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The Glossary of the International Trade Centre (ITC) on the technical terms used in the packaging sector is a database designed to provide updated information on the specific terminology used in the packaging industry. This Glossary is a tool placed at the disposal of users for information only. It is not designed to replace the appropriate professional advice in any way. Users are invited to submit their comments and observations by email to Mr. Frederic Couty, Senior Adviser, Export Packaging at the following email address: fcouty[at]intracen.org
Select an alphabetic above to access the glossary.
of tones achieved by varying sizes of printed dots in the printing of a
container, usually round but may be elliptical or polygonal, larger at top
than at bottom, and of greater depth than width; having slatted sides or
staves, and solid or fabricated bottom, or having sides and bottom formed of
one continuous piece of material. Commonly used for shipping fruits and
accessory attached to a container or part thereof for the purpose of holding
or carrying. A bail handle is made of sheet metal or wire and folds against
the container when not in use.
monitoring food safety and sanitary standards throughout a production,
packaging and distribution chain.
products which have been designated as potentially hazardous to people and
environment require special packaging, labelling, storage and handling as
prescribed by national and international regulations.
or foggy appearance in a normally transparent plastic material.
or bottom of a drum or barrel.
printed label which fits over the mouth of a bag or sachet and is visible
from both sides. The label may be fixed to the bag by heat sealable coating
or by stapling. A hole is often punched in the header to permit rack hanging.
space inside a container between the top surface of the product and the
inside upper surfaces of the container.
of joining two or more compatible heat sealable surfaces or materials under
controlled conditions of temperature, pressure and dwell time.
made of paper or other material coated on one side with a heat-seal coating,
usually a thermoplastic resin, and characteristically difficult to remove
known by the proprietary name Therimage, the label is transferred from a
plastic web to the pack by heating which activates an adhesive on its
surface. Used for high-value products in glass and plastic containers, but
superseded in many cases by transparent PS labels.
Valve bag or open mouth bag generally of 25
kg weight, exceptionally above, made of thick polyethylene
Metallic elements of relatively high atomic
weight that, upon exposure, tend to collect in specific body organs and at
high levels are known to be toxic. Historically, lead solders were used to
seal metal can seams and most printing ink pigments were derived from
compounds containing heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, cadmium, mercury,
selenium, barium, chromium and antimony.
portion of a glass or plastic container, starting with the bearing surface
of the bottom and including a small portion of the lower side-wall.
applied to any coarse fabric used for
sacking; called burlap in North
called hi-lo. Double-wall corrugated board combining both A-flutes and
container closure which is attached to the container by a flexible or bending
joint. The hinge can be a separate unit or can be an integral part of the
resin whose density exceeds 0.940 g/cm3.
See: Electronic sealing.
wooden barrel, usually of more than 250 l (60 gallon) capacity.
printing that presents differing images depending on the angle from which it
is viewed. Used as a tamper evident feature on packaging as it is difficult
to reproduce or repair.
with its core structure consisting of a mesh or web with multiple cavities
laminated perpendicular — at right angles — to the facing. Exists in
different thicknesses. Used as a cushioning material and filler.
process for coating both sides of a steel sheet with commercially pure tin to
produce tinplate. The amount of tin coating on each side of the sheet can be varied to meet performance
requirements. Largely superseded by electrolytic coating that applies a thiner layer of tin.
An adhesive or coating based on thermoplastic polymer generally
modified with resins or waxes, which is solid at room temperature. It is
heated to fluidity at the time of application, and is normally quick setting
as it cools.
decorating operation by which a design is transferred from a roll of thin
aluminium foil to a surface by means of impressing it with heated metal dies.
A box or
room constructed with a conditioning device used to maintain a specified
relative humidity at a specified temperature. Used in testing packages for
their moisture resistance and barrier properties.
strong affinity for water.
affinity for water, but usually attracting oily materials.
for measuring relative humidity.
that absorbs water.