Innovations in Food Cans

The top priority of food can makers and can lining companies is to provide safe, quality containers that protect freshness, taste and nutrition. The industry also recognizes its responsibility to protect the environment, listen to consumers and innovate.

Food Cans: Food cans provide safe and affordable food that is convenient and readily available. Canned foods play a key role in helping families achieve healthy diets amid busy schedules and household budgets. Food cans are infinitely recyclable and canned food helps curb food waste.

Can Linings: Can linings protect the integrity of the can, prevent corrosion and provide the highest quality barrier to bacteria, while maintaining quality, flavor and freshness.

In response to consumer preferences, the industry spent years actively developing and testing next-generation can linings. Today, more than 95 percent of food can production has moved to these new linings.

Next-Generation Linings:

  • New linings are different from their predecessors in that they do not use bisphenol A (BPA) as a component of the can lining.
  • They are typically made from acrylic, polyester, non-BPA epoxies or olefin polymers.
  • Recognizing concerns about potential endocrine activity in linings materials, next-generation linings are formulated from materials that have never been suspected to have endocrine activity.

Development of Safe and Effective Can Linings: Hundreds of materials are screened for beneficial properties before being selected to compete for inclusion in can lining prototypes. Only a fraction of the best performers become part of next-generation linings that are proven safe and effective and approved by regulatory authorities.

Innovation in Can Linings:

The development of can linings has always had a strong focus on consumer safety.

Next-generation linings are formulated from materials that have never been suspected to have endocrine activity.

The industry is not substituting alternative bisphenols in non-BPA can linings. While other bisphenols, such as BPF, BPB, and BPS, have been mentioned as BPA substitutes, these compounds have either never been used as a component of can linings or are not being used today. 

Food Safety:

Can linings are selected to serve as strong barriers, which helps prevent foodborne illness.

  • The multiyear development process of can linings is deliberately intensive to ensure all next-generation linings continue the safety record of canned foods.
  • There has not been a single report of foodborne illness from the failure of metal packaging in more than 40 years.

Six characteristics of linings performance are tested to inform a comprehensive assessment:

  1. Compatibility with Package – adheres to metal
  2. Application – can be applied consistently to metal
  3. Fabrication – durability during can-making process
  4. Corrosion Resistance – prevents interaction of acidic foods with metal
  5. Organoleptic Properties – does not impart taste or scent to food
  6. Universality – effectiveness with multiple food types

Media Coverage

The List "What everyone gets wrong about canned foods"

Food Dive “The Evolution of Food Cans: An Innovation Journey”

Packaging Digest “Most Food Cans No Longer Use BPA in Their Linings”

Packaging Strategies “Seeing Is Believing: A Farm Can Tour”

Farm to Can Tour (Lifestyle bloggers canned food tour experience)

Other Resources

Canned Food Market Basket Report - Nearly 100% of food cans did not contain BPA as a component of the lining, confirming the industry’s move to the use of new linings in food cans.

Contact Information

For more information about innovation in cans and can linings, contact us.