THE ROLE OF PACKAGING IN FOOD PROCESSING
The role of packaging in food processing is just one among many ways of food preservation. As soon as food is packaged, it is set for shipment and marketing. For many food technologists to embark on food packaging, the food technologist must have food knowledge of the technology, materials, labour equipments, capital, research, engineering and management involved in any such food processing establishment. The package purposely protects the product from environmental hazards throughout the period of shelf life (Schoeld and Joseph, 1992). Packaging plays the important role of a catalyst between the consumer and the product. Products reach and popularity is determined by its entire look and feel. With meterial business booming, the packaging industry too has been catapulted to greater heights with constant changes. Even our traditional food industry expects packaging to perform magic and propel its cuisines on the worlds best selling items list. (Boyd and Haper, 1990). Consumers today are also looking for balance between cost and convenience. And the mass production of small sachets seems to be at the forefront in this metail boom. With higher output, reliability of operation and flexibility of size in demand, effective secondary packaging was become important to support. Which is why multi track machines comprising of 10 tracks with outputs of around 500 machines require skilled manpower, proper quality packaging material and suitable post packaging methods? Double and triple head machines too are easier to handle and offer flexibility for smaller batch sizes. (Griffin and Sacharow, 1990). For meeting with the requirements of increasing shelf – life the industry has seen an entry of various machinery like the Aseptic pouch packing systems, Retort packing systems and Modified Atmosphere Packing System (MAP).
In Aseptic Poch Packing System, a sterile product (eg. UHT Milk) is packed without the danger of contamination making its increasing shelf span without any needs of a “cool chain” for distribution and storage. This system can make liquid milk available in deficit areas like the North East India States. While in Retort Packing, a product is filled in a retort package and is subjected to post packing sterilization in a retort or autoclave. (Doyle and Mona, 1996). This is mainly the thermal process and helps in achieving sterility and long shelf life stability. Retort packages can be distributed and stored at room temperature. Pick fill seal machines using pre-made retort rouches are the biggest beneficiaries of this technology. Both the above packaging machinery requires careful selection of processing method and material in order to achieve the desired results. Of later, commonly sought grocery commodities like sugar, rice, salt, spices are increasingly being projected as brands to all track customers. (Carthy Jerome and Williams 1996).
Furthermore, among the groups of packaged, consumer items, food ranks was the highest and thus an entire industry can be instituted purposely for food packaging. As the world is fast advancing technologist must have the knowledge of packaging principles and practices as their meet specific requirements of food in order to retain it’s quality through processing, storage and distribution. And to specify what demands the food imposes on the package. Though it’s the sole of responsibilities of the packaging specialist to design and manufacture packages. (Mehegan and Sean, 1996) However, in as much as the package physically of the protects and maintains the quality of the product, appeals and attracts the consumer, it should be within an average economic cost. (Mehegan and Sean, 1996).
1.1 BACKGROUND IN PACKAGING OF FOOD
Before World War II packaging was used primarily to surrender and protect products during storage, transportation and distribution. Some packages where designed with esthetic appeal and even for ease of use by the end of the consumer, but package design was typically left to technicians. Since the beginning of the industrial revolution in the mid – 18005, they build it and com maximum had prevailed. After World War II companies become more interested in marketing and promotion as a means of enticing customers to purchase their products. (Rosette, 1992). As a result of more manufactures begans to vicro packaging as a way to lure buyers. During mid 1900s, several influence contributed to turn packaging into an integral part of the most companies marketing mix. Consumers become better educated, wealth and expectations generally increased, consequently consumer began to rely much more heavily on manufactured good and processed foods items. New technologist related to production, distribution and preservatives lead to a massive proliferation in the number and type of products and brand available in the industrialized. (Stern, Waltter and Willy, 1981)
Thus packaging become vital means of differentiating items and informing consumers. The importance of consumer packaging was elevated in the United States, during the late 197s, and 1980S. Rapid economic expansion and marked growth warned during the period of forcing consumer to focus increasingly on luring consumer to their product brand at the expanse of the competition. Packaging design become a marketing science. And as a new corporate cost consciousness developed in response to the increased competitive companies began to alter packaging techniques as a way to cut production, storage and distribution expenses. (Crift and Scharow, 1972).
Furthermore, marketers began to view packaging as a tool to exploit existing product lines by adding new items and pump new life into maturing product. Today in different parts of the world, due to the fast advancement in science and technology, the role of packaging in wood processing, packaging some foods naturally have efficient primary containers, for example, nut, oranges, eggs etc. Such foods need to be packaged with only secondary outer box, wrap or drum to hold the units together and gives gross protection. Other foods like milk powder, dried eggs and fruits concentrates often will b filled into primary containers such as plastic lines which are then packaged within protective cartors or drums. (Ugwnanyi, 7998).
1.2. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEMS OF PACKAGING
Since the role of packaging in food processing in Nigeria is the Joy of a food scientist or food technologist in food packaging and can only be complete after introducing a new package, the food technologist or food scientist must cover the following:
i. Material specification.
ii. Product compatibility.
iv. Marketing consideration (Ugwuanyi, 1998)
Then after getting all these, it is left for the industries best interest to produce safe food and reach
It to consumers in a manner where its safety is not compromised. To ensure this, the following must be known.
(1) Cause of food borne diseases, (where the risk in the production chain are the greatest). And the how’s protecting the consumer from them.
(2) Production and packaging methods to ensure food safety for longer periods of time.
(3) Distribution and storage of food in the supply chain. (Doyle and Mona, 1996).
Another problem is that in the world today, we found out some series of investigation that many people especially Business men, had tried to produced their own food and packaged without the notification of food scientist and food technologist, but they handle succeeded because Government have introduced National Agency for foods and drug Administration and control (which is known as NAFDAC) to work against piracy.(stern and Walter, (1981).
The main objective of packaging our food is to.
1) Prevent the shelf life of food.
2) To prevent it from attack of microorganisms and pest.
3) We package our food to make it look pleasant to consumers.
1.4. SCOPE OF WORK
The role of packaging in food processing in Nigeria is the Joy of a technologist in food packaging can be complete after introducing a new package, only the food scientist or food technologist can be able to cover the following four basic areas.
a. Material specification
b. Product compatibility
c. Distribution cycle
d. Marketing consideration. (ugwuanyi, 1998)
1.5. DEFINITION OF THE TERM PACKAGING.
Packaging can be defined as the over all stages the quantity of the product, appeals to and attracts the consumer; it should be within an average economic cost. (Ugwuanyi Gorgina). She also defined packaging as the overall stages in a product planning involving designing and producing the container or wrapper for a product. Packaging is said to be container or wrapper that holds a product or a group of product. (Jane, 1998) Furthermore, packaging containers can said to be either primary or secondary. Primary containers is one that comes indirect contact with the food such as cans or jars and secondary container is an outer sox, case, or wrapper that may holds cans or jars but does not directly contact the food.
Types of commercial packaging include shipping cartons, containers for industrial goods and holders for consumer product. Beside protecting the product from damage and protecting can function as a crucial marketing tool. Helping the companies to attract new customers and retain established ones. The second function become more important for companies in the 1990s, as the reach and effectiveness of advertising began to shrink simultaneously, packaging makers have had to weigh the with consumer demands for environmentally friendly packaging and less packaging altogether. (Rosette, 1992).