Plastics Packaging and Shelf Life

April 27-28, 2017    •   Chicago, IL USA

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What is the effect on shelf life if you change your package dimensions? What if the polymer is changed? Finding the best answers to these questions may be critical to the financial success of your product.

Packaging choices are too important to leave to trial and error or intuition. This short course will help you make informed choices when it comes to plastics packaging and the basic principles behind polymer selection, deteriorative reactions in foods and shelf life.

In this preview video, Dr. Gordon Robertson describes how we will help you make the connections between food chemistry, packaging design and polymer science. You will be able to identify key packaging decision-making processes and reframe challenges to support successful food packaging decisions. There will also be an opportunity to discuss your own real-life plastics packaging and shelf life challenges.

Course topics include:

  • Functions and Environments of packaging
  • Structure and related properties of plastic polymers
  • Biobased/biodegradable food packaging materials
  • Processing and converting of thermoplastic polymers
  • Permeability of thermoplastic polymers
  • Deteriorative reactions in foods
  • Shelf life of foods

Your registration includes a hardcover copy of Food Packaging: Principles & Practice (3rd edition) breakfast, lunch, snacks, evening reception, wireless internet access, and certificate of course completion.  You are encouraged to bring a highlighter and a scientific calculator or appropriate app for a smart phone.

Agenda (PDF)

Instructor Biography (PDF)

Intended Audience and Level:

Intermediate/Advanced for professionals in the following roles:

  • Packaging Engineering
  • Packaging Procurement
  • Quality Assurance/Control
  • Product Development
  • Research & Development
  • Academics Teaching Food Packaging

What previous attendees say:

Extremely knowledgeable.  Had great stories to share of which related to the topics of discussion. He answered all of my questions. Well worth the trip.

A very knowledgeable expert in the area of food packaging. I very much enjoyed his real life examples that made it much easier to understand the concepts.

I have been out of college for 8 years now and technology has improved/changed since then. Day 1 was a terrific refresh and day 2 dug into the technical attributes/characteristics. It is difficult to find a course which is not sponsored by a plastics supplier and part of the seminar becomes a sales pitch. I was fortunate to have my colleagues from different departments attend the seminar as well and they learned a great deal. The team overall is new to the packaging realm, so this was VERY beneficial for them to sit in a class explaining the basics of plastics. I appreciated how he incorporated new structures into the class as Amy's is interested in learning about the latest technologies and how they could apply to Amy's products. He was very thorough and provided great real life examples of application. I would recommend his class to those looking for a refresh as well as those new to the industry who are looking to acquire knowledge.
Nancy Battaglini, Corporate Packaging Engineer, Amy's Kitchen

Registration Rates and Policies:

IFT Members: $730; Non-members: $895; IFT Student Members: $325

Cancellation Policy
You will receive a full refund, less $100.00, if you cancel your registration(s) on or before March 3, 2017 by contacting Clare Keesey at or 312.604.0254. No refunds after that date.

Substitution Policy
If you registered but are unable to attend, please contact Clare Keesey at or 312.604.0254 with the name and contact information of your replacement. Note that an additional fee may apply if the replacement's membership status differs from yours. 

Event Cancellation
In the event of course cancellation, IFT is not responsible for attendee reimbursement of travel, lodging, or any other costs associated with this course beyond refunding the full registration fee.

Course Location

IFT Headquarters
525 W. Van Buren Street, Suite 1000
Chicago, IL 60607-3830

Recommended Hotels

Palmer House
17 E Monroe St
Chicago, Il 60603

Hyatt Place Chicago/Downtown – The Loop
28 N Franklin Street
Chicago, IL 60606

Hyatt Centric
100 W. Monroe St.
Chicago, IL 60603

Residence Inn Loop
11 S. LaSalle St.
Chicago, IL 60603

JW Marriott
151 W. Adams St.
Chicago, IL 60603

Crowne Plaza
733 W. Madison
Chicago, IL 60661

Continuing Education Hours: 11.5

Individuals holding these credentials will earn 11.5 hours* for completion of this course: Certified Food Scientists; Registered Dietitians; Dietetic Technicians; Certified Research Chefs; Certified Culinary Scientists.

*Subject to change plus or minus one hour based on final agenda.

Explore the Course Agenda…


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