Reasons for packaging Protection Ease of transport & storage To preserve food thereby preventing waste and spoilage. Marketing To carry information
Desirable Properties of Food Packaging Safe, non-toxic Hygienic Easy to open and reseal Attractive Economical Strong Biodegradable or recyclable Odourless
Materials used in packaging Examples of use Metals: Tin cans, aluminium cans, foil containers, foil bags, aerosols Fruit, soft drinks, take- aways, coffee, whipped cream. Glass: Jars, bottlesMayonnaise, olive oil Paper: Plain paper, waxed paper, laminated cartons, greaseproof paper, cardboard Sugar, bread, orange juice, sausage rolls, cereal boxes Plastic: polythene, plastic cartons or plastic boxes, PET (polyethylene terepthalate) bottles, polystyrene. Dried pasta, yoghurt, dairy spread, soft drinks, take-away food.
Suitability for purpose Metal: protects, easy stack & store, can be heated, lacquered to prevent reaction with food, heavy - increase transport cost, expensive, recyclable. Glass: hygienic, protects well, rigid, variety shapes & sizes, transparent, resealable, stackable, can be heated, doesn’t react with food, heavy, breakable, costly, recyclable. Paper: biodegradable, low cost, easy to open not easy to reseal, light, can be printed on, plain paper-not strong, waxed paper is moistureproof & vapour proof. Plastic:strong, moisture proof, light, flexible, heat sealable, low cost, suitable for freezing, variety of weights, sizes, shapes, thicknessess, can be printed on, some may contaminate food when heated in microwave.
Packaging and the Environment Each home produces 1 ton waste/year. 1/3 is packaging and ½ of this is recyclable. 01/03/03 EU directive on recycling packaging means Ireland must recycle 50% by 2005 Careless disposal leads to litter, pollution and need for more landfill sites Recycle =convert waste to usable material. Plastic bag levy Mar.2002, 15cent
Packaging & Environment Metal: 3% domestic waste=33000tons, recycling saves raw materials and energy. Recycling aluminium cans uses only 5% of energy needed to make them from scratch. Glass: 7.5% domestic waste, reusable and recyclable, numerous collection points, collected glass is crushed and used as a substitute for raw materials, conserves energy, raw materials and production cost Paper: environmentally friendly packaging, readily recycled, recycling conserves trees (17 trees=1ton paper),saves energy, reduces waste. Plastic: non-biodegradable, made from crude oil a non- renewable resource, 120,000 tonnes waste plastic in Ire. /yr, Not all recyclable, lack of recycling facilities in Ire. PET can be recycled as fibre.
Consumer Responsibility Reuse and recycle Avoid excess packaging Buy loose fruit & veg. Compact waste before putting in recycling bin Compost organic packaging e.g. cardboard Buy products made from recycled materials.
Food labelling - Functions Inform consumer about the nature of pre-packed food Identify product Help sell product
Labelling regulations EU legislation regarding food labelling is enforced by The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) All labels must be: Unambiguous (clear) Legible Indelible Easy to see Written in English Not misleading
Essential information on pre- packed food labels Name under which product is sold Ingredients in order of decending weight. %of certain ingredients e.g.beef in burgers Net quantity in metric (kg or litre) Use by date on perishables, best before date on non- perishables. Instructions for storage and use if necessary Name and address of manufacturer, packager, or seller in the EU Place of origin if absence might mislead Alcoholic strength if more than 1.2% alcohol by volume. Indicate if food has been irradiated, genetically modified, have been packed in modified atmosphere
Labelling Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP): composition of gas inside package is different to air. Gases like CO2, O2 and N2 (inert) are used to stop microbes growing & prolong shelf-life Medicinal claims of treating preventing or curing disease are not allowed. Nutritional content must be stated per 100g or 100ml for comparison If claims are made about a certain ingredient the % of that ingredient must be stated e.g. low fat butter 39% fat. A claim of fortification must be true. Non-packaged food: display of following info must be nearby, name, origin, class, variety, price per kilo Price Labelling: must be on food or shelf, pre-packed food of varying weight must give unit price and pack price,