In recent years, the brand owners of sweetmeats have explored the use of oxygen scavengers by introducing sachets or packets containing these additives to eliminate oxygen, which is responsible for oxidation of oil, ghee & similar sweets. This example illustrates the spirit of entrepreneurship & leadership by the Indian food industry. This technology provides an opportunity for minimizing wastage of sweets & also enhance export capabilities to cater to the ever-growing demand of expats for “Home-like” sweets in foreign countries. Ladoos & Mohanthal are some examples where business opportunities can be exciting.
However, extensive R&D is still required to establish suitability of such packaging structures for direct food contact applications.
This type of packaging is capable of carrying out intelligent functions (Sensing, detecting, tracing, recording and communicating) to facilitate decision making to extend shelf life, improve quality, enhance safety, provide information and warn about possible problems.
Although the use of sensors on the outer face of the pack is deemed intelligent to indicate spoilage & provide better indicator of shelf life of the product, the technology is far too expensive to be adopted for commodity products like milk, fruit juice & other categories of beverages.
Nevertheless,it does provide an opportunity to the Indian packaging industry to undertake some basic R&D to identify the food product where this technology can be adopted & minimize wastage of such food products.
Having done this, the next step is to identify ways & means of destroying such tags/ indicators & gadgets. Is this sustainable??