Improvements to the packaging methods used by small-scale food processors, or the introduction of a packaging stage into a process that previously did not pack the products, is likely to require significant changes to the layout of the equipment, the process and work organization. In this section the types of change needed are described in more detail for a representative range of foods.
In previous chapters, the types of spoilage that foods may undergo were first described and then the use of packaging to preserve foods (as well as to promote the foods to customers) was shown. Details of the properties of different materials, their applications and methods of use were given in Chapter 3. The methods of filling foods into packs and labelling them were described in Chapter 4 and reusable packages or those that can be made on site were described in the previous chapter.
In this chapter some of the general implications of using these methods of packaging for the first time or for improving existing methods are examined. In particular it should be noted that changes that result from introducing new packaging are not simply the extra costs of equipment and materials but may also involve changes to the production process and the introduction of new quality control and storage systems. In each case however, the benefits of new packaging in terms of increased market size, better product quality and increased sales should outweigh the extra costs involved.
A summary of the requirements for introducing different packages for selected foods is shown in Table 6-1 (following pages). To use the table first look up the type of food that is to be packed and then look down the column to see the types of packaging that could be used. When a pack is selected note the numbers in the box and look these up on the key below the table. This will give a summary of the factors that are important when using this type of package for the particular food that is selected.
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