What Does Ketchup Tell Us About Safe Packaging?


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Food packaging benefits the world in more ways that we might think. According to packaging experts, every pound of plastic packaging used to store food products can actually reduce food waste by up to 1.7 pounds. So there are clear environmental advantages to custom packaging technology, but are there anymore?

Yes, there are. Consumer safety is one of the major benefits of stretch blow molding services. Sure, food packaging should be packed tightly, securely, making it difficult to acces by those deemed unqualified (children) by their respective authoritative figures (parents), but the way we package food can help us identify better ways to package more damaging products like pharmaceuticals and other medications. Obviously, if kids get into the ketchup bottles, that’s ok, but we would never want children to have access to some other medications. The packaging plays a very important role in the safety of consumers.

What Does Ketchup Tell Us About Safety Packaging?

It’s hard to imagine that something used in the 17th century as a sauce for raw fish could be such a common condiment in today’s world. Over the years, ketchup progressed from a patented medication in the 1800s as a remedy for athlete’s foot, baldness, and cancer to a health hazard because of its ability to cause cancer to today’s hot dog essential.

Fastco Design reports that in the 1830s, Dr. John Cook published ketchup recipes, which were then concentrated into pill form and sold across the globe as a medication. A few short years after, in 1866, many in the culinary industry as well as the health industry believed ketchup to be “filthy, decomposed, and putrid,” read Pierre Blot’s statement on the condiment in an 1866 cookbook.

Blot wasn’t too far off with his opinion, however, as the contents contained in ketchup bottles could actually cause serious harm to whoever opened it. At the time, ketchup could only be produced fresh for two months out of the year but Americans, naturally, wanted it all the time. So ketchup manufacturers started preserving tomato pulp to meet the new yearly demand. Although the idea to preserve the tomato juice wasn’t all that bad, the food manufacturing industry at that time was careless and yeast, mold, spores, and deadly bacteria made its way into millions of ketchup bottles.

If our packaging scientists of yesteryear never identified this industry snafu, we might not have access to one of the most oddly delicious condiments in history. Thanks to advancements in packaging with stretch blow molding, Heinz was able to release a preservative-free ketchup bottle in 1904 that eventually changed the food packaging industry forever.

For your own stretch blow molding projects, contact Comar to learn more about the importance of proper packaging!