Have you ever noticed that some of your products are packaged in tinted glass bottles instead of clear glass bottles? Well, there is a reason for that!
Tinted glass bottles, such as amber, cobalt blue or green glass bottles, are used for light-sensitive products. This refers to products that are prone to damage or quality loss if exposed to light in a prolonged period of time. This can include food items, beverages, pharmaceuticals, cosmetic and skin products as well. If you look closely at your labels, you might notice that there are specific instructions on how to store your products. These instructions would usually advise the consumer to store their products in a “cool and dry environment, away from direct sunlight”. Sunlight is composed of ultraviolet lights (UVA, UVB and UVC) and this UV light can actually alter the composition, texture and taste of certain products. Hence, why tinted glass bottles/containers are used.
But how do tinted glass bottles make a difference? Well, this is where your middle/secondary school science class comes in handy. Colour is merely a reflection of the light and specific colours absorb more light than others. If you remember your electromagnetic spectrum, there is a narrow index of light that we, as humans, can perceive aptly named as “visible light”. Within that visible light, there are an array of colours, distributed based on their wavelengths. The colour of the glass bottle/container tells you what type/kind of light is allowed to be passed through. For example: blue glass allows blue light through, red glass allows red light through and so on. Light can alter food products and beverages and contribute to deterioration, discolouration and spoilage. Albeit, not all foods, drinks and goods are light-sensitive. Only a few are, but it is important to note which ones are light-sensitive to preserve your goods. Examples of products that are light-sensitive includes: meat, oils, fats, beer, milk, wine, cosmetics, skincare items and pharmaceuticals.
So, we know that clear glass bottles allow UV light through while tinted glass aids to filter those damaging rays. Now, the question becomes: which one to choose? There are so many on the market to choose from: amber, cobalt blue and green. Fret not, we have provided you with a little description for each glass type.
Amber glass is perhaps the most protective glass type on the market as it provides protection from most light wavelengths under 450nanometers. This includes UVA, UVB and UVC (the most dangerous of them all). With the ability to do it, amber glass prevents photochemical reactions from occuring. The mentioned reaction causes a significant change in a product’s chemical properties and alters the product from its original state. The same reaction can cause photodegradation to occur, which is a reaction that removes essential vitamins and nutrients from food items, ultimately adjusting taste, texture and composition. Amber glass is frequently used in pharmaceuticals, cosmetic and skincare products because of this property, in addition to being cost-effective. It is the best choice for optimum protection against UV light.
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Cobalt Blue Glass
Cobalt blue is an absolutely striking colour. It is definitely something that grabs the attention and eye of the customer hence why some businesses and companies may use it as their packaging. It is a bold colour on the shelves and very difficult to go unnoticed. Unfortunately, cobalt blue glass is not the best candidate for light-sensitive products. Although it does filter out UV light, it does not do the greatest job at filtering out all the UV light. Hence, making it a safe option but not the best.
Green glass is commonly used in the beverage category. You may notice that beer bottles, malted drinks and fermented drinks (such as kombucha) come in green glass bottles. Green glass is able to filter out UV light but, similarly to cobalt blue glass, it does not entirely filter out UV light. It provides minimal protection against UV light. Therefore, green glass bottles/containers are used for products or items that are mildly light-sensitive.
Finally, we have a better understanding about the differences between types of tinted glass and why they are significant. Now, it’s just a matter of picking out whichever one best suits your needs. Remember to always pay attention to your products. It would be a shame for your products to lose their quality or be damaged all because of a packaging error. Therefore, take into consideration what you are using to package your products/goods in. Don’t know where to start looking? We got you covered! Take a closer look at our glass bottles and containers at Jargeous! We have an entire range of amber glass bottles for every need!
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Written by @DrFatinDaud
Dr Fatin Najwa binti Daud is a junior doctor, content creator and copywriter residing in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. She previously worked in marketing, specifically digital marketing, and business development. Dr Fatin is highly passionate about medicine and education. Her other interests include activism, humanitarian work, fashion and sports. You can find Dr Fatin Daud on LinkedIn.