*By Abdul Hamid

Introduction

A package provides protection, tamper resistance, and special physical, chemical, or biological needs. It may bear a nutrition facts label and other information about food being offered for sale in local and international markets for consumer uses. There are three types of packaging used for frozen foods like fruits and vegetables namely primary, secondary, and tertiary. The primary package is in direct contact with the food and the food can kept inside the package up to the time of use. Secondary packaging is a form of multiple packaging used to handle packages together. Tertiary packaging is basically one more layer over the secondary packaging that is used for bulk transportation of products.

The Indian fruits and vegetables, beverages packaging market was valued at USD 26.28 billion in 2019, and it is expected to reach USD 122.78 billion by 2025, registering a CAGR of 29.88% during the forecast period (2020-2025). India has seen sustainable packaging growth in Food & Beverage due to the increase of packaged food consumption and awareness, and demand for quality products. The growth of the packaging market in India is primarily driven by the food and beverage industries.

Role of Packaging in Fruit and Vegetables Sector
Packaging fresh fruits and vegetables is one of the important steps in the long and complicated journey of fruits and vegetables from farmer to consumer. Bags, crates, hampers, baskets, cartons, bulk bins, and palletized containers are convenient containers for handling, transporting, and marketing fresh produce. Although the industry generally agrees that container standardization is one way to reduce cost, the trend in recent years has moved toward a wider range of package sizes to accommodate the diverse needs of wholesalers, consumers, food service buyers, and processing operations.

Packing and packaging materials contribute a significant cost to the produce industry; therefore it is important that packers, shippers, buyers, and consumers have a clear understanding of the wide range of packaging options available.

Major Function of Packaging
A properly designed produce container should contain, protect, and identify the product. Packaging should be attractive and everything should be mentioned clearly on the package
Some of these important keys in packaging are given below.
1. Variety
2. Recyclability
3. Sales Appeal.
4. Shelf Life.

Following are among the more important general requirements and functions of food packaging materials/ containers are as follows:

1. They must be non-toxic and compatible with the specific foods.

2. Sanitary protection, moisture and fat protection, gas and odour protection.

3. Light protection, resistance to impact and transparency and ease of opening.

4. Reseal features, ease of disposal size, shape, weight limitations.

5. Appearance, printability and low cost, special features etc.

Frozen Packaging in Fruit and Vegetables

1. Packaging materials should be moisture proof to prevent evaporation, thus retaining the highest quality in frozen foods.

2. Non-rigid containers include bags and sheets made of moisture resistant, heavy aluminium foil, polyethylene or laminated papers.

3. Bags are the most commonly used packaging materials for frozen fruits and vegetables due to their flexibility during processing and handling. They can be used with or without outer cardboard cartons to protect against tearing.

Conclusion:-

Along with research and analysis the future of fruit and vegetables packaging as well as food industry has a long and vast market in India as well as export. Fruit and vegetables Industry has a good and big opportunity for new starts up and same as packaging industry of this sector. Besides Government of India is also promoting and giving good amount of money as well as opportunities to growing fruit and vegetables processing industries so that the industries will grow on high scale.

*Production Manager

Drug Laboratory

Meerut