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Seafood Packaging

Is there any way to reduce the burden on the environment due to seafood packaging?

Lobsters! Salmon! Mussels! Oysters! Clams! These all are indeed everyone’s seafood. With the rising disposable income of people, their preferences and taste are enhancing. They are now spending hefty amounts to eat their favorite sumptuous meal. To fulfill the growing taste for seafood, the production and supply of seafood are also increasing. Packaging is crucial for the preservation and transportation of the production. However, it poses adverse effects to the environment. For instance, the production of cans increases the overall climate change impact of canned items. It accounts for 42% of a product's climate change impact and 27% of its weight on average. Life cycle assessment of seafood is primarily concerned with the direct ecological effects of packaging materials, owing to this, many producers of seafood are assessing the substitute material that will support the sustainable packaging. Many researches have shown, recycling was the most popular choice for reducing the direct possible environmental problems1 associated with packaging end-of-life.

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Seafood packaging is the process of preserving and packaging seafood products. It intact the freshness and quality of the food during prolonged storage and transportation. Seafood requires specialized packaging materials and techniques as they are highly perishable and require careful handling to prevent spoilage. Every 5.3 degrees Celsius increase in temperature doubles the rate of microbial destruction in seafood. Weight loss and quality loss are also side effects of deterioration. As a result, in the fish industry, packaging quality and type are crucial.

There is various type of seafood packaging, such as

  • Modified Atmosphere Packaging- It involves the use of a mixture of special gases that helps in preserving the freshness of the products by preventing the growth of bacteria.
  • Ice Packs- Ice packs are typically used in combination with other packaging. To increase the benefits of the packaging and keep the seafood products cool and fresh.
  • Vacuum-Sealed Bags- in this packaging the air is completely sucked out of the package and a vacuum is created to prevent the chances of oxidation and spoilage
  • Styrofoam Coolers- They are the containers that provide insulation to maintain the temperature during transportation

Types of Sea Food Packaging-

1- Packaging for the skin - Skin packs are carded packaging material used to pack food like fish fillets. An extremely thin coating of the translucent plastic wraps the sea food product in skin packs.

2- Adaptable pouches - Flexible pouches are also called stand-up pouches or single-use bags. To make adaptable pouches foils, different plastic formula, and paper are used to make flexible pouches. Snack food, coffee, cereals, industrial powders and liquids are often packed in stand-up pouches.

3- Strapping material made of polypropylene - Polypropylene also known as PP, comes in several tensile strengths, widths, and core diameters. These are the strapping material can be applied manually using a tensioner or semi-automatically using strapping technology.

4- Quickly frozen in individual portions - These types of packets involve freezing tiny portions of food individually before packaging. In comparison with many other freezing procedures, the main benefit of deploying this type of packaging used to make frozen food. This packaging takes lesser time to freeze the product.

5- Cans - In the fisheries sector, canning has been a long-standing method. Food products like salmon, crab, clams’ sardines and various other sea foods can be canned. Canning process of sealing a metal can with metal top and then heating it to keep air out. The global per-capita intake of fish rose from roughly 14 kilograms in 2021 to nearly 15 kilograms in 2022. Moreover, according to the statistics of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the production of fish in the world was around 170 million tonnes in 2018 out of which 156 million tonnes ended up on the plate. Furthermore, global aquaculture increased by 527% from 1990 to 2018. Out of all the seafood, fish is the most consumed and high-in-demand product.

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Varieties in Seafood

  • Saltwater Fish- Saltwater fish are those found in the sea. Tuna, salmon, and halibut are among the most popular sea fish. Owing to the diet of marine algae, which is a significant source of rich fatty acids, such as omega-3s, saltwater fish have greater omega-3 fatty acid levels than freshwater fish
  • Freshwater Fish- The whitefish is one species of freshwater fish that is gaining popularity. Whitefish is a freshwater fish with a mild flavor and crunchy texture. They can be found in both salt and fresh water, but are mostly found in lakes and rivers. Trout, bass, and catfish are some of the other most popular freshwater species.
  • Shellfish- Shellfish are crustaceans, such as shrimp and crab, and mollusks, including clams, oysters, and mussels that are a form of seafood. For those looking for a meat replacement, shellfish are a nutritious and delicious option.
  • Echinoderms- Starfish, sea urchins, and sea cucumbers are examples of echinoderms. They are popular in many cuisines worldwide and can be prepared in different ways.
  • Caviar- Eggs of sturgeon is called caviar, sturgeon is a large fish that lives in the sea. The female sturgeon is captured, and her eggs are extracted. The eggs are subsequently salted and canned or jarred. Caviar is regarded as an exquisite meal and is eaten as a delicacy.

Advantages of sea food packaging-

  • 1- Moisture proof - Loss of water during the frozen storage results in a condition often referred to freezer burn. The packaging helps in reducing loss of water and also toughens the food.
  • 2- Low permeability - The rate at which packaging material permits the gases and vapors to pass between the surrounding atmosphere and the product. There is large gap in the permeability of various films and packaging materials.
  • 3- Tight fit - A tight-fitting package prevent moisture loss in the freezer package. On the other hand, in a loose package, the moisture of the fish gets evaporates and condenses as ice crystals.
  • 4- Partial qualities - The packaging material should be easy to apply, strong, and relatively inexpensive.
  • 5- Attractiveness - Unique packaging increases the attractiveness of the customers to buy the products. According to the estimation, two-thirds of people say that the impeccable packaging affects their buying decision.
  • 6- Usability - Nowadays, customers are relying on fit-for-purpose packaging. Simple packaging which is easy to open, fold and carry is more attractive to the consumer.
  • 7- Sustainability - Packaging makes the seafood sustainable and has a positive impact on sales numbers. In fact, food wastage has also become an imperative parameter among people. Moreover, they are considerate about evaluating the carbon footprint and avoiding the wastage of seafood. Good food packaging is very important for seafood. Fish and seafood have a high nutritional value but are also fragile, and time-sensitive foods. Packaging protects the products and helps to reduce losses during shipment, and storage. According to a recent study of US merchants performed by Progressive Grocer and commissioned by Sealed Air, 72.5% of meat and seafood loss was due to food decomposition, with the remaining 12.7% owing to package damage.

Trends in the Seafood

  • Easy to Cook Seafood - Whole fish is often favored over ready-to-cook goods, although fish fillet preference varies by species. Over 60% of European fish consumers say ease of preparation is their top criterion when purchasing fish. Moreover, the packaging heavily contributes to the easy preparation of the food. The growing demand for easy, time-saving meals that need minimal cooking skills and cleanup is met by Amcor PrimeSealTM OvenRite oven-ready packaging. The packs may be directly transferred from the freezer to the oven, ensuring that the product cooks evenly and consistently every time.
  • Prime Quality of the Seafood - Quality has become imperative for customers, they are willing to pay more for the product, that displays premium packaging that holds the eye of the customers. For instance, PrimeSealTM SkinTiteTM VSP seafood packaging, for example, offers a second skin look that allows consumers to easily see the product.
  • Rising Need for Sustainable Packaging - According to the research conducted by Amcor, nearly 9 out of 10 European fish customers check for sustainability information when purchasing a product. The packing material and claims on the pack are the most prevalent clues they look for.

Status of Seafood Packaging Across the Globe

Asian countries are emerging economies and have the largest and fastest burgeoning populations in the world. With the rising demand for food, the demand for seafood is also increasing. Moreover, the per capita income of people is improving, which has resulted in changes in dietary preferences. People have started consuming more seafood. Seafood is a source of high protein and is a staple food in many countries in Asia. The consumption of seafood in Asia is expected to rise by 33% by 2030 and to nearly 78% from 2017 to 2050. In addition to this, in China, approximately 70 million MT of seafood will be consumed in 2021, rising to 71 million MT in 2022. Furthermore, in fiscal year 2020, the number of fish and seafood consumed in Japan was 23.4 kilos per person. For the fiscal year ending June 13, 2021, frozen seafood sales in the United States increased by around 20%. Sales of shelf-stable seafood increased by approximately 21% last year. Shrimp is the most popular seafood in the United States, followed by salmon, tuna, tilapia, Alaskan pollock, pangasius, cod, catfish, crab and clams.

In a nut shell,

It is quite evident that sea food packaging market is anticipated to flourish. If you are willing to invest in this particular market, it is prudent to know the intricacies of the market. The expert team of Research Nester has prepared an exhaustive research report. This research report consists of imperative parameters which needs to keep in mind before entering into the competition. The detailed analysis will help you out in taking a sound decision.

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Swara Keni

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