In 1982, Tylenol capsules were illegally contaminated and led the death of seven people, launching a nationwide determination to update packaging to better prevent unwanted tampering. In just one year, over-the-counter drug makers had spent nearly $200 million trying to meet tamper-proof standards set by the Food and Drug Administration.
More than three decades later, the tampering technology available to packaging and manufacturing companies is constantly evolving. Not only are today’s methods stylish and subtle, they are also impressively innovative.
The language “tamper evident” describes a requirement for nearly all food, beverage, pharmaceutical, and cosmetic items. Tamper evident technologies provide consumers with reassurance that a product has not been opened or manipulated during transport and time on the shelf.
Heat Shrink Bands
These tamper evident options are small pieces of plastic essentially shrink-wrapped over a packages opening, often with perforations to assist consumers in removing the shrink band before use. Heat shrink bands are very popular for dry and liquid items in bottles, like water or salad dressing.
Closures are an incredibly popular tamper evident tool that involves molding a tamper bead directly onto each bottle during production. Since the closure tears away as the consumer loosens the cap, it becomes very obvious when the product has been previously opened. Dairy, water, and juice products utilize closures the most.
Decorative labels have surged in popularity recently thanks to their simplicity and creative options. The labels adhere to a package’s lid and side to create a seal that must be broken in order to open the product. They have gained traction in the cosmetic industry recently as companies realize the potential for tamper evident tools to not just serve the necessary purpose but to actually contribute to the aesthetic appeal of the product.
Overall, tamper evident packaging tools are crucial for FDA requirements and consumer confidence. They can be achieved in a number of ways, but decorative labels are quickly becoming the most favored option.