5 surprising facts about everyday food packaging
Unpacking the grocery store
When most people run to the supermarket to pick up groceries, the unique way food is packaged is rarely noticed. Do you choose paper or plastic? How have these everyday items evolved throughout the years? Based on reports from Mental Floss, discover all of the strange science behind disposable containers.
1. Paper is the original food protector
Let's take a look back in time at the first food packaging to come into international popularity. China was the first country to wrap food in processed sheets of mulberry bark. This then spread to the Middle East and Europe.
2. Your cereal box is NOT made of cardboard
When you open a box of Cheerios, it is not cardboard that you are holding. It is packaged in paperboard, which is thicker and sturdier than standard cardboard.
3. The milk carton was made by accident
Milk cartons that are opened by bending and folding the material at the spout was an industrial mistake that became a huge phenomenon. When a factory worker accidentally tore into a seed bag, he realized he could fix it by cutting and creasing the paperboard. This was then marketed as “semi-flexible packaging.”
4. The disposable box wasn't popular until crackers were
Snack enthusiasts everywhere should know this unique fact about crackers and disposable boxes! In 1896, an American food company decided to opt for cardboard boxes rather than big cracker barrels. The immediate success led to a massive change in packaging internationally.
5. Egg cartons were originally made out of newspaper
Could you imagine trying to get a dozen eggs home safely with no carton? The brilliant innovation came from a newspaper publisher in 1911 who thought to form individual pockets for each egg out of past newspaper sheets.
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