Discuss the purpose of food packaging and describe the types of food
packaging discussed in the course notes
Discuss the environmental impact of food processing and packaging
The main purpose of food packaging is to slow food deterioration by
offering protection from physical, chemical and biological factors.
Common food packaging materials include glass, paper, plastic
(thermoplastic) and metal.
The type of packaging used is often dependent on the food to be
Modified Atmospheric Packaging (MAP)
Food is packaged in wrap that oxygen cannot permeate.
This prevents oxidative reactions in foods
Benefits of removing oxygen:
o Slows vegetable and fruit ripening
o Prevents colour changes in pre-cut vegetables and fruit
o Reduces mold and bacterial growth
o Prevents rancidity of fats
o Slows the breakdown of vitamins
Slows the enzymes that produce “off” flavors and scents
Foods must still be refrigerated if they are perishable
May allow for the growth of anaerobic microorganisms
Examples of foods that may use MAP: bagged salads, vacuum packaged
deli meats, fresh pasta, etc.
Future Food Packaging Materials:
Coatings that are applied to foods that provide a benefit to the
food and can be consumed by the end user.
Chitosan is an example of an edible coating that has been
extensively used. Apart from this, work is in progress to
introduce more edible coatings. Since these coatins are
intended to be consumed, the