It’s finally summertime! Although we all want to bask in the sunshine, it’s important to remember that your product may need extra protection from the sun. In this post, we'll discuss the impact harmful sun rays can have on products and what packaging options best protect products that are susceptible to damage from the sun.
What is UV Light?
Ultraviolet (UV) light is a type of electromagnetic radiation that comes from the sun. It is the reason people get suntans, but also the reason people get sunburns. Just as too much exposure damages living tissue, UV light has a harmful effect on many products as well. UV radiation has enough energy to break chemical bonds, which can be detrimental to many types of products. Below, we list some examples of products that are sensitive to UV light and what packaging measures can be taken to protect them.
Some beverage products can be sensitive to UV light, particularly if they contain vitamins, are artificially colored, or contain flavoring. For these beverages, exposure to light causes photo-oxidative degradation, which adversely affects the taste, odor, and/or color of the product. This can shorten the shelf life and leave a negative impression on the consumer.
Many beverages, like juices and enriched waters, are already commonly packaged in PET bottles. A UV barrier can be built into a PET bottle during the manufacturing process, providing an easy and effective way to protect these products.
Years ago, it was common practice for apothecaries and pharmacies to store most items in amber glass vials. This is because amber glass completely blocks UV light, thus protecting the contents stored inside. In addition to blocking nearly all UV light, amber glass is also completely inert, meaning it won’t break down or leak chemicals into its contents.
Amber glass continues to be the best choice for packaging essential oils. When photo-oxidation occurs with essential oils, it can alter their scent, which is critical to the product.
The use of amber glass is still prevalent with some pharmaceuticals, however, nowadays many pharmaceuticals are stored in amber plastic bottles, which can also block most-to-all UV light.
For more information on amber glass bottle packaging, read our blog on 3 Safety and Freshness Advantages of Using Amber Glass Bottles.
Beverages and health products aren’t the only products that are affected by UV rays. If you're using flexible packaging or tube packaging for a product that is sensitive to UV light, you can incorporate a barrier material to block the harmful UV rays. This will also help to extend the freshness and shelf life of many products.
MJS Packaging Solutions
Not sure which UV-safe packaging is right for your product? Contact us online or call us at (800) 915-2262 to find the right packaging solution for your business.