A packet of biscuit along with the evening tea, isn’t that just what you need while at work? And how we tear apart that one small packet of the popular glucose biscuit, and five different people dig into our coffee/tea mugs, with the crispy bites. But do we know how important that plastic sheet is, which has wrapped our favourite biscuit before we tore it apart cruelly!
India, on an estimate produces 300 million tonnes of food articles; food that contains grains, cereals, pulses, fruits and vegetables, and meat products. For this huge industry, packaging and distribution plays a key role. The packaging lines generally occupies 50% of the food floor space while the packaging and the related areas engage about 60% of the 5 million labour force concerned with the food industry.
Packaging based on food items
- Jaggery and other types of gur are packed in mat baskets and leaves are difficult to pack. This requires hygienic and economical packaging, for both storage and distribution, especially in regions where the RH exceeds 86%
- About 30% of total production of fresh fruits and vegetables are transported in bulk packs of jute or hessian and baskets for marketing. Only less than 0.1% is pre-packaged, and efforts are being made to market more in this form, and it is likely to increase 30 folds requiring large quantities of polyethene based films and corrugated fibre board boxes.
- In the packaging pattern of liquid milk, a large increase in the volume of the packed milk is expected although self-vending machines are likely to be introduced due to effectiveness. Sterilized milk packed in tetrahedral and brick type aseptic packs are likely to find greater use especially in big towns and cities.
- With respect to bakery goods, almost all types of biscuits are either bulk packed or consumer packed, but only 30% if bread and bun are packed.
Packaging has gone through a revolution in recent years. Items are being identified for innovative packaging, making it attractive to the customers. Packaging of food stuff require high degree of protection. Besides other aspects, it should prevent spoilage, provide shelf life, retain its flavour, colour, texture, and nutritional value.
**The above article has been extracted from: Profile on Food Packaging, from Ministry of Food Processing Industries (Govt Of India), Central Food Technological Research institute (Mysore), Indian Institute of Packaging (Bombay)