A food container is an indispensable item when you bring it for having lunch at your school, working place or going picnic. These containers directly affect the quality of food and your health, so you need to find out what type of containers you should choose.
The food containers are in diversity of materials, shapes and colors, so this sometimes make you confused when choosing. Each material, box design has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Choose a food container based on the material
The first thing to consider when choosing a food container is the material of the box. This material will determine the safety and durability of the container.
1. Plastic food containers
Plastic food containers are popular, diverse and easy to buy.
Advantages of plastic containers:
- Lightweight and handy, it is suitable for holding food for going out
- Plastic can protect the food from contamination
- Plastic is quite stable and not easy to break
- Cheaper than other materials
- Plastic is easy to open and easy to print so both customers and manufacturers
Disadvantages of plastic box:
- Cause environmental pollution
- Do not keep heat as good as other materials
- Easily stick to the colors and smell of food and it’s also harder to clean
At the bottom of the plastic food container or bottle will usually have a number from 1-7. This number can reveal to you how to choose a safe plastic for the whole family.
- No.1 – PET resin: This is the most common plastic in the production of fresh water bottles rather than food containers. This plastic is only used once and has very low recyclability.
- No.2 – HDPE or HDP: This plastic is quite safe, so it is often used as a milk bottle, cooking oil or some detergent.
- No.3 – Polyvinyl chloride (PVC): This is a very durable plastic with moisture, fat and gases. PVC is quite common, but you should not use PVC to store food over 81 degrees Celsius.
- No.4 – LDPE: This is a resin that is commonly used for making noodle cans, frozen boxes or bags. You should not use PDPE plastic boxes in the microwave.
- No.5 – PP: This is a transparent plastic, usually used for yogurt, syrup or coffee. PP resin can withstand heat, so you can use it in the microwave and reuse it.
- No.6 – Polystyrene (PS): This is a resin which is flexible and is quite cheap. PS resins are often used to make fast food containers, cups or disposable dishes. You should not use PS food containers in the microwave.
- No.7 or Not number – PC: This is a plastic commonly found in 3-5 liter water tanks. However, this plastic is very dangerous because it can produce BPA causing cancer and infertile.
2. Metal food containers
Metal food containers like tin, steel and aluminum are widely used in containing food and canning. The most popular metal containers are aluminum and tin containers.
Advantages of metal containers:
- Metals are good against sunlight, so they are ideal for storing light-sensitive foods
- Metals are resistant to high temperatures and pressures
- Metal box is lightweight and easy to manufacture
- Metal surfaces are easy to print
Disadvantages of metal containers:
- Metals are easily leaked into food
- The metals are not transparent, so you cannot see the food inside
To avoid some metal like steel from leaking into your food, you can select the types of tin-coated steel container. In addition, you can also select aluminum box to avoid this metal leakage case. Aluminum is also lightweight, cheaper than other metals and can be recycled.
In addition to the aluminum box, you can also use the foil to pack food. Silver foil is thin, flexible and highly applicable.
3. Glass food containers
Glass is made from one of the many materials on earth that is silica found in sand. This is a recyclable and reusable material.
Advantages of glass box:
- Glass is more beautiful and luxurious than plastic and metal
- Glass is a very good food preservative because it prevents oxygen in the air from coming into contact with food
- Safe for health
- Glass does not stick to the color, smell and easy to clean
- Glass is heat resistant, so you can use the glass box in the microwave
Disadvantages of glass food containers
- Glass is quite fragile and heavy, so it is not convenient to transport food
- The glass manufacturing process is also quite complex
- Price of glass box is higher than other boxes
- The glass box is not suitable for babies because when the box breaks, it produces sharp pieces
It is estimated that over 75 billion bottles, boxes, glass jars are used for alcohol, fruit juices, baby food, soft drinks…
Choose food containers based on the shape
There are two types of food containers: round and square containers. Each form of food container has its own advantages.
- Round containers: The round box helps to circulate air in the box better, allowing food to cool faster.
- Square containers: The square box helps you store more food and save more spaces.
To choose the right type of food containers, you should consider two criteria:
- Refrigerator capacity or food storage: If you have a fridge or small food cabinet, give preference to a square box.
- Personal interests: If you have a space for food, you can freely choose the shape you like.
Choose food container based on the size
If you have chosen the right shape of the food container, you will need to find out the box size is for your convenience.
The size of the food container is very diverse such as: 300ml, 400ml, 450ml, 700ml, 950ml, 1l, 2l, 3.5l, 7.5l, 11l, 20l … The choice of container sizes is largely based on your demands.
- Small boxes: If you buy food containers for your baby or for spices, 300-400ml boxes are appropriate.
- Medium Box: If you want to choose food containers for lunch, boxes of 400-700ml will be the best fit.
- Big box: If you want to buy food containers to store food in the fridge or contain dry ingredients such as rice, the box above 900ml will be more appropriate.