Packaging products in a way that gives the longest shelf life possible is a highly desired outcome in the packaging industry, especially when it comes to packaged food. Insuring that the food remains safe for consumption is of utmost importance. According to an article published by the IFFA, there have been recent improvements in the packaging of food that may allow for longer, fresher shelf life. New ideas relating to hygienic production methods are helping to address the main issues of food packaging.
With the growing population density in urban areas, providing food that stays fresh longer will help lesson waste, while providing safe products to more people. The article focuses on the specific needs of the meat processing industry. In this industry, there is a procedure called autoclavation, which allows for many items to be sterilized at the same time. While this procedure is very effective for mass production, it creates a need for packaging that is strong enough for processing, but is also flexible, light, and transparent. Through changes in machinery, and growing collaboration between package material manufacturers and the plastic industry, improved materials are being used, resulting in better shelf life.
The article also addresses the fight against microorganisms, such as bacteria and mold. If the humidity of the packaging is too high, these microorganisms are able to easily grow. If the humidity is too low, however, certain foods dry out, and there could be an overall loss of freshness. Finding the proper climate for different products is a constant challenge for the packaging industry, and one that is being researched and improved upon.
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