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Packaging of frozen food

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  • Part V

    Packaging of Frozen Foods

    2006 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

  • 29 Introduction to Frozen FoodPackagingJohn M. KrochtaUniversity of California, Davis

    CONTENTS

    I. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 616

    II. Functions of Packaging for Frozen Foods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 617

    A. Containment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 617

    B. Protection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 618

    1. Frozen Food Packaging Materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 618

    2. Frozen Food Package Types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 620

    a. Boxes/Cartons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 620b. Bags/Pouches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 621c. Heat-in-bag Pouches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 621

    d. Lidded Trays and Pans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 622

    e. Composite and Plastic Cans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 625

    C. Communication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 625

    1. Laws and Regulations on Food Labeling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 625

    2. Marketing Objectives of Packaging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 626

    D. Convenience . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 626

    E. Production Efficiency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 627

    F. Minimal Environmental Impact . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 627

    1. Life Cycle Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 627

    2. Reduction, Reuse, Recycling, and Recovery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 628

    a. Source Reduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 628

    b. Package Reuse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 628

    c. Package Recycling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 628

    d. Energy Recovery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 629

    3. Laws and Regulations on Packaging Waste and Recycling . . . . . . . . . . . 629

    G. Food Safety . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 630

    1. FoodPackage Interaction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 630

    a. Packaging Component Migration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 630

    b. Laws and Regulations on Packaging Components as

    Indirect Food Additives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 631

    2. Food-Package Tampering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 631

    a. Laws and Regulations on Tamper-Evident Packaging . . . . . . . . . . 631

    b. Tamper-Evident Packaging for Frozen Foods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 632

    3. GMPs and HACCP Plans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 632

    a. Laws and Regulations on GMPs and HACCP Plans . . . . . . . . . . . . 632

    b. HACCP for Frozen Food Packaging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 632

    III. Trends in Frozen Food Packaging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 632

    A. Flexible Packaging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 633

    B. Microwavable Trays, Cartons, and Bowls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 633

    615

    2006 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

  • C. Nonthermal Food Processing Techniques in Combination with Freezing . . . 633

    D. Modified Atmosphere Packaging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 634

    E. Active Packaging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 634

    1. Protective Active Packaging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 634

    2. Convenience Active Packaging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 634

    F. Intelligent Packaging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 634

    G. Consumer-Friendly Packaging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 635

    IV. Conclusions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 636

    References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 636

    I. INTRODUCTION

    The first four sections of this book provide information essential to the production, storage, trans-

    portation, and marketing of safe, quality frozen foods. However, the time and resources devoted to

    selection of the highest-quality raw materials, accurate application of freezing fundamentals, and

    use of the most advanced processing and handling facilities are wasted if appropriate packaging

    systems are not used for frozen foods.

    Although freezing is one of the most satisfactory methods of preserving the quality of foods, the

    conditions of frozen storage are such that frozen foods can lose quality over time [15]. Knowledge

    of the changes that a specific frozen food can undergo is necessary, because selection of the appro-

    priate packaging material and package type options can minimize quality loss [3,6].

    Shelf-life of a packaged food is dependent on the nature of the food, the package, and the

    environment surrounding the packaged food [710]. The most common problem for frozen

    foods is moisture loss through sublimation (freezer burn). Sublimation can occur because of

    the temperature difference (and thus water activity difference) between a frozen food and the

    colder (and thus frost-accumulating) heat-exchange surfaces of the frozen storage facility. Further-

    more, a temperature gradient will also exist within a packaged frozen food, with the resulting for-

    mation of ice inside the package (package ice). In addition to aggravating the sublimation

    process, temperature fluctuations in frozen storage increase ice crystal size in the frozen food,

    due to repeated thawing and refreezing of small amounts of water. Both food desiccation and ice

    crystal growth produce undesirable food appearance and texture changes. Thus, the ideal packaging

    material and package design will provide an effective barrier against moisture loss from the food to

    the environment surrounding the package, minimize moisture movement within the package, and

    minimize exposure of the food to temperature fluctuations.

    Additional quality changes can occur because the small amount of unfrozen water in frozen

    foods provides an environment in which enzymatic and nonenzymatic oxidation of lipids,

    colors, flavors, and vitamins can occur, along with both enzymatic and nonenzymatic browning.

    Desiccation of the food can increase the rates of these changes. The potential loss in quality due

    to these chemical changes will depend on the particular food product involved. Thus, some

    frozen foods will have significantly longer storage life when the packaging material and package

    design provide for removal of oxygen at time of packaging and protection against the incursion

    of oxygen from the surrounding environment into the package.

    Although it is impossible to preserve the quality of frozen foods for an indefinite time, proper

    packaging can sufficiently delay the rate of quality loss that an acceptable storage life is obtained.

    Thus, the last section of this book is devoted to selection of packaging materials and package types

    for frozen foods that provide the final link in fulfilling consumer needs and expectations.

    616 Introduction to Frozen Food Packaging

    2006 by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC

  • II. FUNCTIONS OF PACKAGING FOR FROZEN FOODS

    Generally, packaging is considered to provide four main functions: containment, protection, com-

    or production efficiency, involving the ability of the package to perform well in rapid filling,

    closing, and handling operations [7,13]. Additional functions have gained increased importance,

    including having minimal impact on the environment and maintaining food safety for the consumer

    [13,14]. Selection of packaging that is appropriate for specific frozen foods must take into consider-

    ation all these functions. Thus, packaging materials and package types will be discussed in the

    context of these package functions for frozen foods.

    A discussion of the functions of packaging must also consider the package level, which

    describes the proximity of the package to the food and the use of the package. The primary

    package is in direct contact with the food product (e.g., plastic-coated paperboard carton or

    plastic pouch containing frozen food) and usually provides t

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