Packing food is as important as preparing the food is. Most people look for avenues by which they can ensure that the freshness, flavour and the hygiene of the dish is preserved while packaging it. This depends on quite a few factors including the consistency of the preferred dish along with the climate it is exposed to and the natural shelf life of the item. Below is a list of important factors that must be kept in mind while deciding on the best packaging for a food item:
Keeping it safe: Arguably the most important of the considerations when packaging food is to keep the encased food safe from bacteria and other sources of contamination. While selecting a packaging based on this point, ensure that the product encased does not suffer. For example, having a plastic encasement is not a good idea for fresh produce and foods that utilize fresh ingredients since they like to ‘breathe’ without which the product will start going bad. Similarly, products with very little moisture do not need to be protected from microorganisms as much as they need to be protected from environmental factors, thereby ensuring they can be kept even in a paper wrap. This assumes that they will be consumed fairly soon, or else even they will go bad. Curries and other ready foodstuffs need a packaging that is durable and that can back up as a container for the vessel as well. Similarly, the concern regarding fast spoiling foods is that they should not get contaminated by microorganisms before they are consumed. Certain fish and vegetable preparations top this list and thus due precaution must be taken against them. Similarly, there is something like too much protection considering that a banana or an apple do not need to be encased in any other material since their skin serves as the perfect one anyway.
Uniqueness: packaging is also the perfect platform to showcase the product being packaged along with the company doing the packaging and/or the food preparation. A fine line must be struck between creativity and utility, something which will ensure that a consumer takes instant notice and is pleased with the purchase as well. Certaincombination meals are sold within containers that act like complete ‘thaali’s and also advertise the products of their parent company. The attractive packaging also appeals to the customers.
Costing: As great and attractive a package may be, the consideration from a business point of view has to be the budget allocated for the packaging. This factor is usually the ‘King’ factor in all business decisions and though it may seem ‘unsavoury’, it is the truth as written in commerce. Thus, the first thing to match with the allocated budget has to be the safety of the encased food product and nothing else.
Ride the trends: There are new advances in the food packaging industry along with trends surrounding packaging which are followed the world over. Both these factors should be taken into consideration while deciding on the kind of food packaging you are going to encase your food in.