Food storage container

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Warehouse storing many kinds of food Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F038807-0002, Wolfsburg, VW Autowerk.jpg
Warehouse storing many kinds of food
Consumer pantry, also diverse Built-in pantry.jpg
Consumer pantry, also diverse
Home storage containers with latched lids StorageContainers.jpg
Home storage containers with latched lids

Food storage containers are widespread in use throughout the world and have probably been in use since the first human civilizations.


Early civilizations

In early civilizations cereal grains such as maize, wheat, barley etc. were stored in large airy buildings, often raised up from the ground to reduce infestation by pests and vermin. Ancient Egyptian and early Hebrew writings include reference to such buildings and their successors can still be seen in use in less developed countries and regions.

Smaller quantities of food were stored in baskets made from woven grasses or leaves and such designs have remained in use to the present day.

In more recent times but prior to the invention of the refrigerator many food products were stored in the home as preserves or pickles, often in heat sealed jars such as Kilner jars [1]

Modern containers

In the modern developed world, a very wide range of food packaging and containers is now available made from many materials.

Plastic containers

Many products use low-density polyethylene formed into plastic bags or plastic boxes. There are many makers of plastic boxes some such as Tupperware and Lock & Lock are known throughout much of the developed world.

Metal containers

Longer term storage or storage of items needing a higher degree of protection from the elements may use sheet metal. A common form of such storage is the biscuit tin. See Canning.


Perhaps the most ubiquitous domestic item of food storage is the fridge or fridge-freezer in which a wide variety of foodstuffs are contained and preserved through the use of low temperatures.


Disposable food containers, a form of disposable food packaging, may be used for food or beverages. Disposable containers are often made of paper or paperboard, plastic (including plastic foam), or aluminum.

Industrial food storage containers

Wherever food is harvested, manufactured or distributed there is a need for containers to enable the food to travel securely and in good condition to the shop, warehouse or distribution depot. For many foods, especially those in their own individual containers such as canned vegetables, the common container is the corrugated fiberboard box, Corrugated boxes are available in many sizes.

A variety of Bulk boxes are also used.

See also

Related Research Articles

Food preservation Inhibition of microbial growth in food

Food preservation includes food processing practices which prevent the growth of microorganisms, such as yeasts, and slow the oxidation of fats that cause rancidity. Food preservation may also include processes that inhibit visual deterioration, such as the enzymatic browning reaction in apples after they are cut during food preparation. By preserving food, food waste can be reduced, which is an important way to decrease production costs and increase the efficiency of food systems, improve food security and nutrition and contribute towards environmental sustainability. For instance, it can reduce the environmental impact of food production.

Food storage Type of storage that allows food to be eaten after time

Food storage is a way of decreasing the variability of the food supply in the face of natural, inevitable variability. It allows food to be eaten for some time after harvest rather than solely immediately. It is both a traditional domestic skill and, in the form of food logistics, an important industrial and commercial activity. Food preservation, storage, and transport, including timely delivery to consumers, are important to food security, especially for the majority of people throughout the world who rely on others to produce their food.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Box</span> Type of container

A box is a container used for the storage or transportation of its contents. Most boxes have flat, parallel, rectangular sides. Boxes can be very small or very large, and can be used for a variety of purposes from functional to decorative.

Jar Rigid, approximately cylindrical container with a wide mouth or opening

A jar is a rigid, cylindrical or slightly conical container, typically made of glass, ceramic, or plastic, with a wide mouth or opening that can be closed with a lid, screw cap, lug cap, cork stopper, roll-on cap, crimp-on cap, press-on cap, plastic shrink, heat sealed lidding film, an inner seal, a tamper-evident band, or other suitable means.

Pallet Flat structure to transport goods

A pallet is a flat transport structure, which supports goods in a stable fashion while being lifted by a forklift, a pallet jack, a front loader, a jacking device, or an erect crane. A pallet is the structural foundation of a unit load, which allows handling and storage efficiencies. Goods or shipping containers are often placed on a pallet secured with strapping, stretch wrap or shrink wrap and shipped. Since its invention in the twentieth century, its use has dramatically supplanted older forms of crating like the wooden box and the wooden barrel, as it works well with modern packaging like corrugated boxes and intermodal containers commonly used for bulk shipping.

Closure (container) Devices and techniques used to close or seal a bottle, jug, jar, tube, can, etc.

A closure is a device used to close or seal a container such as a bottle, jug, jar, tube, or can. A closure may be a cap, cover, lid, plug, liner, or the like. The part of the container to which the closure is applied is called the finish.

Ziploc Brand of resealable plastic bags

Ziploc is a brand of reusable, re-sealable sliding channel storage bags and containers originally developed and test marketed by The Dow Chemical Company in 1968 and now produced by S. C. Johnson & Son.

Intermediate bulk container Industrial-grade storage and transport container for fluids and solids

Intermediate bulk containers are industrial-grade containers engineered for the mass handling, transport, and storage of liquids, semi-solids, pastes, or solids. The two main categories of IBC tanks are flexible IBCs and rigid IBCs. Many IBCs are reused or repurposed.

Disposable food packaging

Disposable food packaging comprises disposable products often found in fast food restaurants, takeout restaurants and kiosks, and catering establishments. Food-serving items for picnics and parties are very similar. Typical disposable foodservice products are foam food containers, plates, bowls, cups, utensils, doilies and tray papers. These products can be made from a number of materials including plastics, paper, bioresins, wood and bamboo.

A shipping container is a container with strength suitable to withstand shipment, storage, and handling. Shipping containers range from large reusable steel boxes used for intermodal shipments to the ubiquitous corrugated boxes. In the context of international shipping trade, "container" or "shipping container" is virtually synonymous with "intermodal freight container", a container designed to be moved from one mode of transport to another without unloading and reloading.

Corrugated box design Process of matching design factors for corrugated fiberboard boxes

Corrugated box design is the process of matching design factors for corrugated fiberboard boxes with the functional physical, processing and end-use requirements. Packaging engineers work to meet the performance requirements of a box while controlling total costs throughout the system.

Ifco tray Type of reusable packaging

IFCO trays are a type of reusable packaging for transporting fresh food produce. IFCO SYSTEMS is the name of the company that first developed a pooling service for reusable plastic trays for fresh produce in 1992, when the company was founded in Pullach, Germany. IFCO is the acronym for International Food Container Organization.

Bag Simple tool in the form of a non-rigid container

A bag is a common tool in the form of a non-rigid container. The use of bags predates recorded history, with the earliest bags being no more than lengths of animal skin, cotton, or woven plant fibers, folded up at the edges and secured in that shape with strings of the same material.

Container Any receptacle for holding a product used in storage, packaging, and shipping

A container is any receptacle or enclosure for holding a product used in storage, packaging, and transportation, including shipping. Things kept inside of a container are protected on several sides by being inside of its structure. The term is most frequently applied to devices made from materials that are durable and are often partly or completely rigid.

Reusable packaging is manufactured of durable materials and is specifically designed for multiple trips and extended life. A reusable package or container is “designed for reuse without impairment of its protective function.” The term returnable is sometimes used interchangeably but it can also include returning packages or components for other than reuse: recycling, disposal, incineration, etc. Typically, the materials used to make returnable packaging include steel, wood, polypropylene sheets or other plastic materials.

Pizza box Cardboard boxes for storing pizza

The pizza box or pizza package is a folding packaging box made of cardboard in which hot pizzas are stored for take-out. The "pizza box" also makes home delivery and takeaway substantially easier. The pizza box has to be highly resistant, cheap, stackable, thermally insulated to regulate humidity and suitable for food transportation. In addition, it provides space for advertising. The pizza packages differ from those of frozen pizzas, which contain the frozen product in heat-sealed plastic foils as is the case with much frozen food.

Plastic container

Plastic containers are containers made exclusively or partially of plastic. Plastic containers are ubiquitous either as single-use or reuseable/durable plastic cups, plastic bottles, plastic bags, foam food containers, Tupperware, plastic tubes, clamshells, cosmetic containers, up to intermediate bulk containers and various types of containers made of corrugated plastic. The entire packaging industry heavily depends on plastic containers or containers with some plastic content, besides paperboard and other materials. Food storage nowadays relies mainly on plastic food storage containers.

Package handle Packaging component

Package handles, or carriers, are used to help people use packaging. They are designed to simplify and to improve the ergonomics of lifting and carrying packages. Handles on consumer packages add convenience and help facilitate use and pouring. The effect of handles on package material costs and the packaging line efficiencies are also critical. A handle can be defined as “an accessory attached to a container or part for the purpose of holding or carrying.” Sometimes a handle can be used to hang a package for dispensing or use.

Packaging waste Post-use container and packing refuse

Packaging waste, the part of the waste that consists of packaging and packaging material, is a major part of the total global waste, and the major part of the packaging waste consists of single-use plastic food packaging, a hallmark of throwaway culture. Notable examples for which the need for regulation was recognized early, are "containers of liquids for human consumption", i.e. plastic bottles and the like. In Europe, the Germans top the list of packaging waste producers with more than 220 kilos of packaging per capita.

Evidence packaging

Evidence packaging involves the specialized packaging methods and materials used for physical evidence. Items need to be collected at a crime scene or a fire scene, forwarded to a laboratory for forensic analysis, put in secure storage, and used in a courtroom, all while maintaining the chain of custody. Items might include DNA, drugs, hair samples, body parts, blood samples, sperm, knives, vomit, firearms, bullets, fire accelerants, computers, checkbooks, etc.


  1. Tori Avey (4 September 2014). "History in a Jar: The Story of Pickles". Public Broadcasting Service. Retrieved 30 October 2017.