Innovations in materials & technology will continue to drive growth of packaged Food & Beverages. All components like primary & secondary packaging materials, printing inks, adhesives, which goes into the making of a successful packaging solution for a food & beverage product are now being scrutinized for safety & sustainability.
In the present global scenario, where there is little or no clarity on the implications of the ban on single -use plastics & also on the types of packaging materials, these uncertainties will only slow down the innovation process & growth required to deliver safe products to consumers. A biodegradable Packaging solution is yet to become affordable for commodity large -scale Food & Beverage applications.
Plastics, a hitherto established packaging material for all product categories, is now being challenged as a material of choice. Food Business Operators are compelled to review their strategies for the future & explore sustainable options like Paper, Metals, Glass, etc. The evolving global & FSSAI Food Packaging laws will have a far-reaching effect on the F&B industry.
It is against this background that the “Packaging Conclave” acquires significance. The conclave brought together a galaxy of eminent speakers from leading companies & organizations to enlighten the audience drawn from major stakeholders in the supply chain.
Dilip Raghavan of Packaging 360, began the day’s agenda with a welcome address & spoke about the commitment to creating a comprehensive knowledge sharing platform for the growth of the packaging community.
Dhananjay Sahoo of Indian Oil Corporation Limited, opened the session & mentioned the estimated Indian consumer packaging market to be around INR 850 billion in 2017-18 and forecast to reach INR 1,170 billion by 2020-21, at an annual growth rate of 11.3%. He put forward a strong case for Polypropylene in both rigid & flexible formats in view of its light weight & easy recyclability. IOCL has successfully demonstrated replacement of ABS by PP caps & PET/PE laminates by PE/PE for 5 kgs rice packaging. He reiterated his company’s commitment towards the circular economy principle & also contribute by inclusion of 20 to 30% PCR in virgin PP polymer.
Shailesh Nema of Michelman, in his talk, identified some key challenges facing the Indian packaging community, such as lack of clarity & understanding of regulations, which impaired the innovation process. He also pointed out that awareness about sustainability was increasing & all stake holders were moving towards developing mono-material laminates to improve sustainability of flexible packaging structures. He mentioned that water-based barrier coatings on various substrates is the way forward. He provided numerous case studies such as confectionaries, spices etc. Advantages of HR coatings on PE were also referred to. He also proposed coated paper bags & paper cups as an alternative to plastics ones.
Jatin Takkar of Siegwerk spoke on “safe inks for packaging” & its various facets. He discussed the definition of safe inks & pointed out that mere exclusion of toluene & ketone does not qualify an ink to be environmentally friendly or sustainable. He elaborated on the optimized migration of inks which is fit to be defined as safe for packaging applications. He detailed the noteworthy points pertaining to FSSAI
regulations & IS 15495 in relation to use of packaging inks & food contact. He also informed the audience about the various knowledge initiative from Siegwerk.
Dr. Santanu Roy & Dr. Manav Gupta of Pidilite Industries Limited, spoke on the various factors of safety & sustainability related to adhesives in no-contact. Indirect contact & direct contact F&B applications. Adhesives constitute typically 5% of total packaging & No Direct contact in most Food packaging applications. The critical factors were Design of the Pack, Compliance of Ingredients & Migration of Chemicals from Packing materials.
Mitigation was achievable by Shifting to WB/SF Adhesives from Solvent based adhesives, Storage temperature, Migration of Food material Ingredients, Additional Barrier Layer, Continuous Review of Formulations and Partnering based on Compliance changes.
Girish Behal of Ester Industries Limited, began his talk with a brief introduction about the company & the various products offered for the packaging sector based on PET. He then turned to circularity concept. Reuse & Repurpose are the tools for sustainable packaging solutions which extends the lifecycle of plastics Reduce % on virgin plastic consumption. He gave a techno-commercial comparative analysis involved in the collection & production of products from PET rigid, Flexible & laminates involving PET & absence of PET.
Post-consumer recycled (PCR) PET film is innovative and sustainability solution to reduce the carbon footprint on the earth, provide solutions for waste management of plastics materials. These are Available in 100 % PCR PET contains. These films are being manufactured by Chemical De-polymerization (Tertiary recycling), it is treated as purest route and are one of the cleanest PCR-PET films in the world. UmaPET PCR films are in accordance to REACH, EU 10/2011 & US FDA 21CFR 177.1630 regulations. It exhibits the same performance specifications as compared to virgin PET films, offering high impact strength, tensile strength and extremely effective barrier properties against water and oxygen.
Anil Mehta of Pluss Advanced Technologies Pvt.Ltd, emphasized the role of tie layers or grafted polymers used as bonding materials between dissimilar polymers like Nylon & EVOH & PE in a complex multilayer packaging film structure. These films can be treated as a valuable resource at post-consumer stage & reprocessed into granules & useful products.
PN Sridharr of ITC PSPD briefly introduced the various paper-based boards for direct & indirect food contact applications. He also alluded to a bio-based product, Omegabev is a virgin fibre based board with a bio-based barrier coating exclusively made for paper cups. Under composting conditions, Omegabev will completely biodegrade. Omegabarr is a fully-coated Folding Box Board with a bio-based barrier coating,
making it completely biodegradable under composting conditions. It is an eco-friendly solution for applications like fast food tubs, ice cream cartons, soap packaging etc. which require barrier properties. He also interacted with the audience after the talk & pointed out successful initiatives like WOW from ITC & collaboration models with BMC & PMC undertaken recently.
The post-lunch session began with Sunanda Kadam of Intertek, discussing the salient features of the EU Regulations for Food Contact materials. Regulation (Eu) No. 284/2011. Nylon and Melamine Food contact materials originating in or consigned from China and Hong Kong, Effective Date: 2011 July 1. Nylon Shall comply with SM of Primary Aromatic Amines (Maximum 0.01 mg/kg foodstuff) (in 1 st migration starting from 2013 Jan 1). Melamine shall Comply with SM of formaldehyde (Maximum 15 mg/kg
foodstuff) (in 3 rd migration always).
Deepanker Agarwal of Ajanta Bottle Pvt.Ltd, emphasized the emergence of glass as a sustainable packaging option for the F&B sector. Glass is 100% recyclable at same quality. Recycling glass helps in saving emissions and saving of fuel as melting point reduces. There is No need to collect it clean. Cullet used in India is only about 12-13% which can go more than 50%. Glass does not reactor degrade- so it can be recycled N’ number of times. No need for waste r processors and process to treat the waste. He cited the success stories of milk shakes & sugarcane juices in glass bottles for extended shelf life.
Sachin Achintalwar spoke on the various aspects of the recently introduced FSSAI Packaging & labelling regulations. He also pointed out that FBO’s to ensure packaging Materials as per IS Requirements. Indian Standards are specified under Schedule I, II, III, IV under the regulations. If no Indian Standard available for packaging material, then relevant International Standard may be complied with. Schedule I –List of Indian Standards specified for Paper and board materials intended to come in contact with food products. Schedule II –List of Indian Standards specified for Metal & Metal Alloys
intended to come in contact with food products. Schedule III –List of Indian Standards specified for Plastic materials intended to come in contact with food products. Schedule IV -List of suggestive packaging materials for various product categories.
Abhijit Bansod of Studio ABD Pvt.Ltd, gave some power -packed stories of creative, yet sustainable packaging forms for F&B products. As a creative designer, he felt that our country had a rich cultural heritage & could be used to tell powerful stories & make a brand, easily identified. He cited examples of Eastern dosa, Paper-boat gift box, Mums care & Walls Kulfi.
Amit Saurkar of MTR Foods Pvt Ltd discussed the following Innovative F & B Packaging Concepts – Sustainable Packaging, Convenience, Personalization, E – Commerce Packaging, Smart Packaging, Shift from Rigid to flexible Packaging.
P C AnilKumar of Swiggy revealed the many challenges of the food delivery business including kitchen operations, storage, packaging, logistics. He explained the details involved in selection of packaging materials & formats especially for liquid foods, gravy etc. Ensuring tamper-proof of packed food during transit is also an important area needing attention. Lastly adopting sustainability as a habit is a long-term vision of the FBO.
Key Take-Aways from the Conclave
1. Sustainability is no longer a jargon or a buzz word as recent events have exemplified impact on environment.
2. Non-plastics alternatives, where applicable, could be implemented.
3. Glass bottle, is fast emerging sustainable option for liquid beverages.
4. Paper & paper board, with bio based & barrier-based coatings will receive increased attention by F&B industry.
5. Printing inks have to become totally safe for packaging applications
6. Global FCM regulations & FSSAI Packaging regulations will have an impact on FBO, to deliver safe F&B products to consumers. Misleading labels & false claims will come under close scrutiny.
7. Use of PCR polymers from Primary polymer producers will gain traction.
8. Creative designers will also take a closer look at sustainable packaging materials for F&B clients.
9. F&B band owners & High Growth food delivery services will also have to adopt sustainable packaging options for their products.
10. Effective, collection, sorting & recycling & reuse of packaging waste to develop value -added products opens up new exciting business opportunities.