In the recent period, an extensive amount of food has been wasted owing to the ineffectiveness of packaging. Thus, food manufacturers, today are adopting high-quality food packaging techniques which allow easy transportation, protection of the integrity of food products, and separation from harmful chemicals, particles, bacteria, and pests. In cases, where packaging is not able to maintain integrity, food safety is comprised and food waste is generated. Food packaging has the role of protecting food from external elements, contamination, heat, physical damage, and much more. Thus, proper food packaging is essential to keep food products safe and fresh. Moreover, the rise of snacking is expected to generate the need for proper food packaging in the upcoming years. Owing to such growing concern, Research Nester analyzes if the adoption of food packaging can actually offer a solution to food waste.
Food manufacturers today are employing effective food packaging methods with different variety of materials that protect the food for a longer period. The type of materials used in food packaging depends on the food products that are being packed. However, the most common food packaging materials that are used today are either glass, cardboard, metal, or plastic. As per recent statistics, it has been revealed that the global food packaging industry generated a revenue of almost USD 350 billion in 2022 and is further expected to expand at a CAGR of ~5% during 2023-2035. Food packaging is described as enclosing food to protect it from tampering or contamination from physical, chemical, and biological sources. Companies all around the world are now responding to the push for creativity with packaging made of food-derived goods, eliminating plastic from the equation. Eco-friendly packaging has opened the floodgates to the invention. In many nations, there is a rising desire for convenience foods. As a result, packaging that is simpler to open and provides many servings has become more popular. The packaging of food has advanced significantly in recent years. Nowadays, food packaging is capable of more than merely preserving food due to innovative technology and materials.
flexible plastic packaging materials are kind to the environment as they can completely degrade in the correct circumstances, unlike the majority of petroleum-based plastic packaging. There are numerous plant-based ingredients available for different types of food. Organic material and renewable vegetal sources (related to plants) are used to create sustainable packaging for products in plant-based packaging. Most packaging made of plastic is non-toxic and allergy-free. According to a recent study of The Plant-Based Products Council (PBPC) more than 50% of consumers are interested in plant-based products and packaging. The first company in the food and beverage sector to produce milk carton packaging made entirely of plants was Tetra Pak. The carton is constructed from plant-based polymers that can be entirely traced back to sugarcane. 75% of the Tetra Pak carton is made from paperboard, 20% of polyethylene, and 5% of aluminum.
Below mentioned are a few types of plant-based packaging:
Foods that are exposed to light, such as milk and bread, can spoil, thus packaging that blocks UV radiation can assist. This kind of packaging frequently makes use of an aluminum layer with a unique coating or black ink printed directly on the packing material.
A type of packaging known as edible food packaging is one that can decompose as quickly as the food it holds or is intended to be consumed. Food packaging and food preservation are just two applications of this kind of packaging. The most typical uses of edible packaging are for single-serve and chilled goods. This range might be widened to encompass soup and coffee, enabling the packaging to dissolve when heated. For instance, the ice cream cone, a waffle- or sugar-based cone that contains ice cream, was undoubtedly one of the first edible packaging items. Furthermore, milk proteins are employed as casein, a more recent type of edible packaging, to wrap food items. These casein films keep the food fresh and less exposed to oxygen than plastic does. Since they don't include starch, they are less porous and more effective at blocking oxygen. Brown seaweed, one of nature's most renewable resources, is used to make edible packaging. This zero-waste substitute for plastic bottles and cups is constructed from a patented substance that is less expensive than plastic and can enclose any beverage, including water, soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, sauces, and cosmetics.
Interactive packaging is defined as packaging that can be used and opened without having to be taken off the product it is protecting. Things that must be kept cold or frozen are frequently packaged in this way. Interactive packaging has a number of benefits for your business. It enables product labels and packaging designs to give customers considerably more information and value than simply the bare minimum of information about your brand. For instance, QR Code Packaging can be scanned by a consumer's smartphone's camera app or certified QR code reader which directs them to a website that contains useful information about your company or product, or offer them a chance to enter a contest. As per recent estimates for availing more details more than 50% of consumers have scanned a QR code located on food packaging.
Active packaging is considered better than conventional food packaging and prolongs the shelf life of items by halting the degradative reactions of lipid oxidation, microbial development, and moisture loss and gain. Furthermore, some packages have the capability to detect when a food item has gone rotten and changed color. Others track food items using RFID tags. To keep food at a safe temperature, still, other people utilize temperature monitors.
In the recent period, there has been a constant change in eating habits, and the quickening pace of life is expected to drive the demand for food packaging in the upcoming years. In addition to that, the benefits offered by food packaging such as extended and stable shelf life of food products, high barrier properties, and safety along with the prevention of content contamination are expected to generate a high demand for food packaging processes. The food packaging industry is characterized by the presence of a large number of buyers, a large consumer base, and high spending power. Further, the rising sales of retail products and the growing trend of online food delivery systems are also anticipated to drive the consumption of packaged food.