in a U-shaped carton tray. Carton benefits were ripped off but it can still provide the main function. That is to protect the soft biscuits from mechanical damage.
The technique works on certain degree but I think it is not as effective as the traditional. It is done to reduce packaging cost. The label is printed directly on laminated foil and the carton sized is reduced to more than half.

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.