Tuesday, June 30, 2020

How packaging contributes to sustainability and food safety

This time when companies are looking for solutions that combine economy with security has caused many industries to further rethink their production processes in order to avoid any contamination and ensure productivity. In the food industry, for example, and more specifically in the protein industry, packaging plays a key role in both ensuring food safety and sustainability of the entire production chain.
The first factor that demonstrates this relevance is handling that typically occurs at points of sale or retail and can be a major risk factor for product contamination. In a chain of production of meat without packaging, the protein will go through several points of contact, from the first cuts in the refrigerator to the transport in chambers and their distribution in butchers or supermarkets. Already, if we evaluate a production chain with packaging, the protein is ported in the refrigerator in a controlled and vacuum-packed environment, preserving the food and avoiding that throughout the logistics process there is no more direct handling with the food itself.
The vacuum packaging system reveals another very important value for the moment of crisis we are living: the issue of preserving the quality and shelf life of food for longer. With the recommendation of social isolation, consumption habits are changing and households tend to stock up on food to avoid frequent return to shops and supermarkets. Thus, the demand for products that offer validity for a longer time grows. It is known, for example, that a piece of meat handled and chilled in a supermarket butcher's shop lasts approximately three days, while the same piece that already arrives vacuum packed in retail provides a shelf life of up to 60 days in the gondolas, maintaining the quality of the protein. This is because vacuum packaging offers a high barrier that allows maturation, maintains flavors and prevents oxidation of fats and vitamins.
In addition to the reduction of handling points and the increase in the life of the product with quality, it can also be emphasized the importance of the communication contained in the packaging. This is a factor that guides consumers transparently about the origin of the food, about its manufacturer and creates the possibility of tracking the product. A traceability technology in a package, for example, can clearly inform the consumer by what steps that protein went through during its processing, process by process. In the near future, from the automation of refrigerators and availability of applications, all this information can be made available to all those involved in the production chain, including the end customer.
If the role of the packaging industry is to always develop the best and most innovative solutions for the market, now in the scenario in which we live, ensuring the increase of the life of food safely is essential for the whole chair to avoid losses in the processes. We know that in times of crisis, every penny counts. Therefore, seeking protection solutions that ensure safe operational efficiency can bring more savings and sustainability to the process, with benefits for the consumer and for the entire chain.
ABRE -29/06/2020 News Item translated automatically
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