For ready to eat products, packaging plays a vital role in preserving the quality of food, extending its shelf life and making it look attractive. With the upsurge in demand for ready to eat foods, the packaging technology is continuously evolving to facilitate customer convenience, minimize processing and keeping the product as natural as possible. This blog discusses different packaging technologies and their suitability to your product as well as budget.
The choice of packaging technology depends on the nature of food (Acidity level, moisture content), expected shelf life (few weeks, months, years) and the conditions in which it would be stored (Room temperature, frozen). As such the packaging technology for ready to eat foods can broadly be divided into three categories.
Thermal Heating: Food is packed in pouches/containers and heated to high temperature. The thermal heating can be done through different technologies including Retort, MATS and Hot fill & pasteurization.
MAP (Modified Atmosphere Packaging): Filled and packaged product is exposed to UV and then MAP sealed. MAP sealing refers to removing the air from the pack and replacing it with a combination of nitrogen and carbon dioxide that can extend the shelf life of the food.
ASEPTIC: The product and package/container are sterilized separately first and then product is packed and sealed in sterile conditions.
More details on the packaging technology are available in picture 1.
Source: Printpack Packaging Supplies (India) Pvt Ltd.
The cost of packaging has two elements; fixed cost of the equipment and cost of the packaging material (cups/pouches). The fixed cost varies significantly across technologies as can be seen below.
Pic 2: Cost of packaging Technology
The cost of packaging material depends on the shape and weight of the packaging container. As such the cost of packaging material does not depend on the technology that is being used for packaging.
How can we help?
Are you looking to set up a ready to eat/convenience food unit, we can
- Help you understand the market, technology, capital and operating costs
- Prepare the project proposal and assist you in obtaining bank funding
- Technical consultation to assist you identify right machinery, packaging material providers
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