Which tape is best suited for sealing food products?

Choosing the perfect adhesive tape for your needs is not always easy. Deciding between various types, by itself, is a quite simple task: if you need to paint, you will go for paper adhesive masking tape, if you need to glue down something, you will use double-sided adhesive tape, if you need to fix electrical wires you will opt for insulating tape, while if you want to seal boxes and packages you will choose packaging adhesive tape.


However, there are sometimes more specific needs. For example, what is the most suitable tape for sealing food products? In the food supply chain, from producer to seller, there are in fact many rules to keep in mind about packaging as well.


Choosing the wrong materials means putting the quality and healthiness of food products at risk, as well as incurring in fees. Are there any specific rules regarding adhesive tape to be used? And what is the criteria to understand which adhesive tape is most suited for sealing food products?


The general rules of food packaging


The rules governing food packaging have a precise objective: packaging must ensure the perfect preservation of products until the moment of their consumption.


Because of this, it is necessary to use non-toxic materials compatible with the product they will contain, with packaging techniques that are appropriate to the specific treatments to which the product is subjected (such as pasteurization or sterilization).


It goes without saying, then, that food packaging, in order to be suitable and safe, must secure the product from trauma, contact, tampering, odour, substance, or gas entry, as well as from the deterioration of the content.


It should be noted that the regulatory framework dedicated to materials and objects in contact with food is very complex and constantly evolving: the cornerstone of reference is, in any case, Regulation 178 of 2002, which first introduced the concept of food contact packaging safety.


Which tape is best suited for sealing food products?


Contact with food products has been mentioned: in fact, the materials in direct contact with the food on sale that must respond to specific characteristics, to ensure the quality and health of the product itself. Double-sided adhesive tape must not come into contact with the food, and therefore the problem does not really arise.


Industrial packaging double-sided adhesive can, instead, be used to ensure the full sealing of food packaging: therefore, it’s clear that any packaging tape can be used without issues as long as it ensures the proper packaging of food.


Special requirements in food packaging with adhesive tapes


However, there may be some very special needs when looking for the best strong double-sided tape to seal food packaging. Think, for example, of food packages intended to be placed in freezers.


Well, in this case it is best to make sure to use adhesive tape which can withstand temperatures below zero without falling off.


Normal packaging tape should not be exposed to temperatures below zero; however, it should be noted that tape with acrylic adhesive can last up to – 18 °C (-0.4 °F). For even lower temperatures you will need to buy special adhesive tapes.


Another particular need to take into account is the sealing of polystyrene boxes, a material which does not respond well to any adhesive: in these cases, it is best to use adhesive tape with natural rubber, which also have excellent adhesion to polystyrene.


New rules for environmental labelling of packaging


Those interested in the best choice of industrial double-sided tape most suitable for sealing of food products can certainly also be interested in the regulatory change regarding the sustainability of packaging. In a few months – starting from January 1st 2023 – the environmental label regulatory obligation will come into effect.


This rule, which has been postponed several times, should not only indicate the type of packaging, but also the identification of the material and the separate collection needs.

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