Due to the challenges of modern lifestyle, the share of packaged food in our consumption of food has been steadily increasing. As time passes, more and more products that were earlier not packaged foods are becoming introduced as packaged foods as various food manufacturers compete for an edge. This growth in packaged food industry needs to be supported by product safety testing and quality food sealing to protect the health of the consumers.
Testing methods of food safety
Currently, more and more laboratories are going with these testing methods: LC (Liquid Chromatography), HPLC (high performance liquid chromatography), MS (mass spectrometry) and GC (gas chromatography). These tests are more reliable than the other methods, with respect to turnaround time, accuracy and sensitivity.
Food processing sealing and its importance
No doubt, sealing in food processing is not as challenging as that seen in the sectors of steel and oil & gas. Yet, there is no denying of the fact that it is an issue that has to be carefully addressed, lest the legal stipulations pertaining to safety and hygiene are violated.
The importance of proper sealing in the food processing industry cannot be overstated. Each food product has to be free from noxious substances and microbes that can harm the health of consumers. It is in this context that sealing becomes extremely crucial.
The materials that are intended to be used for sealing need to comply with several statutory specifications. It is only then that the end users can be assured of safety and quality.
It is the onus of the personnel who are in charge of day-to-day operations of the plant to make sure that sealing is done in a proper way.
These are some basic prerequisites that materials have to satisfy, before they can be used for sealing:
- The materials should be robust enough to withstand the impact of the processed substances, cleaning agents, acids, etc.
- In addition, they must be able to endure exposure to a certain range of temperatures.
- Equally relevant is the point that the materials used for sealing are fully free of ingredients that are derived from animals. This is to avoid avoiding hurting the sentiments of certain types of customers.
- There are also some contaminants that do not cause any ill-health to the consumers. However, for certain aesthetic reasons, consumers would obviously not want to see these substances in food products. This aspect also should be taken into account, while selecting materials for sealing.
- When the foods are having flavoring agents, sealing needs to be carried out with suitable materials. Otherwise, these agents contaminate the food in such a way that the taste gets impacted and, the consumers will be able to perceive the degradation.
Accommodating consumer preference in food processing industry
The food processing industry understands the importance of this extremely crucial aspect. The average consumer is now very keen that the product that they purchase is devoid of all artificial preservatives. In fact, the consumer wants the same point to be mentioned on the label (of the product), as well. This is why fool-proof testing methods and appropriate sealing are so essential, in contemporary market. As a matter of fact, some consumers now are even meticulous also about the packaging of a food product. Some of these consumers prefer a packing that is bio-degradable/compostable.