News from CRIS: Packaging - Plastic Wrap

June 22, 2021

What are food-safe plastic wraps and what do they do?

Plastic wraps are typically clear or lightly colored transparent food-safe coverings that cling to themselves and to food containers to form a seal.
The plastic wrap keeps foods fresh by protecting them from the air which can expedite spoiling and oxidation, preventing unwanted drying, and preventing undesirable moisture absorption. They can also help keep food odors contained.
Currently, plastic wraps play an important role in food preservation and safe transportation, helping to keep our foods fresh and safe which in turn can help reduce food waste.

What are food-safe plastic wraps made of? 

There are a few types of food-safe plastic wraps, the most common plastic wrap we use at home is made from low-density polyethylene.
Manufacturers used to make many food-safe plastic wraps from polyvinylidene chloride (PVC). However, manufacturers have phased out PVC use due to potential environmental harm as well as concerns that plasticizers from the PVC food wrap could migrate into food products. We may still find this ingredient on some food packaging, but it’s typically combined with another ingredient or a film that provides additional food safety properties (1,2,3). 


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