Food Processing And Packaging

New technologies, effectiveness, and preparedness to quickly react to consumers' demands are essential in the harsh competition of modern food processing. Purity and nutritive and sensory quality of foods, as well as lack of preservatives, have become important selection criteria for consumers. VTT Biotechnology and Food Research has intensively studied minimal processing techniques for improving the sensory quality and nutritional value of foods. Minimal processing, vacuum packaging, and extended chilled storage of such food products, however, possess certain microbiological risks that are currently being studied by VTT Biotechnology and Food Research and in the Department of Food and Environmental Hygiene, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Helsinki.

New processing techniques and the yield of food products with extended shelf lives are reflected through the increasing need of vacuum packaging and modified atmosphere packaging (MAP). Research on smart and active packaging such as quality and leak indicators, edible films, oxygen removers, and biodegradable materials is currently being done by VTT Biotechnology and Food Research (12,13). Such packaging technologies seem promising with respect to sensory quality and product safety.

Of the traditional packaging material producers, Stora-Enso Oyj is one of the world's leading companies in the production of carton packages for liquid foods. Other significant cardboard and carton producers are Metsa-Serla Corporation and UPM Kymmene Corporation. The largest packaging film producers are Wihuri Wipak Oy and UPM Kymmene Corporation.

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