What paper is used for food packaging?

What paper is used for food packaging?
Authored By Eva


One important thing to consider when looking at various packaging for your food products is the type of material. Paper has been used for food packaging applications for centuries. It comes in various forms and shapes and is mostly used for 'take away' applications at the point of sale. It helps wrap food products to keep them fresh and enable safe handling.

However, paper comes in a range of shapes and sizes. Virgin paper is made from freshly processed raw wood pulp, whereas recycled paper is made from recycled virgin paper. Paper can also be classified as fine or coarse based on its smoothness.

Furthermore, paper bags come in various shapes and sizes, including satchel bags, strip window bags, self-opening satchels, and so on. According to the Food Safety and Standards Administration, virgin-grade paper is the safest packaging paper, especially where there's direct contact between the food and packaging.

Paper for food packaging can also be categorized according to the pulp or paper treatment used. Here is a look:


Kraft paper


Kraft paper is a coarse and sturdy type of paper created by combining unbleached pulp paper with sodium sulfate. It is available in three grades, with grade 1 consisting of pure unbleached sulfate pulp and grade 2 consisting of sulfate pulp and various agricultural wastes.

Non-virgin kraft paper grade 3 is created from 100% waste paper or a blend of waste paper and agricultural waste.


Greaseproof paper


Greaseproof paper is more resistant to oil and grease. It is constructed of materials like water hyacinth and banana pulp fiber. Greaseproof paper is mostly used for packaging butter and various fat-containing foods.


Glassine paper


Glassine paper is an improved variant of greaseproof paper that has undergone extensive hydration to have a transparent, compact sheet with a flawless, glassy surface. It is used to wrap baked products, biscuits, and cooking fat.

It is used as a release liner in baked and meat items to separate individual food products.


Wax impregnated


Wax paper, as the name implies, is any paper coated with wax to strengthen its impermeability to liquids and gases. The wax content directly relates to how much of a barrier there is to gas and liquid flow. It is used in packaging dairy products, bread, biscuits, sandwiches, cakes, sunflower oil, and morning cereals. Fruit juices are also often distributed and consumed in waxed paper containers.


Vegetable parchment paper


The process of producing vegetable parchment paper was invented in the nineteenth century. It's a tougher and more durable parchment paper manufactured by acid-treating chemical pulp, then washing and drying it to make it oil-resistant and devoid of off-flavors. To achieve different results, numerous finishing processes are applied.

Due to its wet strength and grease resistance, this type of paper is commonly used as a film between slices of meat or pastry.

It easily comes off the food surface. It's also used to make inserts and labels for products that contain a lot of oil or grease.


Sulfite paper


Sulfite paper is lighter in weight and weaker than kraft paper. It is usually glazed to enhance its look, wet strength, and oil resistance. In some cases, it's also laminated with plastic or aluminum foil for improved performance. Sulfite paper is used to make little bags or bindings for packing bakery and confectionery products.


Corrugated board


Corrugated boards are constructed from two layers of kraft paper with a core of the corrugated fluting paper. Because of their resistance to shock and crushing damage, they are commonly used for transporting bulk food products.


Food wrapping paper based on application.


Apart from the type of paper, food wrapping paper can also be classified by application as follows:

  • Butcher paper:  A popular material among butchers, fishmongers, and even craftsmen.
  • Sandwich wrap paper A type of paper used to wrap pastries.
  • Freezer paper: Low-density polyethylene is used to wrap and store fresh cheese, fish, and poultry, as well as store-bought deli items.
  • Cheese paper: A type of paper used to protect the cheese from contamination or dehydration.




Virgin-grade paper is the safest food packaging paper. It is available in various classes based on the treatments performed and the intended use. Keep in mind the food product and the paper’s durability when selecting paper packaging materials.