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-   -   "Waxed" containers (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=889849)

Lumpy 02-10-2020 12:16 PM

"Waxed" containers
 
I know that once upon a time waterproofed cardboard food containers really were coated in actual paraffin; I remember being able to scrape excess wax off the cardboard with my fingernails. But at some point paraffin was replaced with some sort of plastic- it's especially obvious if you peel the laminated cardboard apart and are left with sheets of plastic for the outside and inside surfaces. Any idea when the food industry made the switch-over?

Jasmine 02-10-2020 12:23 PM

What's the difference between polyethylene and wax paper sheets?

This is a good article touching on your interests.

am77494 02-10-2020 01:15 PM

I think you are referring to the Gable Board Carton. It was patented in 1915 in the US and became popular in the 40s and 50s.

Cite : https://www.foodservicenews.net/Dece...e-Milk-Carton/

Quote:

In the 1930s the gable top carton was in wide circulation and really took off in the 1940s and ‘50s.

DPRK 02-10-2020 02:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by am77494 (Post 22130973)
I think you are referring to the Gable Board Carton. It was patented in 1915 in the US and became popular in the 40s and 50s.

Huh, so did Tetra Pak rip those guys' idea off? Or did the patent on plastic-coated paper simply expire?

thorny locust 02-10-2020 04:32 PM

Pretty sure the standard waxed produce boxes I get are still coated in paraffin. And yes, you can scrape it off with your fingernails.

Some people are trying to work out a soy-based version. I haven't seen those on the market yet, though.

GMANCANADA 02-10-2020 07:33 PM

@DPRK
Quote:

Huh, so did Tetra Pak rip those guys' idea off? Or did the patent on plastic-coated paper simply expire?
I'm assuming you're joking, but if you're not...

Tetrapaks are far more sophisticated than what the OP is talking about. They're a 6 layer lamination of paper, poly and aluminum.

The specially laminated packaging is also part of a completely aseptic packaging system that packages sterile contents into a sterile package in a completely sterile machine environment. That why things like milk or juice can last for over a year unrefrigerated.

I once worked in the juice business and my company sent our juice out to a co-packers to be tetra-packed. We supplied a lot of airlines and institutional food service like hospitals with juice boxes.

I led a project to evaluate buying a tetra packaging machine. At the time it was many millions of dollar because the process was so advanced. We couldn't justify the cost, it was cheaper to keep co-packing for our volumes.

DPRK 02-10-2020 07:51 PM

Forgive my ignorance... obviously, Tetra Pak has all that fancy aseptic stuff now. The question is, what were they using in the 1940s-1950s? Wikipedia cites the first aseptic Tetra Paks as released in 1961.

am77494 02-10-2020 08:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DPRK (Post 22131686)
. The question is, what were they using in the 1940s-1950s? Wikipedia cites the first aseptic Tetra Paks as released in 1961.

This website https://www.elopak.com/about/history/ has a good timeline and maybe similar to Tetra Pak.

It mentions the use of paraffin wax (a petroleum / coal derivative ) being used from the early days.

RealityChuck 02-10-2020 08:11 PM

When I was a kid in the 50s, milk cartons were wax-coated paperboard. By the 60s they had gone over to plastic-coated paperboard. I remember the change, but not the exact date. Cartons also changed their shape. The wax ones were cubical, with a plug sealing it. They changed to the roof- like top you see on milk cartons today.

The Tetra pack caught on in Europe far sooner than in the US. It wasn't until the 80s until they were common.


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