Table Of Contents
- Meaning Of Packaging Criteria.
- Meaning Of Packaging Food.
- Difference Between Packaging Criteria And Packaging Food.
- The Packaging Items In Agriculture.
What Is Packaging
Packaging can be defined as putting or parceling agricultural produce in a box, bag, basket, case and cartons to get them ready for storage, consumption, marketing or transportation.
Packaging food means wrapping or containing the food in a material that will protect it during storage, transport and distribution.
Packaging food from becoming damaged due to impact or crushing, contamination by insects or micro-organism or affected by moisture, air and odour. Packaging prevent food from spoiling, loss of value and volume of loss through leakafe or spillage.
Product to be packaged should be clean and free from anything that constitutes potential source of infection or contamination. They should be stored in a cool dry place. After sorting, gracking, and processing, Products are packaged in appropriate containers or packages like polythene bag, bags, paper cases, plastics and blister packet etc to help maintain it quality and away from spoilage.
Criteria are therefore necessary to be considered in choice of packaging. These criterias include:
a. Nature Of Produce
b. Bulkness Of The Produce
c. Packaging live/Frozen Or Dry Stock
d. Distance To Market
1) Nature Of Produce: The choice of material for packaging to large extent is determined by the physical characteristic of the produce to be packaged. For instance, If the produce is solid in nature, it requires such packaging like cartons, boxes, etc. If on the other hand is liquid in state it requires packaging in cans which may be either metal or plastic in nature.
2) Bulkiness Of The Produce: Bulk concerns abot the size or massive of the product. The packaging for such products like cereal, garri and yam tuber should be different from packaging for produce like milk, cheese, fat and other animal products.
3) Packaging Live/Frozen Or Dry Stock: Packaging is also determined by whether the product has life in it, or whether it is frozen or even dry in nature. Live product packaging must let in enough air and allows gaseous exchange in order to maintain the life in the product. However, dry products should not consider life but must consider sweating of the products in order to avoid damage.
4) Distance To Market: This should be considered in packaging agricultural produce or products. For instance, perishable products like fresh tomatoes, pepper and okro being moved from the north to the south must consider the distance before packaging material is chosen. Otherwise the produce will be different from the market place within a trekable distance from place of harvest.
5) Economy: While packaging is very important in marketing, it is costly too. There are some places the cost of packaging material is more than the cost of the content. This is not advisable since this eventually increasees the market price of the commodity.
6) Convinience: Packaging must be convinient to the handling of consumers and distributors. A good package should possess certain features like being easy to open and close, easy to dispose, easy to recycle, easy to handle generally.
7. It must hold the contents and keep them secure with leakage or breakage until they are used.
8. It must protect the food against hazard during distribution and storage.
9. It should be suitable for recycling or reuse or be easily disposed off, to prevent it defasing the environment.
These are those material that can be used in packaging agricultural products to keep them in good condition prior to tranportation, marketing, storage, consumption etc. Examples includes the following:
(1) Boxes: These maybe made of word or fibre. The size may vary in accordance with the types of item to be packaged.
(2) Drums/Barrels: Palm oil to be stored, transported or exported are usually stored in drums or barrels. They are however prone to leakages and the metal drums may rust, thus, contaminating the product.
(3) Cages: This is good for packaging, packing or transporting life animals for exhibition, marketing etc. Examples of such animals include; poultry and rabbits. This cages maybe made of wood or wires.
(4) Polythene: This is normally used for packaging different products. However, their non-biodegradable refuse poses some environmental challenges when disposed.
(5) Trays/Crates: These are very useful in packaging agricultural products like eggs. This helps in prolonging the shelf life of packaged products.
(6) Jute Bags/Sacs: Sacs are used in packaging livestock feeds, stock fish, And similiar agricultural products are packaged in fibre or jute bags. Cowpea, groundnut, cereal grains etc are also packed in Jute bags.
(7) Cartons: These are good packaging materials for Agricultural products and their use may cut across various products. Powdered milk and milo are some examples.
By reading this article you can now be able:
i. To Define Packaging criteria
ii. To Define Packaging food
iii. To know the difference between packaging criteria and packaging food.
iv. To know the packaging items in Agriculture.