Functions of Food Packaging

Food Preservation Storage

Lesson 14: Packaging, labeling and Costing of Food Products

Functions of Food Packaging

Packaging is still another food preservation method. In other words, protection of the food product is a major function of packaging. Packaging is a necessary aid for storage and distribution of food. Packaging must provide the proper environmental conditions right from the start when food is packed till its finally consumed. A good package should therefore carry out following functions:

  • It should provide a barrier against dirt and other contaminants and keep the product clean.
  • It should be securely closed to prevent losses or leakage.
  • It should protect food against any physical and chemical damage due to air, light, insects, and rodents.
  • It should serve as a material handling tool containing the desired unit amount of food within a single container and may facilitate the assembly of several such units into aggregates.
  • The packages may also serve as a processing aid.
  • The package design should provide protection and convenience in handling and transport during distribution and marketing
  • It should help the customers to identify the food and instruct them how to use it correctly.
  • It should persuade the consumer to purchase the food.
  • The package may serve as convenience item for the consumer, e.g. as a drinking utensil, as well as process, storage and distribution container.
  • Packaging when properly used can be cost saving device.
  • Package may serve the purpose of portion controlling in certain food items.
  • Certain package may facilitate dispensing of the product.

Broadly major functions of packaging are:

  • Protection against
    • Climatic hazards e.g. relative humidity (RH), oxygen, light, heat, cold, rain.
    • Biological hazards e.g. insects, bacteria and moulds, mites, rodents and birds.
    • Mechanical hazards those happening during packing, storing, transportation and distribution e.g. impacts, vibrations, compressions.
  • Preservation: The extent of time a product could be preserved in a packaging system.
  • Promotion:
    • Attracts the consumer towards a product.
    • Cuts the cost of advertising
Last modified: Wednesday, 14 March 2012, 4:54 AM