Microwave-safe containers must be food-safe, easily transportable, easy to handle, and able to withstand the extreme temperatures of being frozen and being heated in a microwave or oven. At Point Five Packaging, we are dedicated to providing high-quality microwave and oven-safe packaging that meets these challenging demands. We offer:
- C-PET Containers and Trays (Crystallized Polyethylene Terephthalate)
- Polypropylene Containers and Trays (PP)
Our team of experts works with every client to provide guidance on package design, material choice, and packaging processes.
Microwave & Oven-Safe Food Packaging Materials
To determine whether a container is safe to use in a microwave, a consumer can often look at the bottom of the container. If there is a symbol of a microwave, this means that the container is microwave safe. The consumer may also find a recycle symbol with the letters “PP” on it, which indicates that the container is made from the microwave-safe material polypropylene.
However, during the purchasing process, many consumers will simply check the copy on the outside of their meal’s packaging; before deciding to buy, consumers want to ensure that the meal’s container is oven- and microwave-safe. This introduces a new consumer expectation for companies that manufacture and sell ready-to-eat meals. Consumers expect to be able to easily heat up their meals as they are packaged without the need for extra plates, utensils, etc.
The packaging for these frozen or refrigerated heat-and-eat meals reduces the number of steps and dishes between a consumer and their meal. For convenience products such as ready meals, prep time is key. There are several materials commonly utilized in the manufacturing of microwave and oven-safe food packaging.
C-PET Containers and Trays (Crystallized Polyethylene Terephthalate)
C-PET containers are effective in temperatures ranging from -40 °F to 428 °F (-40 °C to 220 °C). This type of container is ideal for any type of product that the consumer will need to cook in the same tray that it is packed in. C-PET trays have the added benefit of extending a product’s shelf life and improving the aesthetic appeal of the packaging, since the material has a higher oxygen & moisture barrier than APET/RPET. We also offer custom tray color & designs as well.
Polypropylene Containers (PP)
PP containers offer similar benefits to C-PET containers with a slightly less extensive temperature range. This type of container functions well in temperatures ranging from 32 °F to 257 °F (0 °C to 125 °C). It is excellent for heat-and-eat applications, as well as deep freeze applications. PP containers are available in colorless, black, white, and custom color options. We also offer freezer-grade PP trays/containers as well.
Microwave & Oven-Safe Food Packaging Processes
There are two main methods for packaging foods in microwave- and oven-safe containers: Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) and Vacuum Skin Packaging (VSP). Although they differ in method, both of these processes offer the following benefits:
- Extends the shelf life of the food product
- Preserves freshness
- Minimizes the need for preservatives
Also known as reduced oxygen packaging, MAP offers an excellent option for significantly extending the shelf life of the food without requiring chemical additives or preservatives. Manufacturers will remove the oxygen from the packaging and replace it with a gas or gas mixture, often containing carbon dioxide, pure oxygen, and nitrogen. MAP is a highly cost-effective option, as it stops products from spoiling before consumption.
This packaging process combines a high barrier film with a microwave-safe tray. It will completely seal the ready-to-eat meal, thus reducing the amount of oxygen in the package and preserving its shelf life. Although it will tightly secure the meal, VSP will not cause the container to bend in any way.
Microwave & Oven-Safe Packaging Benefits
In addition to simple convenience, there are many advantages to utilizing microwave and oven-safe packaging. As it must maintain its integrity while being heated and frozen, microwave and oven-safe packaging can also withstand extreme temperatures. This type of packaging is incredibly durable by nature, ensuring safe meal preparation and reheating for consumers.
This type of packaging also faces the added challenge of protecting its contents during transportation. The containers must withstand the wear and tear of shipping in addition to the extreme temperatures faced in freezers, ovens, and microwaves. To meet these demands, microwave and oven-safe containers are, by their nature, incredibly efficient and dependable.
Microwave & Oven-Safe Packaging from Point Five Packaging
Choosing the appropriate oven-safe packaging is an important product component for food manufacturers. At Point Five Packaging, we are industry leaders in the supply of C-PET and PP containers. Thanks to our low-cost tooling and rapid concept-to-market speeds, we offer the highest caliber products and services at cost-effective rates. To learn more about our packaging solutions, contact us or request your quote today.