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factor in determining shelf life, although light is also important with regard
to product browning and onset of rancidity.
• Self-standing pouches have been used for fruit juices and other drinks,
soups and sauces.
• Large catering size pouches for the institutional trade up to a capacity of
3.5kg, approximately equivalent to the A 10 can, have found ready application for prepared vegetable products such as carrots, peeled potatoes and
potato chips. The relatively easier disposability of the pouch after use is
also an advantage in the catering and institutional markets.
• Provision of military field rations.
Reduced heat exposure offers an opportunity for using retort pouches to process heat-sensitive products not currently suited to canning, especially in hightemperature/short-time processing where opportunities exist for optimum
nutrient and flavour retention.
By far, the biggest producer is Japan where production is approximately
1 billion pouches per annum. A wide variety of products are packed; curries,
stews, hashes, prepared meats, fish in sauce, mixed vegetables, all being popular dishes. Several factors which contributed to the success of pouches in the
Far East are:
• limited refrigeration facilities when these packs were introduced, particularly in homes, resulting in demand for ambient shelf stable products.
With increased use of refrigerators lower barrier pouches are now being
used for shorter shelf life products in refrigerated storage
• social changes causing working housewives to look for convenience
• the popularity of foods such as sauces which are pumpable and ideal for
In Europe and North America, by contrast, the present market is relatively
small. Main applications are for products such as rosti (fried grated potatoes),
prepared meats, smoked sausage (frankfurters), smoked salmon, fish, petfood,
entree dishes, vegetables and diced and sliced apples. Lack of market expansion is attributed to a highly developed frozen-food chain, the competitiveness
of frozen foods of a similar type and highly automated, cost effective, canning
Advantages and disadvantages
The following advantages are claimed:
• less energy is required to manufacture pouches compared with cans
• transport of empty containers is cheaper (85% less space required than cans)
• packaging is cheaper than equivalent can and with carton cost is about
the same