Major consideration must also be given to packaging. Packaging must contain the product for sale and importantly protect it from physical, chemical and biological contamination. Packaging should contain and protect the product for at least as long as the stated shelf life. Other functions of packaging include light transmission or restriction depending on the product, insulation, moisture and gases transmission and micro-organisms.
Packaging controls the rate of moisture and gas transmission which determines the shelf life of many products – especially snack foods. The ‘crisp mouth-feel’ is part of the appeal of many snack foods; a loss of crispness occurs if the packaging is not sufficient to control moisture and gas transmission.
Intact packaging materials are barriers to micro-organisms but poor seals on packaging are a potential source of contamination. Packs that are folded, stapled or twist-wrapped are not truly sealed and constant abrasion on plastic films can cause packaging to wear and become permeable to gases, bacteria and moisture.
Packaging must also inform and attract. Codex Alimentarius mandates the requirements of the label but the label must also attract the consumer and be instantly recognizable to help in developing ‘brand loyalty’.
Packaging choices are many and varied and can be found described in detail in the processing manual. For each of the processing methods described in this module packaging recommendations are made. Export packaging will reference ‘clean green’ Pacific image and sustainability – i.e. your purchase is helping Pacific Island communities survive, adapt and cope with the existential threat of climate change. Local packaging best references health benefits of breadfruit flour and local jobs.