NIFST TASK GOVERNMENT ON MODERN TECHNOLOGY IN FOOD PACKAGING
The Nigeria Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST) has tasked manufacturers and governments on the need to use modern technology in packaging food items.
The National President of NIFST, Dr Chijioke Osuji, made appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Lagos.
Osuji said that the use of modern food packaging was inevitable for the country to advance in the value chain of the food business.
He said that it would enable packaging to be done properly, especially when it had to do with export.
“While within Nigeria, we may prefer unattractive unpackaged products just like our fore-fathers did, but a foreigner may not buy into it even while still within the country.
“The only food product even within the country that a foreigner can consume is one that meets international standards,’’ he said.
Osuji said that in adopting modern food packaging, the right packaging material that also meet safety standards should be used.
“Some kind of packaging if it is not well chosen may damage the product or inflict safety issues on the food substance.
“There are some materials if they are heated with food substance in them, release toxic substances into the food, so, one should be careful of with the packaging materials.
“If you do not package well, you are already removing yourself from certain levels of business and also from regulation.
“The better the packaging, the better it is for regulatory agencies or officers to engage the manufacturers properly,’’ he said.
He noted that when there were issues with products that needed to be recalled, a well packaged product would have a batch number that would enable it to be traced.
The NIFST president called on organisations and companies to use the right professionals in the packaging of their products as they had the expertise to do the job better.
Osuji outlined global and proper packaging features to include labeling, use-by-date, sell-by-date and information on allergies for consumers to be conversant with what they are purchasing.
He urged governments and regulatory agencies to get manufacturers to put these issues into consideration while packaging their products so that consumers do not purchase what would expire in their homes.
“The whole issue is that you have to access the kind of packaging that will give one safety and give consumers the advantage of storage,’’ he said.