Packaging Methods used in Poultry Industry
Packaging of poultry meat and poultry based meat products has always been challenging because of their perishable nature due to high sensitivity to spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms. In order to extend shelf life, preservation technologies like vacuum packaging or modified atmosphere packaging are being increasingly applied for distribution and retail sale of meat and meat products.
Packaging techniques: There are many packaging systems and the choice of which to use will depend on many factors including cost, the volume of product being handled and presentation.
Here is the recent Nine Packaging methods used in poultry industry are:
1. Vacuum packaging:Vacuum packaging refers to packaging in containers (rigid or flexible), from which substantially all air has been removed prior to final sealing of container. This method of packaging is actually a form of “modified atmosphere” since normal air is removed from the package.
- Gas packaging:Gas packaging can be defined as the alteration of the proportional volumes of the gases which comprise a normal atmosphere. This type of packaging generally falls into two categories:
- Modified atmosphere packaging: The application of modified atmosphere packaging to meat and meat products has grown greatly in recent years. Modified atmosphere packaged foods have become increasingly more available, as food manufacturers have attempted to meet consumer demands for fresh refrigerated foods with extended shelf life. The principle of modified atmosphere packaging is the replacement of air in the package with a different fixed gas mixture and once it is introduced, no further control of the gas composition is performed and the composition will inevitably change.
2. Controlled atmosphere packaging:Refers to a controlled system where by gases are added or removed to maintain a desired balance. In this case the bulk bin or the storage vessel is virtually impermeable.
3. Active and intelligent packaging:Active packaging is a modern development consisting of a group of techniques in which the package is self motivated and is actively involved with food products or act together with internal atmosphere to extend the shelf life while maintaining quality and safety. Active packaging is sometimes referred to as interactive or smart packaging which is planned to sense internal or external environmental changes and to take action by changing its own properties or attributes. Potential techniques used in active packaging are use of oxygen scavenging/carbon dioxide, ethylene and moisture absorbing systems by placing sachets, incorporation of antimicrobial agents into polymer surface coatings or in plastic films, sheets or on materials and into the pads for fresh produce.
4. Active packaging scavengers:Active packaging scavengers consists of ingredients, which are intended to absorb, remove and then eliminate substances, such as oxygen, ethylene, moisture, or taint from the interior of a food package. The constituents of active packaging material and articles have an effect on the shelf life or the organoleptic properties of the food. Commercial oxygen scavengers are in most cases based on iron powder, which, in the presence of oxygen, forms iron oxide. Non-metallic and organo-metallic compounds have also been developed.
The use of oxygen scavengers may have merit in selective poultry products and the addition of a scavenger within the package along with a physical barrier package can maintain nearly a 0% oxygen level inside the package.
5. Active packaging indicators:Various indicators viz. indicators for temperature, microbial spoilage, package integrity, physical shock and product authenticity etc can give information on the quality of the food product directly, besides the package and its headspace gases, as well as on the storage conditions of the package. Some indicators do not need to interact with the product or the headspace, while others do. These indicators are often called intelligent packaging and certain concepts are already commercially available and their uses seem to be increasing. New concepts of leak indicators and freshness indicators are patented and it can be expected that new commercially available products will be available in the near future.
6. Antimicrobial agents:By incorporating antimicrobial agents directly into packaging films, the packaging material can serve as a source of releasing preservatives or antimicrobial agents, or even prevent the growth of microorganisms reviewed the products and patents in the area of active packaging and identified antimicrobial packaging as one of the most promising versions of an active packaging system. Of the active packaging applications, the incorporation and/or slow release of antimicrobials is receiving considerable attention as a means of extending the bacterial lag phase, slowing the growth rate of microorganisms, prolonging shelf life and maintaining food safety. The general premise of antimicrobial packaging is a controlled migration of the compound to the food through diffusion or partitioning which not only allows for initial inhibition of undesirable microorganisms, but also retains residual activity over time.
7. Active packaging emitters:This group of active packaging contains, or produces, substances, which are meant to migrate into the food packaging headspace or into the food in order to obtain a technological effect in the atmosphere in the packaging or in the food itself as e.g., food additives, flavorings or biocides. In these cases, the consumer together with the food ingests the components.
8. Edible films:To reduce the amount of synthetic polymer waste, considerable research has been conducted to develop and apply bio-based polymers mainly from a variety of agricultural commodities and/or waste of food products. An edible film is a special active part of the food, which is regarded as a foodstuff from a legal point of view, along with the food packed in the film. Such films will have to fulfill same requirements as for food in general. Biodegradability, edibility, biocompatibility, aesthetic appearance and barrier properties are a variety of advantages offered by edible coatings and films.
9. Biopolymers:Bio-based polymer films derived from natural sources such as plant and animal materials help effectively to reduce the amount of synthetic polymer waste. The use of plant material to form films is an active research topic. The advantages of using biopolymers for food packaging include: reduced dependence on petroleum-based packaging, use of a renewable agricultural resource, the biopolymers can act as carriers to deliver shelf-life extenders such as antimicrobials or antioxidants and biodegradability.Advertisements