Packaging Of Milk And Dairy Products

Packaging is a technique of using the most appropriate containers and components to protect, carry, identify and merchandise any product. It constitutes an important link between the manufacturer and ultimate consumer for the safe delivery of the product through different stages of production, storage, transport, distribution and marketing.

Though great efforts have been made in producing high grade processed milks or manufactured dairy products, unless they are delivered in a fresh, sound and suitable form to the consumer, they are likely to be rejected, thus causing enormous wastage. The loss can be offset to a great extent by adequate protective packaging to withstand the hazards of climatic changes, transportation, handling etc.

Because of rapid growth in the economy and consequent improvement in the living standards of the common people, packaging has become important in the distribution process. In today's busy world, many consumers do not have the time to make it to the market. Internet is used to purchase groceries.

Innovative packaging technologies have become a necessity for the development of extended shelf life and value added foods and food products. In food industry, the package serves as a barrier to contamination by microorganisms or other undesirable elements like moisture and light. The secondary role of the packaging material is to care for storage and distribution.

The packaging material should satisfy the following conditions.

It must protect and preserve the commodity from the time it is packaged till the product is consumed.

It must be suitable for the selected sales and distribution pattern.

It must protect and preserve the commodity from the time it is packaged till the product is consumed.

It must be suitable for the selected sales and distribution pattern.

It must be attractive to the consumer.

It must be easy to open, store and dispose.

It must facilitate the handling, storage and distribution.

It must protect against biological, chemical and distribution damages.

It must inform the consumer through the medium of labeling.

It must impart security to the product through a tamper evident design.

It must act as a marketing and advertising tool.

It must protect the environment by taking the responsibility of empty packaging material after its use.

It must be economical i.e. it should neither burn the purse of the consumer nor the producer.

Definition of Packaging

Packaging means placing a commodity into a protective wrapper or container for transport and storage or it can also be defined as a tool that protects and contains goods with the aim of minimizing the environmental impact of our consumption.

The packaging concept is determined by the demand of both the consumer and the product. New technological development, environmental awareness and changes in the consumer market force the packaging technologists to consider an increasing number of factors when designing a package. Packaging materials provide a sort of inert barrier that prevent the interaction of food products with the external environment.

What are all the functions of the packaging material?

The package should perform at least three functions of containing, protecting and merchandising.

What is "containing"?

The package or container should be adequately large to hold the product. It should have proper constructional features so as not to allow leakage and spillage. It should have enough strength to withstand handling, transportation and storage hazards. Finally it should be as compatible as possible with the product.

What is "protecting"?

The package should safeguard the product against contamination, or loss and damage or degradation due to microbial action, exposure to heat, light, moisture, and oxygen, accidental spillage, evaporation, pilferage etc.

What is "merchandising"?

The shape of the package should be favorable to dispensation and reclosure and to its disposal or re use.

Apart from the above discussed three important functions, the packaging material should lend itself to operation in whatever machines are available; be economical; be printable on the outer surface; and the last but not the least, it should have sales appeal.

What is the choice of an appropriate packaging material?

The specific sensitivities of the contents. For e.g. moisture, oxygen etc.

Factors affecting the contents viz. temperature, relative humidity, pH, and the reaction mechanism involved.

Weight and shape of the container and effect on filling and sealing speeds.

Contamination of food by constituents of the packaging material.

Storage conditions - How long the product needs to be protected?

Biodegradability and recycling potential.

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About The Author, Kathirvelu Thenmozhi
The author is an expert in Dairy Science; for more info on milk and dairy products please visit her site , A Professional Dairy Site. More on Milk Packaging at:; Source