Column Pieter Vos: Packaging is an opportunity
Ondernemers sociëteit voedingsindustrie
B2B Communications
Wallbrink Crossmedia
Check this out

Column Pieter Vos: Packaging is an opportunity

  • 07 March 2022
  • By: Pieter Vos , directeur Nutrilab

Imagine if crisps, biscuits and rice were on the supermarket shelf without packaging? That you would have to put your steak, veggie schnitzel or piece of cod in your shopping bag without protective foil. No way. No matter how much they are criticised, (protective) packaging is essential for food; it keeps everything together and hygienic, reduces spoilage, even extends shelf life and prevents waste. 

Gas packaging, by slowing down spoilage, can extend shelf life even further. High levels of carbon dioxide in the package prevent the growth of micro-organisms. A low amount of oxygen prevents oxidation, and consequently discolouration and flavour deviations. As a producer, you can have some fun with this, depending on your goal and the nature of the product you want to package. Tests have shown that 40% CO2 in the packaging can increase the shelf life of a piece of meat by a factor of 1.5. Retailers like this, because it allows them to keep larger stocks and it results in less wastage. 

Not everyone eats the contents of the pack in one go after opening it. If your packaging consists of several short shelf-life units (e.g. 4 chicken fillets, or 10 biscuits), you are obliged to include this situation in the FSSP models for predicting shelf-life. Testing the 'household situation' in practice by means of a challenge test is a requirement. I often see sub-packages in retail. Smoked bacon cubes divided over 2 separate sealed trays. Biscuits packed per 2 in a larger total package. An excellent solution for extending the shelf life of your product. And the product stays fresh for longer.

Packaging offers possibilities. Longer shelf life, more sustainable, less food waste. It can add a new dimension to your product. Innovative packaging opens the way to new products and new markets. Packaging is an opportunity.

Pieter Vos
Director Nutrilab

Source: Vakblad Voedingsindustrie 2022