Part 1: The History and Future of Food Packaging Technology

As populations grew and transportation capabilities expanded in human history, the food industry became a global network of growers, processors, storage facilities, distributors, and packagers. The worldwide reach of the food market actually dates back as far as the late 15th to mid-17th centuries. Merchant ships during this time brought exotic foods to Europe, even in the dead of winter. Lemons and other citrus fruits in season during the winter in warmer parts of the world were frequently featured as luxury imports on Northern European tables in Dutch still life paintings. For example, this Pieter Claez still life from 1643 (Minneapolis Institute of Art) showcases lemons and shellfish as exotic foods brought from other regions to Dutch ports. As food packaging technologies progressed through the Industrial Revolutions, the market became even more accessible globally. Today, Forpak equipment plays an important role in supporting the worldwide food industry. Our innovative food packaging designs improve production efficiency, limit downtime, and increase sanitation in any facility.

Food Packaging

Food packaging has come a long way since lemons were brought to Pieter Claez’s table, and it continues to advance as demand for more sustainable and biodegradable options grows. The future of food production will likely see an increase in automation, a decrease in single-use plastics, and even better sanitation to prevent spoiling and the spread of foodborne illnesses.

History of Food Packaging

A brief history of food packaging technologies can help us understand what materials helped propel our current packaging systems forward at different times.

Cloth and Pottery:

The use of cloth and pottery for storage are two of the oldest human inventions. Pottery sherds as old as 29,000 BCE have been found in the Czech Republic. Textile evidence dates back much further, but fabrics degrade over time, making them harder to categorize. Some of the oldest fabric-making tools are dated to at least 50,000 years ago.

Paper and Glass:

Both pottery and glass are also ancient storage systems. The first uses of paper date back as far as the 2nd century BCE in China, and the oldest use of glass vessels is thought to have occurred 3,600 years ago in Mesopotamia.


In the early 1700s, the first uses of tinplate storage systems were manufactured in England, France, and the Netherlands.


In 1809, French brewer and confectioner Nicolas Appert found that food cooked and sealed in a glass jar did not spoil. Around 50 years later, Louis Pasteur would discover why food protected from microbes was stable.


While paper had been used for centuries, the first use of corrugated paper/cardboard didn’t occur until around 1870. This was followed by the first invention of a folded paperboard box design for Quaker Oats cereal in 1880.

In the second part of this blog series, we’ll cover the development of plastics, barcode systems, and more throughout the history of food packaging.

To learn more about Forpak equipment, contact us today at (612) 419-1948 or You can also request more information online or request a quote to get started with us.

Use of Military Grade Steel in Aerospace and Defense Manufacturing

Industries like medical, aerospace, and defense are all highly regulated because they require extreme precision for the tools and devices they use. From operating rooms to flight decks, the parts and assemblies used in all these industries can directly impact people’s health and safety. In most cases, as well, full assemblies are expensive machines facing dangerous conditions. Better precision limits the risk of equipment damage while operating. For over 40 years, MultiSource Manufacturing LLC has worked with OEMs and other customers in the aerospace and defense industries to fabricate essential parts for cockpit instruments, flight deck video systems, cargo handling, space systems, rocketry, and more. There are many different materials used in aerospace and defense manufacturing, from specialized polymers like Teflon™ to military-grade steels. We work with trusted suppliers to source every type of material needed to build flight-critical components and other assemblies used in defense and aerospace operations.

Military Grade Steels

Military-grade steels are unique alloys of steel with specialized properties that make them more resistant to the hazardous conditions they face. Not only are military-grade steels used to protect against ballistics and in the fabrication of weaponry, but they are also used for space travel and research.

Steels Used in Defense and Aerospace

Abrasion-resistant (AR) and MIL steels are among the most commonly used steels in aerospace and defense manufacturing.

  • AR400: AR steels have high abrasion-resistant properties, making them much harder than other alloys. AR400 in particular, while still extremely durable, has a slightly lower hardness than other ARs. It has fair machining, good bending, and excellent welding properties.
  • AR500: As another abrasion-resistant steel, AR500 is also a durable and hard alloy. Its higher hardness compared to AR400 makes it suitable for high impact and heavy wear conditions. Even at lower temperatures, AR500 maintains its high resistance to corrosion and impact stress.
  • MIL-46100: MIL steels are also exceptionally hard alloys that are often used in armor plating and parts that will experience high impact scenarios. While hard, MIL-46100 still has good formability and weldability. It is lightweight and has extreme ballistic resistance.

Aerospace and Defense Manufacturing Materials

  • MIL-12560: Another armor plate steel used extensively in defense and aerospace manufacturing is MIL-12560. This steel has some of the highest ballistic resistance and can protect against explosives and other heavy impact shocks.
  • MIL-46177: For lighter-gauge armor plating, MIL-46177 is a reliable military steel alloy. It’s often used in thicknesses from ⅛” to ¼”. MIL-46177 plates are made to have good mechanical properties for tensile and yield strength.
  • A36: This steel has less than 0.3% carbon weight, making it easy to machine, weld, and form with. As a general manufacturing steel, A36 is a cost-effective material. It has a minimum yield strength of 36,000 pounds per square inch, making it a flexible and useful steel in the production of a wide range of defense and aerospace parts.


For more information about the military-grade steel and other materials we use in aerospace and defense manufacturing, contact MultiSource Manufacturing LLC today at (952) 456-5500. You can also request more information or request a quote to get started with us.