The concern for quality, health, safety and freshness in food products has increased dramatically over the last decade and brands are listening to consumers' worries, Food Production Daily reported.
Michael Hughes, lead analyst for Canadean, a food packaging company, said that more consumers want sterile packaging and material involved with every aspect of their food, which is leading food processing plants to use new packaging, the source reported.
"Consumers are becoming more aware of the presence of bacteria around them and more conscious about the effect it can have on their health – even if in reality this is overhyped and misunderstood," Hughes told Food Production Daily.
Hughes explained antibacterial packaging might reassure buyers, especially when it comes to "on-the-go" products.
"This can be linked to consumers becoming more concerned about freshness and the shelf life of products, and products that could be detrimental to their health," Hughes told the source. "This is particularly true if consumers think the product has been imported from afar, which could have had an impact on freshness during distribution."
UK worried about canned products
In the U.K., a recent report from Canadean showed that 42 percent of consumers are more concerned about signs of dust and bacteria on the outer material of the can than deformation of the product. The survey also found that 48 percent of U.K. consumers thought it was more worrisome if the can's label was discolored.
The only thing that surpassed all the appearance-based issues with canned packaging was if the item looked like it had been opened, the company reported.
Keeping an appropriate form
For some food processing facilities, gelation methods depend on the heating treatments. With the correct shell and tube heat exchanger, facilities can ensure the product keeps its proper shape and that it eliminates any harmful bacteria in the process, Gordon Robertson explained in the book Food Packaging Principles and Practice.
In food processing, equipment failures can happen when pressure surges and drops. Having the right heat exchanger can provide enough back pressure to balance sudden shifts in pressure.
"As consumers want to know more about the products they consume and how they arrived in their presence, packaging claims emphasizing freshness and safety can help enhance quality credentials – and as such perceptions of value for money," Hughes told Food Production Daily.
Hughes added that most people who buy food packaging products don't think about bacteria right away, but having clearly marked antibacterial labels could help highlight safety and quality in food processing facilities' products.
"Given that older consumers are most worried about the presence of bacteria – which can be linked to a greater level of concern about immunity and maintaining health, the demand for antibacterial packaging will only intensify in the future as society continues to age," Hughes said in the Canadean survey study.