Food Packaging Labels
With food packaging labels the uppermost consideration in the mind of the food manufacturer is that the label on the product conveys the value and experience that is contained in the food and beverage contents. Secondly, and in some sense, more important is that the label or labels contain clear and concise information relating to regulatory issues, such as nutrition information, ingredients, allergy information, sell-by dates, weights, etc.
Thirdly, is that the food packaging label, adhesive and print are food safe and that the label won’t spoil or fall off until the product has been opened and consumed.
Food, along with the labels, are subject to many extreme conditions, mainly temperature, and it is a legal obligation that food packaging labels do not obliterate or fall off anywhere in these processes and the food is effectively spoiled. Examples would be; direct thermal labels turning black in the oven and freezer labels not sticking because they were applied at the incorrect temperature.
These factors lie behind the important decisions of competent label manufacturers to provide the best material, adhesive and print to satisfy the food manufacturer’s needs.
Chilled Food Labels
The majority of standard labels are suitable for chilled conditions. It is recommended that labels to be used in chilled environments would have a coating (e.g. semi-gloss) so that moisture isn’t absorbed, these are considered to be splash-proof.
Fruit & Veg Labels
The majority of standard labels are suitable for direct contact with food; however, this is important and should be checked with the manufacturer prior to use as some adhesives are only suitable for indirect contact.
Meat, Fish & Poultry Labels
The most common labels used in the meat, fish & poultry industry are thermal labels as this is the most effective way to print variable data. Thermal printers usually only print 1 colour at a time so meat processors would mostly have the labels pre-printed with their branding.
Day Mark Labels
These labels are widely used in the food industry to manage stock rotation & control. These labels are printed with the days of the week and often colour coded so they can be identified easily. The date would be printed using a thermal printer or written on by hand.
Food Packaging Labels
Labels used on the packaging would generally be standard labels as these labels are very versatile and can mostly withstand service temperatures ranging from -20˚C to +80˚C. Therefore, they can be used on all kinds of packaging including microwave ready meals, jar & bottle labels, chilled foods etc…