Kanodia Technoplast (KTL), one of the most integrated flexible packaging solutions provider, has come a long way to become one of the top business houses in India. Their products and services supplied all over the globe, span packaging for diverse FMCG and industrial products like salted snacks, tea & coffee, confectionery, candies & chocolates, noodles, ice-cream & milk products and everything else that can be found on the shelf of a supermarket. In an interview with Sagrika Sanjay, Holding Editor of FMT-India, Dhruv Kanodia – Director of Flexible Packaging and the person behind many innovations in packaging, shared the technical aspects of packaging
Q Throw some light on the packaging trend in India. Describe your products with its significance in the packaging world.
In the Indian packaging industry, the flexible packaging is the leading pack type that is used in Food, Household Care, and Cosmetics and Toiletries industries. Consumers are going for more packed food in lighter containers that are easy to carry, use and dispose once they have consumed the product. Our focus as a company is on manufacturing such flexible packaging. Our products in the form of laminates and pouches are focused towards making packaging of food and other FMCG products lighter, convinient to use and result in lowering the cost function related to packaging.
Q How do you see the shift in the wider packaging landscape in last 10 years in India in terms of the market’s evolving needs and the impact of new technologies?
If we observe the last decade, the trend has been shifting from rigid packaging to flexible or semi-rigid packaging. The reasons could be the reduction in the amount of carbon footprint that flexible packaging generates as compared to rigid plastics and the low-cost and flexibility of use in terms of shapes and sizes and the convenience with which the customer interacts with the product to deliver product protection, contamination resistance and ease of carrying and for an economical price.
Q What are the functions of flexible packaging in the food packaging industry?
Flexible packaging has enabled the mass transportation, sale of food items across the world, for consumers concerns, for health, and to promote and maintain the product.
Q Tell us about your products films, laminations, and other products as packaging materials. What is the technology behind them?
We are an end-to-end flexible packaging solutions provider of film laminates, an amalgamation of various packaging films, of different combinations and properties for customers’ products.
We provide pre-formed pouches and WPP bags of varying styles; the most common used form is a stand-up pouch. One of our latest innovations in this domain is an air-tight reclosable pack for food products that removes the need of pouring and storing the products in air-tight containers at home. This feature creates an air tight seal every time the pouch is closed after use, for products like powdered juice concentrate, milk powder, pickles, spices, fresh fruits, snacks and sweets with high sugar content.
Q Why oxygen and moisture barriers desirable for packaging?
One of the main functionality that packaging provides to food products is shelf life and ensures that the rich flavours and aromas of the product are carefully locked inside. This is done by creating a tightly sealed barrier system that blocks oxygen and water vapour from the outside environment to transmit inside the film and come in contact with sensitive foods.
Q What is the need to have controlled or MAP packaging? Which is better – vacuum or GAS packaging?
The controlled MAP environment inside, enables food packaging to provide an extended shelf life without requiring the addition of chemical preservatives or stabilisers. Manufacturers of food products rely MAP to ensure fresh and flavourful products that continually meet the consumer’s expectation for brand quality, consistency, freshness and in-stock availability.
Creating a vacuum leads to the removal of oxygen inside the package limiting the growth of aerobic bacteria or fungi and also preventing the evaporation of volatile components of the product packed. However, the use of vacuum packaging is limited.
Hence both forms of MAP – gas and vacuum have the same motive of inhibiting deterioration due to the removal of oxygen and water vapour.
Q Tell us about the different cylinders used by KANODIA Technoplast. What material do you use? Are they safe?
Ans. For printing on packaging films, various techniques are available in the market. Flexographic printing, offset printing, screen printing, digital printing and rotogravure printing, backward integration produce our own rotogravure cylinders for printing on our packaging films for high volumes as rotogravure printing is a continuous process. We can print upto ten different colours on our packaging films which meets the current industry requirements.
Our backward integration is used to produce our own Polypropylene (CPP) and Polyethylene (PE) films used predominantly in food packaging. All our films are produced in plants that are ISO 22000 certified for Food Safety Management. Further, only certified food grade resins are used for producing the films.
Q Throw some light on safety standards and hygiene practices followed by the company?
In addition to ISO 22000, all our plants are ISO 9001 (Quality Management System) and ISO 14000 (Environment Management System) certified, we follow strict protocols when it comes to health and safety, quality as well as environment friendly methods. We maintain the highest quality standards which consider the safety and security of all our staff. Our maintenance department regularly checks for the wear and tear of machinery and ensures all precautions are taken before. We implement proper waste management systems following strict wastage handling procedures. Regular scheduled cleaning of machinery, changing of parts and uniforms and safety accessories are provided to our staff to maintain a healthy and safe working environment.
Q “Packaging is the calling card of a product”. How safe is ink that is used for printing and packaging? Is it food grade?
Ans. Packaging is branding. The printed matter plays the most vital role in ensuring this effective communication on the shelf between the product and the customer. Printing inks used for packaging have continuously evolved to be more hygienic, economical and provide finer details than before. We manufacture our own inks that are food grade and safe to use for packaging of food products.
Q Tell us about you cold seal/ hot seal lacquers. How does it enhance the productivity of packaging?
Ans. Sealing lacquer is applied on a film which is then sealed to itself or to other substrates through heat and/or pressure. Substrates can range from aluminium foil to various types of plastic films and paper. Heat seal lacquers are generally used when the package is supposed to be sealed with the application of heat, whereas cold-seal lacquers are used when sealing has to be done with pressure alone, without any heat being applied. Cold-seal lacquers are typically applied by gravure technique at high speeds, on a wide range of substrates for packaging for the food and non-food industries. They are generally used when the application of heat can damage or alter the properties of the product contained in the package, such as, chocolates, ice creams and candies. Cold seal packaging is slightly more complicated to manufacture and we are one of the very few manufacturers in the country who have gained expertise in this genre of packaging.
Q What is the growth you envisage for your company in the next couple of years? What factors and investments will drive this growth?
Ans: Indian packaging industry will see a growth of 9.2% CAGR from 2017-2021. Kanodia Technoplast has been growing steadily at a CAGR of more than double of the industry for the past many years being one of the top five players in flexible packaging in the country. This kind of magnitude of producing flexible packaging has been further enhanced by our backward integration in producing our raw materials such as printing inks, rotogravure printing cylinders, CPP and PE films, metallised and holographic films, paper cores etc.
The next 3 years will see us doubling our capacity of producing flexible packaging together with our raw materials. Our core principles are service and innovation. Our USP as a packaging material manufacturer and service provider is that we work very closely with the brands as partners tomake sure that maximum value can be created out of the product with the help of packaging.