The importance of packaging and labelling in food

When assessing the important aspects of a food or health product; the importance of packaging and labelling can never be understated. Packaging and labelling have acquired added urgency and importance in this era of globalization, in which a product produced in one corner of the world ends up in a stomach in some other, completely unrelated and unconnected part of the globe. This food trail can stretch from any part of the world to any other. This fact is what highlights the role and importance of packaging and labelling.

The importance of packaging and labeling can be gauged from the fact that people who consume a certain food or any other item are not usually aware of its contents and their impact on health. This can happen to even locally produced and consumed food and drinks, but is all the more important for a product that comes from somewhere else. A proper display of the ingredients and their nutritive value is a ready yardstick for deciding on whether to consume them or not, and how much of it.

Kinds of packaging

Packaging has many forms. Food technologists classify food packaging into primary, secondary and tertiary packaging. Essentially, these relate to the levels of packaging. If a product is packaged in such a way that the product is in contact with the package, it is primary. The shelves and racks in which they are stored at warehouses or retail outlets constitute the secondary packaging, while bulk packaging used for transporting food and other products can be said to be tertiary packaging.

Packaging and labelling have to be proper, accurate and comprehensive

The importance of packaging and labelling gets completely diluted when the contents and their importance and impact are not listed accurately and fully. Regulatory authorities all over the world set out rules by which products are labelled and packaged. The importance of packaging and labelling lies in how effectively it protects the vital ingredients of the product and how accurately it lists the contents and value of its ingredients for public knowledge. It is this aspect that helps the consumer to make up her mind on whether to go ahead with purchasing and consuming the product or not. Scientific and proper packaging, as well as accurate listing of the contents is a regulatory requirement in most countries. This is an important determinant in helping to assess the importance of packaging and labelling.

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