Baking & Snack - July 2018 - 123
Meeting Preview: Pack Expo International
Innovation in packaging materials extend shelf life while smart
packaging enhances consumer confidence in product freshness.
by Jorge Izquierdo, vice-president, market development, PMMI
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization,
1.3 billion tons of food is wasted every year, costing
about $680 billion in industrialized countries combined
and $310 billion in the developing countries. Imagine
what that means for the 800 million people who suffer
from starvation across the globe. That's 2.6 trillion lb of
food wasted annually, enough to feed those people
Thirty-one percent of all food produced in the US
goes uneaten, according to the US Department of
Agriculture's 2015 figures, and each American discards
more than 36 lb of groceries every month. The impact of
this waste extends beyond overstuffed trash bins. When
food goes to waste, so do the resources that it took to
produce, process and transport them.
Consumers and food companies are increasingly
aware of environmental damage and mindful of the financial hit they take from buying food they end up
discarding. To directly address this loss, manufacturers
- along with retailers and government agencies - are
increasingly motivated to implement advanced packaging solutions that extend shelf life and minimize waste.
To help baking and snack professionals find the solutions they need, Pack Expo International 2018, to
be held Oct. 14-17 at McCormick Place, Chicago, will
showcase a wide range of packaging materials, containers and equipment from more than 2,500 exhibitors. In
addition, more than 50,000 attendees will experience
features like the Containers and Materials Pavilion and
Reusable Packaging Pavilion where cutting-edge innovations in flexible, resealable and sustainable packaging
will be on display.
In addition to material and container solutions to
preserve food and beverages longer, companies are exploring more complex packaging solutions and methodologies to reduce waste. Modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) can extend the life of fresh or minimally
processed foods much longer with less environmental
impact. It significantly reduces the amount of oxygen
sealed into bags of products like potato chips.
Attendees at this year's show can also expect the latest information on smart labels and systematic solutions. Smart labels monitor temperature and report
when a food item is at risk of spoiling. This cold chain
revolution allows more efficient, safer shipments of perishables. For example, the timestrip monitor registers
if a product travels out of safe temperature range and
for how long, then recommends if it should be sold or
thrown out. Though these monitors are not in wide use
yet, this type of packaging may lead to even safer shipment and consumption in the future.
Through MAP and other advances in packaging technology, Pack Expo International attendees can learn
ways to slow the amount of food waste around the
world. In doing so, companies have opportunities to
save money and truly make a difference.
To register for and learn more about Pack Expo
International, visit www.packexpointernational.com.
Advances like modified
on display at Pack
Expo International, can
extend shelf life of baked
products and reduce
Abimagestudio - stock.adobe.com
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