Western and Central Africa
Eastern and Southern Africa
Eastern Europe and Central Asia
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 printing from a plane surface on which the image to be printed is ink
receptive and thus carries the ink to the surface being printed, while the
non-printing areas are ink repellent. The ink is transferred to the surface
being printed by means of a flexible blanket or ink transfer roll — hence the
description “offset”. See also: Letterset
receptive, ink accepting/receptive surface (of a printing plate, for
Oil repellent, ink repellent surface.
of a material to the transmission of light. The degree of non-transparency of
A cellular plastic in which there is a
predominance of interconnected cells.
material with spaces or gaps between the fibres to permit the ventilation.
Used for fresh vegetables such as onions, potatoes and fruits, etc.
interval between the application of an adhesive to a surface and the
subsequent activation of the adhesive or “set” bonding with another surface.
A method of marking price tickets, credit
cards and many other retail documents with a set of letters and numbers so
they can be read universally by customers, retailers, vendors and others by
eye, by wands or price ticket readers.
surface fault on moulded plastics, somewhat resembling orange peel.
manufacture of plastic films, sheets or bottles, the material is stretched to
align the majority of molecules in a particular direction. The stretching may
be in the machine direction only — uniaxially oriented — or in both the
machine and cross direction — biaxially oriented. If the material is
subsequently heat-set, the orientation is effectively permanent, otherwise,
it will attempt to return to its original relaxed condition when heated —
e.g. shrink film.
fitment with a controlled-diameter opening. When inserted in the inside
diameter of a bottle neck finish, it reduces the flow of product being
amount of vacant space allowed in a drum or other container to accommodate
the density variations in the commodity, or for expansion due to temperature
variations. In food containers, the outage is called headspace.
(2) The vertical distance from the top of the bottle
finish to the surface of the liquid directly below the finish.
(3) Outage for
dry granular products --The distance between the top of the package and the
leveled product. Outage varies with the degree of product settling.
container usually made of steel, wood or fibreboard designed to enclose and
protect one or more smaller and normally more fragile containers.
container manufacturing defect,in
which a round container is or becomes slightly oval.
printed sheet, leaflet, etc. bearing an advertising message or instructions,
affixed to the outer surface of a container or package.
paperboard container, normally for processed foods which can be heated in a
conventional or microwave oven. Typically solid bleached sulphate board. Can
be extrusion coated with suitable heat-resistant plastics.
secondary closure that fits over the primary closure or sealing mechanism. It
may protect the primary closure from tampering and/or accidental dispensing.
Overcaps are also used to enhance the appearance of a package.
capacity of a container to the top of the finish or to the point of overflow.
condition where methods used to package an item exceed the requirements for
result of printing of one layer over another, such as a varnish printed over
an ink film to protect it or make a gloss finish or coat; or one layer of ink
printed over another one to form color combinations.
closure to impedetampering with the
primary closure. An example is a tear-off aluminum seal placed over the
replaceable closure of a large
metal container or drum. Generally used for exports, and more a,d more
within the context of consumer protection.
application of a wrapper (film, foil or paper) over a product, a carton or
tray. A packaging operation which normally has to be mechanized to achieve
good, consistent results.