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When buying a pack of rice in the supermarket, we usually don’t think about how far that food has travelled to reach us and what it had to endure on those travels. Packaging has kept it safe from temperature changes, bumpy roads, insects and contamination, and last but not least, time. Because even in the most solid boxes, time can influence food products in a negative way.
How long does food travel from farm to fridge?
To most consumers, food packaging is a marketing tool and provides information and protection. But that protection goes further than the drive from the supermarket to home.
Some studies suggest that on average our food has travelled 1500 miles (ca. 2,414 km) before it arrives at our homes. Without any decent packaging, it would lose not only its taste but also its nutrients by the time you can eat it.
The journey starts at the producer and goes to the processor. In between, it deals with transporters and distributors before it finally reaches the shops. If you find a product that doesn’t have the quality you are looking for, it goes to waste and with that, all the efforts that went into it.
Getting food products through the supply chain while maintaining the desired levels of quality is a huge challenge.
Selecting the right packaging
As we’ve mentioned before, there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to food packaging. Different products simply have different characteristics and thrive in different conditions.
The science behind food packaging
It’s not just about keeping the product safe from outside influences. inside the packaging, there is a lot happening as well. With Modified Atmosphere Packaging, processes such as molding can be slowed down, drastically increasing shelf life and thus reducing food waste.
What factors to keep in mind
It’s crucial to determine how products interact with their surroundings over time and adapting the packaging accordingly. You’ll have to consider:
- The chemical makeup of the product
- Microbiological safety
- Physical properties
- The density of the product
- How it reacts to moisture and temperature changes
Smart packaging solutions: modified atmosphere packaging
Ultimately, the quality of a food product greatly relies on the quality of its packaging. Apart from being a barrier against moisture and vapour and protecting against light and contamination, Modified Atmosphere also protects products from inside of the packaging. Find out how it works in this blog.
Do you want your customers to experience your products the way you intended, fresh and tasty, and safe? Get in touch with our experts to discover what solution fits your needs.
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