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Food Packaging In Nigeria: Roles, Materials And Environmental Issues

4484 words - 18 pages

INTRODUCTION:
There is a general belief that packaging of Nigerian food products lacks the quality that can make them competitive in the local and global markets. Although some of the locally made products are considered to be of high quality and unique, but it is still very unfortunate that they are not accepted as good packaged food products, to enable them to be sold successfully in the local and global markets. Most of the packaging materials used are not environmentally-friendly, they are not designed properly while others get their food products spoilt, as a result of poor packaging system, leading to huge capital losses to manufacturers of such products, not to talk of the huge ...view middle of the document...

Even though research works have been carried-out in the past, this paper believes that a lot still has to be done in order to bring about positive change in food packaging design in Nigeria.
Preliminary investigations conducted by the researcher revealed that even though, some good packaging materials, machinery and personnel required to assist manufacturers package their food products are sometimes available in the local packaging industry, the problem of poor packaging or sub-standard packaging of locally produced food products still persist. These, among others, has put the local Nigerian manufacturer’s food packaged products in a dilemma and in a strong market competition with imported packaged food products on the local and international markets.
There is also a general perception that Nigerian customers prefer imported foreign products to similar locally made brands and patronize the former mainly because of the high quality and attractive nature of their packaging. The result is that there is comparatively better sale of the imported products than those produced locally and placed on the Nigerian market. This situation is becoming more and more alarming as it is dwindling sales and profit margins of “Made-in-Nigeria” products in their own local market, not to talk of competing in the global market.
Apart from the aesthetic issues of packaging in Nigeria, the use of non-biodegradable materials for packaging of food products poses a huge environmental problem too. Current advances in food processing and food packaging play a primary role in keeping food supply safe. Simply stated, packaging maintains the benefits of food processing after the process is complete, enabling foods to travel safely for long distances from their point of origin/production and still be wholesome at the time of consumption. However, packaging technology must balance food protection with other issues, including energy and material costs, heightened social and environmental consciousness, and strict regulations on pollutants and disposal of municipal solid waste.
On the 4th of July, 2013, the Federal Institute of Industrial Research (FIIRO) announced through the Director General of the institute, Dr. Mrs. Gloria Elemo of her institute’s readiness to export locally processed “Zobo” and “Kunu” drinks to Europe, America and Asia. She talked about the huge potentials inherent in our vast raw food materials and the need to process these food products and export them as finished products. This paper strongly believes that the packaging of these drinks/other food products and the need to use biodegradable packaging materials would ultimately determine how well these products would do in the international market. The need for good quality packaging can not be undermined.

ROLES OF FOOD PACKAGING
The principal roles of food packaging are to protect food products from outside influences and damage, to contain the food, and to aesthetically create designs that would...

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