Biodegradable Packaging materials for Fruit and Vegetables

 Biodegradable Packaging materials for Fruit and Vegetables

Fruit and vegetables are highly perishable commodities. Without proper care and safety post-harvest operations, these horticultural products can't be stored long. Hence it is advised to store them in a good container or safe place to increase their shelf-life. Packaging materials or packaging containers are the means or system by which fresh produce or processed product will reach from the production center to the ultimate consumer in safe and sound condition at an affordable price. These are the convenient containers used for packaging fresh produce viz., fruit, vegetables, flowers, different types of food etc., from the production center till it reaches the consumer place. This means the packaging container or the food packaging containers should be designed in such a manner that, it can hold the weight, and maintains the product quality and safety for a span of time, till the product is available at the dining table.

            Broadly, the packaging containers can be of two types based on the decomposition rate, after disposal. They are;

1. Biodegradable Packaging Materials

2. Non-Biodegradable Packaging Materials

Biodegradable Packaging Materials:

            Biodegradable Packaging Materials are the packaging containers or packaging materials that can be decomposed after use or disposal, by the actions of Microorganisms. These materials will naturally disintegrate after use. Generally in the case of packaging materials like polythene materials, it is very difficult to recycle or decompose them. Hence in consequence there is a rise in issues relating to environmental pollution. Again the packaging materials may also sometimes add to health issues. In contrast, the Biodegradable packaging containers/materials are human-friendly, naturally available, low cost, safe decomposable, and healthier in long run.

            These packaging materials may be bio-based or fossile-based polymers, based on the materials used. Depending on the molecular structure, a microorganism may decompose the packaging material or not. In biodegradable packaging, the materials must be disintegrated into small or minute pieces, which can be digested by microorganisms.

Few biodegradable packaging materials for fruits and vegetables are

1. Bamboo Leaf

2. Banana Leaf

3. Jute

4. Waste paper pulp containers

5. Wooden materials or containers

6. Bamboo containers

7. Hemp

8. Cellulose materials

9. Sea weeds

10. Sugarcane bagases

11. Corn waste

12. Dried grasses

13. Bio-Plastics etc.

Benefits of Biodegradable Packaging Materials:

            There are numerous benefits associated with biodegradable packaging materials. These are enlisted below-

1. Nature friendly: biodegradable packaging materials do not pollute the atmosphere

2. Support farming: as it can help in the creation of compost.

3. Healthy food: Food is free from toxic chemicals and consumers can access healthier food.

4. Reduce waste generation: The packaging can be disintegrated by nature within a span of time.

Disadvantages of Biodegradable Packaging Materials:

Though there are numerous relevant benefits, still biodegradable packaging materials are not free from shortcomings. The major disadvantages are enlisted below-
1. Short duration: These materials can't be used again and again, as they will naturally decompose.
2. These packaging substances may not bear the impact during transportation.
3. More need for Research and Development (R&D) for the construction of biodegradable packaging materials. by subhrajyoti's horticulture

Hello friends, I'am Dr. Subhrajyoti , from Odisha, India. I have completed my UG & PG from OUAT and Ph.D. from JAU. During my early year of teaching, I loved to provide important information to the young agriculturists and farmers. With the suggestions from my best friend Mr. S. R. Biswal, (Ph.D. Research Scholar; website designer & content editor of (blog &YouTube), I got interested to create such an amazing platform, where I can share my knowledge to a greater range of audience and also get enriched with new ideas and knowledge. I feel privileged to be in contact with you all. I would like to thank you all for your valuable support and encouragement through viewing my articles. I will always try my best to provide the quality and latest information on this website. Thank you….

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