How to test the easiness to open packages?

Raija-Liisa Heiniö, Tita Ström, Terhen Järvi-Kääriäinen, Margareetta Ollila

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference article in proceedingsScientific


    Several characteristics of packages are nowadays very good, including their safety aspects. However, opening of packages may be a challenge to many of us, but especially to consumers with reduced hand function, such as rheumatic or elderly people or children. Hence, it's relevant to question and define "What makes a package easy to open, and how can that be tested?" Consumers with reduced hand function have physical restrictions in opening packages. Forbidden physical paths include key pinch grip, use of power, and twisting or rotation of wrist. Physical paths to be avoided include pulling, lifting or pushing by using power. In the Nordic 'Easyopenpack' -project (Scientific background for the basis of an international standard for easy-to-open packages, 2006-2008) financed by NICe (Nordic Innovation Center, Report No. NT614) the critical factors influencing the easiness to open packages were determined. Laddering technique was used in generating the attributes for testing the easiness to open packages. The descriptive profiling method for evaluating the easiness to open packages established in the Easyopenpack project was developed further by VTT. The method was validated, the sensory panel was trained, and the approval criteria for the sensory attributes were set. The Finnish Rheumatism Association recognises the label 'Easy to open' for packages based on the validated sensory profiling method (VTT-5631-09). The most critical attributes for evaluating the easiness to open the packages were defined to be visibility, clarity, getting the grip and keeping the grip in the opening mechanism, strength needed to open, breakage of the opening mechanism, keeping the grip from the package, breakage of the package, and product staying inside the package. This descriptive profiling method is suitable for evaluating the easiness to open packages for recognising the 'Easy to open' label, as well as in product development while designing novel, easy to open packages.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 17th IAPRI World Conference on Packaging
    PublisherScientific Research Publishing
    ISBN (Print)978-1-935068-36-5
    Publication statusPublished - 2010
    MoE publication typeB3 Non-refereed article in conference proceedings
    Event17th IAPRI World Conference on Packaging - Tianjin, China
    Duration: 12 Oct 201015 Oct 2010


    Conference17th IAPRI World Conference on Packaging


    • Easy to open
    • consumer package
    • test method
    • descriptive profiling method
    • sensory evaluation


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