Plastic wrap

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about a plastic layer used for short-term preservation of domestic foods. For a plastic wrap often used in bulk packaging, see Shrink wrap.
A roll of Plastic Wrap

Plastic wrap, cling film (UK), cling wrap or food wrap, is a thin plastic film typically used for sealing food items in containers to keep them fresh over a longer period of time. Plastic wrap, typically sold on rolls in boxes with a cutting edge, clings to many smooth surfaces and can thus remain tight over the opening of a container without adhesive or other devices. Common plastic wrap is roughly 0.5 thou, or 12.5 µm, thick.[1][2] Although as technology advances the trend has been to produce thinner thicknesses, particularly for household use (as not too much stretch is needed), so now majority of brands on shelves around the world have reduced to 8, 9 or 10 microns.

Materials used[edit]

Fruit Plastic Wrap

Plastic wrap was first created from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which remains the most common material. Non-PVC competitive producers, for example low-density polyethylene (LDPE), promote this type of plastic film, but have huge difficulty against PVC's high performance. There have also been concerns about the transfer of plasticizers from PVC into food, but this is a myth, because modern legislations in food contact materials are so stringent that all plasticisers used are non-toxic and totally harmless to human health.[citation needed]

In two countries, namely the US and Japan, there is a production of plastic wrap using polyvinylidene chloride (PVdC), but it seems to be declining also.

A common alternative to PVC is low-density polyethylene (LDPE), which is less adhesive than PVC. However, newer production processes are closing the adhesive gap between PVC and LDPE. Linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) is sometimes added to the material, as it increases the adhesive qualities and the tensile strength of the film.[3]

The main difference, and this is the reason why PVC still dominates the market compared to LDPE films, is that PVC allows for permeability to water vapour and oxygen transmission.[4] This is important in allowing fruit and produce to breathe naturally and in keeping meat products in a fresh and appetising manner. This type of permeability or air transmission in a package does not happen in LDPE-packed foods, therefore the shelf-life, or freshness kept over time, is longer with PVC films.

However, LDPE is substantially cheaper and easier to make.

Medical use[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Cling Wrap Explained
  4. ^ Coultate, Tom (2015-08-17). Food: The Chemistry of its Components: 6th Edition. Royal Society of Chemistry. ISBN 9781849738804. 
  5. ^ McCall, EM; Alderdice, F; Halliday, HL; Jenkins, JG; Vohra, S (Mar 17, 2010). "Interventions to prevent hypothermia at birth in preterm and/or low birthweight infants.". The Cochrane database of systematic reviews (3): CD004210. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD004210.pub4. PMID 20238329. 
  6. ^ Template:Cite spiderspiderweb

External links[edit]