MCMA announces agenda for packaging and food safety seminar

The Metal Container Manufacturers’ Association (MCMA) has announced the agenda and schedule for its seminar on packaging and food safety, which will be held concurrently with PackPro Expo 2019 at the Bombay Exhibition Centre in Mumbai on 26 September 2019.

25 Sep 2019 | By Aultrin Vijay

The event is supported by the Mumbai Chapter of Association of Food Scientists and Technologists India (AFSTI).

According to MCMA, the panel elected for the knowledge-sharing forum will comprise of eminent speakers from the metal packaging industry, food technologists, and academicians.

Sheetal Gupta, deputy director, FSSAI would be discussing regulatory affairs, with special reference to food and metal packaging. Ashraf Chitalwala, director, Zarhak Steel and MCMA member would be talking about metal packaging, including making of tinplate containers.

Narendra Shah, CTARA, IIT Bombay would be talking on advancements in food packaging and the needs on research questions, whereas Bakul Rao, CTARA, IIT Bombay would be discussing the environmental impact and life cycle assessment of food packaging.

R Rangaprasad, business head at Packaging 360 would be addressing food safety and environmental sustainability with metal packaging. CS Purushothaman, director, Crest Packaging, will discuss the lifecycle assessment of food packaging at the seminar. Meanwhile, Priti Amritkar of Envirocare and member of AFSTI will share her expertise on packaging requirements from a laboratory perspective.

Addressing adulteration and tamper-proof packaging

Venu Ayyar of MCMA, said, “The seminar will address issues of adulteration, which should be necessarily sorted out by the manufacturer and his choice of packaging material.”

According to Ayyar, a key reason why both tin and aluminium are popular packaging material choices is that they are both tamper-proof. “Plastic bags or cardboard boxes are more easily torn open, even in the shipping process. In that sense, tinplate and aluminium containers help extend the shelf life of a product and are less likely to create losses for vendors,” he said.

Tinplate over aluminium and plastic packaging

Speaking about the advantages of tinplate over aluminium, Ayyar said, “Like aluminium, tinplate is also recyclable and sustainable. In fact, tinplate containers are preferred by the food industry, as aluminium is amphoteric – it reacts with both acidic and alkaline substances.”

He further said that although the cost of manufacturing plastic packaging material may be cheaper when compared to tinplate, the advantages of tinplate packaging far outweigh plastic packaging. “Some of the advantages of tinplate container are: packed product can be sterilised, has much longer shelf life, extremely good for freezing, quite easy for waste collection, and 100% recyclable,” he added.

He also mentioned that although the proposed ban on single-use plastics may not significantly benefit the tinplate and metal container industry immediately, the opportunity could be used to promote the metal containers as 100% environment-friendly packaging medium.