Food packaging draws on disciplines like chemistry, microbiology, food science and engineering. About 25% of the ex-factory cost is for packaging and thus provides the challenge for food packaging technologists to design and develop functional packages at low cost. Today packaging is pervasive and essential. It surrounds, enhances and protects the goods from processing and manufacturing through handing and storage to final consumption without packing, materials would be messy and modern consumer marketing would not be possible. The inter disciplinary nature of food packaging needs to be understood for some it is best but for most it is waste of resources and environmental menace. Packaging is an industrial and marketing technique for airing, protecting, identifying and facilitating the sale and distribution of agricultural, industrial and consumer products. The Packaging Institute International defines packaging as the enclosure of products items or packages in a wrapped pouch, big-box, cup, tray, can, tube, bottle or other container to protect & preserve. UK Institute of packaging defines packaging as
1. A coordinated system of preparing foods for transport, distribution, storage, retailing and end use.
2. A means of ensuring safe delivery to the ultimate consumer in sound condition at minimum cost.
3. A techno-economic function aimed at minimizing costs of delivery while maximinsing sales (and hence profits)
Primary packaging is one which is in direct contact with contained product. It provides the initial and usually the major protective barrier e.g. metal cans, plastic pouches, glass bottles.
Secondary contains a no. of primary packages e.g. a corrugated case. It is the physical distribution carrier. Terliary package is made up of number of secondary packages, e.g. stretch wrapped pallet.
Change of food packaging materials: Food packaging materials play a primary role in protecting the contents from ultra violet rays, germs