Food Technology Overview: Packaging, Not Just Protecting Food Materials
e-Foodtech Future – Packaging is a food component that has significant value in the food business. Therefore, the accuracy of choosing and designing packaging will have an influence on the success of a product.
Packaging that is able to attract consumers’ hearts will encourage sales, while the right packaging will protect the product – so that it can be accepted by consumers with the best quality. The combination of the two can give success to the food business. In determining a packaging, the industry must pay attention to the functions to be achieved. Then also consider the technical aspects. There are at least two functions that need to be considered by food producers, namely the protection function and the marketing function. This was conveyed by Kavadya Syska, Coordinator of Food Technology Study Program, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Nahdlatul Ulama Purwokerto.
The main function of packaging is to protect the product inside. Knowledge of packaged products greatly determines the choice of packaging materials and methods. Some of the information that needs to be obtained includes the influence of air, temperature, moisture content, light, storage, distribution system, and others. Protection is a primary function that must be considered. This is because the failure of packaging to protect the product can reduce the quality and price.
Along with the progress of the times, packaging is no longer just “protecting” the products it packs. But more than that, packaging is one of the main components in marketing. Manufacturers communicate directly with consumers through packaging. On the label, manufacturers can provide information about the product brand, nutritional value, product advantages, where the product is produced, expiration time, how to consume/process it, and others. Given the importance of the function of the label, there is Government Regulation of the Republic of Indonesia no. 69 of 1999 concerning Food Labels and Advertisements. In this regulation, the information that must be contained in the label is the name of the product; list of materials used; net weight or content; the name and address of the party producing or importing it into the territory of Indonesia; and the expiration date, month and year. So, actually the inclusion of information on the label should not be misleading.
Not only that, packaging can also be a media for promotion and product positioning. We can tell a product is in an elegant class or not from the material and packaging design. Thus, packaging plays an important role in determining the selling price. Packaging is one of the largest components of production costs. In relation to this marketing function, the current packaging design is getting busier and more creative. Moreover, Indonesian consumers tend to like bright and outstanding colors.
When all these functions are considered, another important thing that needs to be studied is the technical aspect. Namely in relation to the concept with its application in the field -including the level of difficulty production. However, based on our experience, everything has a solution. Every time a new concept appears in packaging manufacturing, usually the toughest challenges at the beginning of the project, after that, it will become easier.
The safety aspect will increasingly become a serious concern for food business players, including the packaging industry. The national food industry is now increasingly requiring food safety equirements. The security aspect is the main prerequisite before signing the contract and they carry out regular audits. To guarantee this, the packaging and ink are food safe, although the price is more expensive. Not only that, sanitation and hygiene during the packaging production process also guaranteed. So that the packaging produced is ready for use in the hands of consumers. Meanwhile, the trend of eco-friendly and practical packaging has actually started to enter and its growth is starting to increase.
Sources: interviews and references analysis
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