By Diana Maricruz Perez-Santos
The globalization of the food industry would not have reached its current point without the technological development of packaging. The need to produce and distribute food has led to the development of all types of packages. Here are the pros, cons and new trends in the field of food industry.
Some seriously underpaid labor
Usually I do not speak about the things as if they were people, but in this case I l will advocate for food packaging. It is not easy being packaging: they are forced to comply with all kinds of quality tests, are sacrificed to save the food under their protection (because it has thousands of enemies), are strongly judged by their appearance and without exception all of them are sterilized. Many responsibilities just to end immediately thrown into the trash. Not to mention criticism over the pollution they generate.
Something more difficult to be than the packaging is a food packaging inventor. Designing a package includes different areas of knowledge: materials, food safety, marketing … to name a few. Many factors must be considered and cost be adjusted to a budget per unit that doesn’t impact the cost of product. I could compare the level of detail engineering of food packaging with that of a luxury car.
The publicity packaging
The packages are commercials in 3D, which are spread by the consumers in their everyday life without the need to pay a sex symbol to consume the product during the Superbowl. The best example of this point is the Coca Cola’s Contour bottle designed by Earl R. Dean in 1915. With a history as a fairytale, the bottle was designed in order to be distinguished from the rest even in the dark. It’s been almost a hundred years since this invention, with many materials and many modifications to the original design and still worldwide famous.
The “in” and “out”
A hot trend of the moment is biodegradable features using edible films; mixtures of polymers with vegetable resins. Food safety is never out of fashion and with the new coating technologies using nano-particles of substances that inhibit pathogenic bacteria, soon our meals will be shielded against almost any harmful microorganisms. Another hit is the preservation of the organoleptic properties.
The long and tedious quality tests are in danger due to increasing investment in better and more efficient procedures to know the quality of packaging. Another important change is the coupling of packaging production lines with food production, saving on transportation and infrastructure.
There even of articles of clothing and accessories made with fry wrappers and soda cans. They are a sensation in Mexico. I like to think second chances are for everyone, even for food packaging.
Where do you think food packaging will go next?