This technical brief is intended to advise small-scale producers on the methods and equipment
needed to package foods in glass jars and bottles. For a more detailed account of the types of
foods that can be packaged in glass, the properties of glass containers, label design and
production and the economic implications of introducing glass packaging the reader is advised
to consult 'Appropriate Food Packaging' by P J Fellows and B L Axtell, ILO Technical
Memorandum, Published by TOOL Publications, Sarphatistraat 650, 1018 AV Amsterdam, The
Netherlands, 1993 (ISBN 90 70857 28 6).
General outline of procedures
Inspection and preparation of containers
All incoming glass containers must be inspected for cracks, chips and small bubbles in the
glass. New jars and bottles should be rinsed in clean water, chlorinated if necessary by
adding 2-3 drops of household bleach per litre of water.
Second hand bottles must be thoroughly inspected, both by looking for chips etc and also by
smelling the containers to make sure that they have not been used for storing kerosene or
Process summary
New jars Reused jars
or bottles or bottles
Rinse Wash
Sterilise ~ For hot filling and cold filling
Fill ~ Liquid fillers or solids fillers
Seal ~ Caps for bottles, lids for jars
Process ~ Some products are heat processed
Label ~ Glued paper or self-adhesive labels
Collate into shipping container ~ Cardboard boxes, shrinkwrap or stretchwrap films