Friday, April 13, 2012: 06:54:05 AM

Food Processing Poll Feature

Food packaging industry has a long way to go

In spite of development in food technology, Indian packaging industry still has lots to achieve in comparison to developed economies

The growth of the Indian packaging industry has been phenomenal to say the least. Various factors have contributed to this growth and the biggest has been the advent of international food brands and the growing awareness of the typical consumer regarding food safety. In spite of new technologies emerging in the packaging industry everyday, India remains behind when it comes to matching international standards in food packaging and technology. Though this is mainly due to the flaws in the supply chain, there is a lot to be achieved for the sector overall.

 
According to a recent survey by FoodProcessing360, majority of the voters (67%) feel that India still lags behind when it comes to matching developed nations. Only 33% of the respondents felt otherwise.
 
Safety factor
 
According to Dr V H Potty, renowned food technologist and chairman of Diversified Food Technologies (India), Mysore, “The packaging industry and the food industry are supposed to be complimentary with the former tuning its ears to the requirements of the latter. Unfortunately in many cases such synergy is conspicuous by its absence and food industry has to be satisfied by what is offered by the packaging industry. Spoilage that originates from the packaging materials used by processors is never recognised. Invariably, many small-scale processors do not even sanitise the packaging materials before use for packing their food products and the cross contamination can cause spoilage of the contents in many cases. It is not known how many packaging material suppliers sanitise their products before dispatching to the processors.”
 
Therefore, the question of safety of the food packaging material still remains, which handicaps the sector even further. According to Mumbai based food expert and professional artist Barun Kumar Mukherjee, “One has to be careful while purchasing local products as the chances of bad packaging leading to spoilage is quite high in them.”
 
On a positive note, the drawbacks of the food packaging industry also bears testimony to the massive potential of the sector, which is yet to be effectively tapped.
 
Tias Chakraborty

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