Food packaging lies at the very heart of the modern food industry throughout the world. The packaging is used to protect the food from external influences, alterations, contamination and adulteration. The main purposes of food packaging are protection, preservation and providing information such as best-before date (expiring date), manufacturing date, batch number and nutrition facts. In addition, food package also mentions about the ingredients used in the preparation of the product packed inside along with its MRP. Health authorities typically describe the packaging as the container meant to ensure the preservation, transportation and handling of food products. Thus good packaging prevents waste and ensures that the food retains its desired quality throughout its shelf life.
Thus, the package serves in most cases as a vehicle by which the brand of the product is carried through to the consumers. And consumers willingly pay more just to get the special package. In modern self-service stores, with the mass display, well-designed packages attract attention, and through silent sales, talk increase the sales volume. Food packaging itself is a device of sales promotion.
Role of Scientific Packaging in Growth of Food Packaging Industry
Food Packaging has become the most important integrated segment of the food processing industry. The processing and packaging industries transform the food from one stage to another by using different types of techniques and methods. Hence, it must be driven by health and hygienic factors, food safety, quality, fresh-tasting and balanced nutrients. Besides these, it must include toxin removal, marketing and distribution, maintenance of taste, year-round availability and long shelf life.
The food packaging industry is growing due to the recent advances in the food packaging sector, which include advancement of packaging materials, active packaging, intelligent packaging, smart packaging, non-destructive inspection methods, printing techniques, applications of robotics and machinery, automation, software systems, and many more:
Role of Packaging Material Advancement in Growth of Industry
The advancement in packaging material plays an important role in food industry development as packaging materials are selected based on the specific type of food. For example, oxygen-sensitive foods require packaging with some barriers which prevents the spoilage caused by oxidation. The use of green plastics in food packaging, which are biodegradable and environment-friendly, is increasing to protect our environment.
Role of Active and Intelligent Food Packaging
Active and intelligent food packaging has widened the scope of food packaging industry growth globally. It plays a key role in the preservation of food as it allows the package to interact with the food and the environment. These advancements lower the oxidation, control the rate of respiration, arrest the microbial growth and eliminate the moisture migration. Active packaging technology includes carbon dioxide absorbers or emitters, odour absorbers, ethylene removers and aroma emitters.
Role of Oxygen Scavengers in Growth of Packaging Industry
The presence of oxygen inside the food package can accelerate oxidative reactions which may cause food deterioration. Oxygen facilitates the growth of aerobic bacteria and moulds which may lead to the generation of off-flavour, off-odour, and reduce nutritional quality. For this reason, oxygen scavenger is used to eliminate the oxygen from the food package and to prevent undesirable changes.
Role of Moisture Control in Growth of Packaging Industry
The presence of excess moisture inside the food package is detrimental to food quality, as it may cause caking in case of powdered food products, softening of crispy foods. That’s why, moisture control agents are used in packaging to control the water activity, reduce microbial growth, remove unfrozen water in frozen foods, prevent condensation from fresh produce, and retard the rate of lipid oxidation. For this purpose different types of moisture control agents are used, such as desiccants like silica gel, natural clays, and calcium oxide in meat, poultry, fruits, and vegetable packaging.
Role of Temperature Control in Growth of Packaging Industry
Self-Heating for temperature control in packaging uses magnesium oxide or calcium oxide and water to carry out the exothermic reaction. It can be used for plastic coffee cans, military rations, etc. Whereas the self-cooling packaging involves the evaporation of external compounds that eliminates the heat from the packaged contents.
Role of Robotic in Growth of Packaging Industry
Different machines are used in the food packaging industry for different types of foods. These automatic machines are cartooning, wrapping, labelling, shrinking, sealing, case and tray forming, capping, cooling and drying, feeding, palletising, picking and placing (robotic system), cleaning and sterilising along with the inspection and detection, etc. The robotic system can be used for packaging of more than one production lines and multiple food product types at a time at a faster rate and also they fulfil the hygienic requirements as well.
Role of Automated Inspection in Growth of Packaging Industry
Automated inspection plays a very important role in the packaging industry, as it is not only going to reduce the cost of labor but also leads to higher productivity. Mainly x-ray based and multispectral inspection is used in food packaging to make the product more authentic. The difference in absorption of the x-ray is caused due to the difference in density and thickness of packaged food. Further, imaging techniques are also being used.
Role of Software (IT) Applications in Growth of
The application of Software technology in food packaging has played a very significant role in the development of the food industry. Many of the food packaging industries are using six sigma and lean methods to keep the track of their performances. It is an IT solution to support the production processes in the food packaging industry. It can support the internal supply chain management, production process, real-time automation and control, data collection as well as reporting.
Expected Food Packaging Market Growth to $456.6 billion by 202
The global food packaging market size was at USD 303.26 billion in 2019 which is expected to grow to USD 456.6 billion by 2027, expanding at a CAGR of 5.2% over the forecast period, according to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc. Growing demand for convenience food products due to change in lifestyle and alternative eating habits is expected to bolster the market growth. Other factors of market growth are:
- The food packaging industry shows rapid growth for single-serve and portable food packs.
- Increasing the purchasing power of consumers owing to rising per capita income is expected to boost the growth of the food packaging industry in the coming five years.
- Increasing urban population and attraction toward ready-to-eat (RTE) meals by consumers are also expected to incite the demand for scientific packaging in the food industry.
- Rising concerns of consumers regarding contamination and food safety are predicted to bolster the demand for effective scientific and advanced packaging solutions.
- The increasing number of retail chains is anticipated to push sales of packaged food, which will drive the market growth.
- Increase in demand for food delivery services is also expected to have a positive impact on the food packaging industry.
Driven by customers demand, Grace Food Processing & Packaging Machinery has developed varied packaging machines and other equipment based on latest technologies for snacks food industries and supply and export in 30 countries in 5 continents including the USA.