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Odor and Flexible Packaging Materials

Flexible packaging materials are made from combination of plastic, paper or metal films which can be coated with various coatings, adhesives and inks, which through the manufacturing process , are converted to the film which is used for the packaging of each individual final product.

The above materials may contain substances, usually with low molecular weight and high volatility, which can be perceived and are responsible for the odor, the intensity of which is affected by factors such as the concentration of the substances and the temperature to which it is exposed.
Odor is a very important aspect in industrial packaging materials, as it can play a negative role in customer satisfaction, it may pose a health safety problem, but also can cause serious damage to the brand name and lead to legal disputes between suppliers and users of the material with the expected economic consequences.

According to the legislation covering materials intended for food packaging , "they should be manufactured according to good manufacturing practices , so under normal or foreseeable conditions of use, do not transfer to the food, substances in amount that among others, may deteriorate the organoleptic characteristics of the packed product."

In A. Hatzopoulos SA, production process practice is based on:
a) the use of suitable raw materials such as films that are certified for use in food packaging materials, low odor inks etc.,

b) customizing output parameters so that the lowest possible level of residual solvents is achieved and

c) the appropriate processing, handling and storage conditions, in order to avoid the development of odor either because of changes in the material itself or due to contamination.

In theunpleasant case of a raised issue of odor in the packaging material, the approach involves identification and assessment of the perceived odor from a panel of trained assessors through specialized sensory test and then identification and quantification of the substance or group of substances that are "responsible" for the perceived odor and correlation with the source, in order to be able to take any necessary preventive measures.