Polypropylene in the Industry of Food Packaging

Various pests expose agriculture and food products to attack from storage until
consumption by consumers. Insects and fungi are the most serious pests that can
contaminate food products in warehouses. Despite modern food and other agricultural
products storage and distribution systems, most packaged food products, with the
exception of canned and frozen goods, are subject to attack and penetration by insects
(Mullen & Highland, 1988). When a packaging containing one of insect life stages enters into
storages (infested packaging), it could cause the prevalence of infestation. In addition to
reducing food quantity, insects annihilate quality, too. By nourishing into the foods, they
prepare the conditions for the attack by pathogen microorganisms, such as fungi and as
such, the consumption of these foodstuffs could be followed by dangerous present day
diseases e.g. cancer types as contaminated foods to pathogens like fungi are one of the most
important problems in the industry of storage foods and they are susceptible to mycotoxins
(Jakic-Dimic et al., 2009). There are few categories of mycotoxins regarding their chemical
structure, sensitivity of certain organs and origin of fungi that produce them. Aflatoxin is a
secondary metabolite produced by Aspergillus flavus (Lopez-Diaz &Flannigan, 1997). 
Aflatoxin is potential to cause liver damage, cirrhosis, and liver cancer and aflatoxin B1 is
the most dangerous toxin for animal and human health (Syarief et al., 2003). So, huge losses
have been observed in agriculture produce and different ways are designed for controlling
stored-product pests. Storing foodstuffs in bulk or sacks is a usual method for controlling
pests without application of chemical methods. These sacks are made of different materials
such as sheeted polymers used for packaging agricultural products to prevent the entrance
of pests and contaminations (Allahvaisi, 2009). Wastage varies from 5-35% depending on
nature of crops. Majority of wastage takes place in each of the steps viz. storage, 
transportation and at retail market due to improper packaging. Bulk Packaging made of
polymers provides a solution for commodities weighing 10-50 kg during handling, storage
and transportation, while smaller packaging for food products range from 50 ml to 5kg. 
Polymeric packaging fulfils the diverse role from protecting products, preventing spoilage, 
contamination, extending shelf life, ensuring safe storage thereby helping to make them
readily available to consumers in our day to day life. This chapter will be a very helpful to all its readers, entrepreneurs, scientists, existing industries, technical institution, etc in the
field of packaging (Anonymous, 2011). 

Polypropylene Advantages


Polypropylene offers many different advantages. These advantages allow it to be used for a wide variety of different products and uses, from high heat to cold weather and more. What are some of these advantages?

-Low cost makes it budget friendly for a wide number of uses

-Has a moderate strength and stability

-Has flexibility, which makes it easy to mold into different shapes

-Colorfast, which means that any colors will stay bright and beautiful

-Resistant to fatigue, which allows it to be used for things such as water bottle hinges and spouts

-Offers good insulation for pipes, cables, and more

-Chemically resistant to most oils and solvents

-Excellent impact strength

-Low coefficient of friction

-Excellence moisture resistance

-High temperature resistance, which means it can be used in laboratories

When you look at polypropylene, you can see that it has many different properties that explain its widespread use. From clothing to pipes to carpet and more, thistype of plastic is one that is used in a number of different products.

Understanding its importance will allow you to appreciate it to the fullest. Polypropylene is one plastic that can be used for products now and can be recycled into products for the future as well.


What is Polypropylene Used For?


Polypropylene is used for a wide number of different products. Due to the resistance to fatigue, this means that it can be used on items that are going to have high stress, such as hinge mechanisms on water bottles and more. It is also used in manufacturing piping systems, as well as chairs, and in medical or laboratory use.

The colorfastness means that it is also used in carpeting, rugs, and mats. Ropes, cable insulation, roofing membranes, storage boxes, disposable bottles, plastic pails and other items are also made using this type of plastic. When you consider the impact of this plastic on your everyday use, you will see that it is one plastic that most people just cannot live without.

PP plastics are also used in fiber reinforced composites. Common trade names for FRP glass fiber reinforced polyproplyene include Polystrand and Twintex.


History of Polypropylene


German chemist, Karl Rehn, and Giulio Natta first polymerized propylene to a crystalline isotatic polymer in March 1954. This discovery soon led to a commercial production of polypropylene starting in 1957. Others claimed the discovery, as often occurs when a general body of knowledge is used, and this litigation was not resolved until 1989. This very popular plastic is one that many different manufacturers use for a number of different products.