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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.
procedure by which film images are positioned in precise order for printing
platemaking; also called stripping.
substitute for kraft paper commonly made of mechanical wood pulp, unbleached
sulphite and/or from waste paper. Is coloured brown to give the appearance of
instrument, which may be included in packages or in shipments with packages,
to record shock and vibration to which the package is subjected.
of a material or package to shocks from dropping or from sharp blows/knocks.
A test to
determine the effect of various shock forces on packages or packaging
the original pages on a printed sheet, taking the folding layout and
finishing into account. (The arrangement of text, graphics and images within
one page is called page layout/ make up).
paperboard partially or fully saturated with wax, resins or other protective
or performance-enhancing substances.
mark, especially an indentation, made by a die, stamp, printing press or
other marking device.
(2) One copy or one color of a design made by passing a
sheet once through a printing press.
(3) A mold cavity; more specifically, a
single cavity of a multi-cavity mold.
secondary marking containing additional information — added to or overprinted
on a primary printing.
application of an electrically heated wire to heat seal and cut thermoplastic
which permits a filled package or unit load to slide a given distance down a
ramp of a determined angle into a solid wall, to measure its resistance to
technique in which excitation by means of high frequency elctric impulse
causes materials to bond. Usually associated with inner seals, whether they
are applied separately or as an integral part (metal or platic) of the
bag, unaffected by water, which permits water to flow into the product,
absorb the desired components and flow out again e.g. a tea bag.
substance which slows or prevents a chemical reaction.
manufacture, conversion, etc., that is carried out by the user of the
packaging rather than by a separate supplier.
two-stage process of plastic container manufacturing in which first a
parison, called a preform, is injection moulded and the aperture finish is
formed. The preform is subsequently
reheated and transferred to a blow mould where it is blown to the
container shape and size.
forming of a thermoplastic resin into often complex shapes by forcing the
molten material into a mould and cooling it.
printing term for variation in ink density (uneven ink film) in the direction
non-contact marking and coding method whereby tiny drops of ink are sprayed
onto the surface in a predetermined pattern.
inks normally consist of colouring materials dispersed in a carrier or
vehicle. They may be classified into four main categories, depending on the
methods by which they dry:
of the vehicle by the stock upon which the ink is printed. Marking inks
generally fall into this category.
and/or polymerization: the carrier
is changed by oxidation and/or polymerization from a fluid to a plastic or
solid film. The common types of letterpress and offset inks are generally of
(3) Loss of solvent: removal of the solvent leaves the pigments
imbedded in a resin. High-speed letterpress, gravure and flexographic inks
employ this principle.
the resin, together with the pigment, is precipitated from the vehicle,
usually by the application of moisture. These inks are extensively used
where the odour of drying ink is objectionable,as in the case of food wrappers.
process for plastic containers in which preprinted labels are placed in the
mould before the plastic is blown or injected. This form of labelling is
economical for long production runs, as the moulds are complex but no further
decorating or labelling operations are required.
container within another container, usually a bag or pouch within a rigid
pack, to provide barrier protection until used e.g. a liner bag or individual
sugar pouches inside a carton.
seal, usually of a sheet material that is resistant to water vapor or vapor
from specific chemicals, that is adhered to aperture of a container below the
regular cover or closure, to give extra protection to the contents The
protection can include: barrier to movement of water vapor or volatile
chemicals and perfumes, and protection against tampering, contamination and
1. A sheet of material placed within a package
to add support, or to separate individual items.
2. A sheet containing special instructions
which is placed in side the filled package.
finish thread that has gaps or discontinuities, the gaps being across the
fin or ridge formed at the parting of the container mold. Main purpose of the
interrupted thread is to avoid possible damage to the interior of the screw
closure during its application or use.
description applied to packaging with active or reactive features that adapt
to protect the contents by responding to changes in product state or
cushioning material surrounding the product within an outer shipping
shipping containers, usually returnable, with capacities not less than 250
litres and not more than 3,000 litres. The two basic types are rigid IBCs,
ofsteel or rigid plastic, and flexible IBCs, also called big-bags (See: 33), of woven polypropylene or other fabric and
with a square or rectangular bottom.
produced by ionic bonding between molecular charges. Used as a low
temperature heat seal coating.
1. Subjecting materials to
controlled bombardment of gamma rays to effect a desired change, usually
property improvements. Food packages to be irradiated for processing or
treatment of their contents must maintain structural integrity.
2. A new and expanding food
processing technique (specifically for spices) which eradicate presence of