"Hygeine is an investment you make to improve safety of food; packaging protects that investment. The first value driver that a developing economy adopts is food safety," said Mize.
Referring to Dupont's Global Food Security Index, Mize said, "As food economies progress, they tend to adopt four value drivers: food safety, shelf life extension, operational efficiency and brand building."
According to the index, India is currently shifting from shelf life extension phase to achieve operational efficiency.
Mize looked upon the shelf life extension technologies of vacuum packaging and modified atmosphere packaging for meat products. "Both are matured technologies and are available in different formats. Vacuum packaging is a preferred choice for frozen meat packaging since it boasts of less freezer burn and less moisture loss. For chilled meat, both vacuum packaging or MAP may be used," added Mize.
According to Mize, these technologies are gaining importance because global food waste is a challenge. Over 30% of the food produced in the world is never eaten.
Anuradha Prasad, joint secretary, ministry of food processing industries, government of India, and moderator of the session added that India is the fifth largest buffalo meat and beef producer in the world. "In 2013, 3.2bn USD worth buffalo meat was exported by India. Though we don't have any study done on wastage of meat products, according to a study, wastage of fruits and vegetables in 2009-10 was worth 44,000 crore rupees," said Prasad.
"When it comes to packaging for retail, presentation is the key," said Mize. Speaking about the global trends, Mize sees a shift from high oxygen MAP to vacuum packaging driven by retail merchandising.
"We are seeing better protection of frozen export products. Shelf life and food safety are increasing in importance," added Mize.