No odour or taste, please

Marjatta Punkka
Marjatta Punkka

When you choose food from the shelves of a grocery store, you probably pay attention not only to the food, but also to the packaging and its appearance and attractiveness. Even so, few of us spare a thought to whether the packaging material is safe – we tend to take that for granted.

Consumers’ trust in the production chain of food is high, particularly in Finland and in the other Nordic countries. This trust, though, is easy to lose. This is why only highly reliable partners are good enough for the production chains of global brands.

Good packaging protects both the product and the consumer, and as a packaging material, fresh fibre paperboard has an advantage. Paperboard made from fresh fibre is safe to use in packaging for foodstuffs and in food service. It does not pass on any flavour, odour or harmful substances to the food.

The safety of Metsä Board’s paperboards is ensured at every stage of the production chain. As part of Metsä Group, we have a unique role to play in this: the raw material chain is in our own hands, from the forest to the finished paperboard. All work phases in the production affect the purity and safety of paperboard. Therefore, hygienic paperboard can only be made from pure pulp.

The requirements set for materials that come into contact with food are as strict as those imposed on the food itself. This is why Metsä Board’s paperboard mills comply with the same strict product safety requirements as our customers’ mills and the food industry. All of our mills have food safety levels in line with ISO 22000 standard and FSSC 22000 food safety management system has been introduced to most of our paperboard mills.

In addition to strict process control, the quality of paperboards is monitored with the help of sensory tests. Chocolate is a particularly demanding product to package, since it easily picks up extraneous flavours. This is also why it is such a good indicator of the purity of the packaging material. Metsä Board’s taste panels test more than 120 kilos of chocolate every year!

Different parts of the world emphasise slightly different aspects of product safety. The requirements also change on a continuous basis. Our products are tested according to the requirements of different market areas, and our team of experts keeps a close eye on any changes in legislation and signals received from the market. We don’t just meet the set requirements, we aim to exceed them.

Our mills and expert teams are tasked with ensuring that we can guarantee our customers a safe product that meets the requirements everywhere in the world. We can be proud of our work and our high-quality packaging material, which is worthy of our customers’ trust. The safety and reliability of Metsä Board’s products is the result of multifaceted work that is invisible to consumers: no odour or taste, just like our products.


Marjatta Punkka
Manager, Product Safety,
Metsä Board
Marjatta works as a Product Safety Manager at Metsä Board. She has previously worked in the food industry as well as packaging and printed products industry, which has allowed her to follow the development of the requirements applicable to product hygiene in packaging chain.

Related blogs