Jueves, 22 Diciembre 2016 16:58

Simplifying packaging to minimize risk of food poisoning

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Simple design and reduced use of inks. Two simple instructions that could enhance food security and which are the basis for a new design system for food packaging proposed by Mercedes Gallego, researcher at the Department of Analytical Chemistry of the University of Córdoba and the Agrifood Campus of International Excellence ceiA3. This method is based on a study on the transfer of package components to food

Simple design and reduced use of inks. Two simple instructions that could enhance food security and which are the basis for a new design system for food packaging proposed by Mercedes Gallego, researcher at the Department of Analytical Chemistry of the University of Córdoba and the Agrifood Campus of International Excellence ceiA3. This method is based on a study on the transfer of package components to food

Instructions prepared by Professor Gallego include a significant reduction of adhesives, plastic additives and inks on printed surfaces of the packaging. Specifically, the system designed bythe  ceiA3 researcher suggests to print only on the exposed side of the product, using three relevant images. First image would be brand name, 'preferably in black or colored according to remaining figures and centered at the top of the pack'. Second image would be a geometric shape (ellipse, circle , square , etc.) 'with no background color or using a background color associated with a differential characteristic of the specific food product, may also contain signs or drawings and would be located on the left, below the brand name'. Third image would include a simple figure related to the type of food in the package, preferably witha  similar colour to the other figures and located on the right, under the brand name.

According to the proposal of Mercedes Gallego, who has an extended scientific experience in analysis of pollutants, the printed surface of the main side should not exceed 25-35 % of the greater package surface area and all the rest should be kept in white. She suggests to pay special attention to selection of color, using lighter tones in reference to health characteristics (ecological, natural, higher nutritional / dietary value , functional, etc. . ) or darker tones for other distinct characteristics.  All information related to regulatory requirements (ingredients , storage, expiration date, customer services, codes, symbols, etc.) 'would preferentially be printed on the side and bottom of the package or on narrower areas' and any additional information (advertising, recipes , controls, solidarity actions, etc.) 'would preferably be included in a QR or 2D code'

The entire procedure has been registered with the Office for Transfer of Research Results (OTRI) of the University of Cordoba and is intended to comply with EU legislation on packaging.

According to Prof. Gallego, “packaging is one of the key points in food processing. In the coming years, application of the new EU legal requirements will be a major challenge for packaging and decoration industries. It will not be easy to achieve and comply with legal requirements with the current materials'. Thus, Gallego clarifies that migration consists on the transfer of some of the coating film components to the medium with which it is in contact and emphasizes that 'recycled cardboard have a potential danger due to the presence of ink chemicals, adhesives, waxes, sealants, chlorine-based bleaches , etc . It is expected that packages that consume excessive resources or are unnecessarily complicated will be perceived as obsolete when compared to environmentally friendly packaging'.

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