When we go to a supermarket or try to shop for groceries online, we must have encountered these lines many times.
Convenient food is a concept that has been around for a long time in the developed world, but only recently in the Asian market. With the changing socio-economic way of life and the growing number of working couples, this concept is becoming increasingly popular in Asian markets. This type of food is becoming popular because it saves time and effort. This food has a long shelf life and is available off the market shelf. Convenient food can be divided into two main types:
Ready-To-Eat (RTE) – such as adli, dosa, pau bhaji, meat products such as pre-cooked sauce, ham, chicken products, curry, chapatis, rice, and vegetables such as potato Chola, qorma, chana masala, etc.
Ready-To-Cook (RTC) – such as instant mix like cake mix, rose jam mix, falooda mix, ice cream mix, jelly mix, pudding mix, pasta products like noodles, macaroni, vermicelli, etc.
Indian food such as palak paneer, dal fry, curry rice, upma, vegetable biryani, etc. is retort processed so their packaging requirements vary.
Whether you know them as microwave meals, frozen meals, convenience meals, or TV dinners, there are many reasons why you might choose ready meals instead of home-cooked meals. Maybe you don’t have time to cook, live on your own, and don’t feel motivated, don’t know how to cook, or don’t enjoy it. One wonders how food can be stored for so long without preservatives. These wonders resolve with high-quality Retort packaging.
Retort packaging technology is the preferred method of processing and packaging to prepare ready-to-eat products and mixes such as noodles, soups, pasta, pulao, palak paneer, dal fry, and other curries. Retort packaging technology is a packaging material consisting of multilayer plastic films with aluminum foil as a layer that can withstand the specific thermal processing used for sterilization at closed temperatures above 100 ° C. And therefore, retort pouches are flexible, and lightweight. Provides weighing and packing utility.
A retort pouch is a special package that protects perishable foods physically, or chemically.
These Pouches are made from either aluminium foil-based plastic laminate or foil-free plastic laminate films, suitable for microwave heating. Most pouches are made of either three or four-ply (laminate) laminate with an internal food contact heat cell layer (usual polypropylene), a barrier layer (aluminum, ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH))., Silicon oxide or aluminum oxide) optional nylon layer and an outer polyester layer. Between the layers of film, the adhesive pieces with a polyurethane base are held together. Polypropylene acts as a sealing layer on the inner lining of the pouch and can provide strength and flexibility to the pouch. Aluminum provides a complete barrier to oxygen, light, moisture, and fragrance.
Meanwhile, nylon is specially designed for cooking or microwaving, because of its high strength and high melting point. Nylon is considered a high barrier to gases and flavors with good mechanical and thermal properties.
Features Of Nylon Film
The presence of an amide group in the polymer chain dominates the properties of nylon, which provides strong Intermolecular adhesion by hydrogen bonds. A result of these strong gravitational forces between the molecules results in
- High melting point and heat resistance
- High mechanical properties (strength, hardness)
- High barrier to oxygen, carbon dioxide, and many solvents and fragrances
The extreme polarity of amide groups is also responsible for the water absorption of nylon resin. Water Molecules inserted into hydrogen bonds provide high elastic properties, e.g.
- High puncture resistance and hardness
- Good thermoformability
The distinctive feature of nylon is that it provides all these features to the construction of the film simultaneously. Therefore, nylon is chosen when a complex property portfolio is requested for the construction of the film.
Retort bag Internal structural composition
Because the mechanical properties of nylon film depend on the water absorption of the resin. Water acts as a plasticizer for polyamides, reducing their strength and stiffness while increasing their hardness, attractiveness, and elasticity. Because the film absorbs moisture rapidly – surface layers in minutes, but even PA layers are protected from polyethylene layers from the surrounding environment within a few days – only mechanical properties after moisture humidity balance are relevant.
Due to these features, the optional nylon layer can increase the strength of the pouch due to its resistance to puncture and abrasion.
The outer polyester layer is heat resistant and provides an area for printing, often reverse printing. The product is visible in aluminium foil-free pouches and is microwaveable. The aluminum layer is replaced with silicon oxide and aluminum oxide coatings. The silicate layer is a thin layer of flexible glass that reflects the same gas and moisture barrier properties as aluminum foil. These films represent only a small number of the many high-barrier films available. I swear my pizza won’t have that many layers.
There are 4 types of retort pouches:
- performed pouch
- Inline formed pouches
- Pillow pack
- Stand-up pouch.
say no preservatives!
If we talk about the old days like our grandmothers used to preserve food by drying it in sunlight or using salt and oil then now that age has passed and everything has been replaced by new technology.
Today a thermal process is used to store food either through the vacuum or retort packaging where the food is heated to a higher temperature and the container is sealed to ensure that the nutrients are sealed. And when it reaches the consumer, it preserves the food without any natural ingredients or chemicals. This includes removing moisture from the pack and therefore the packaged foods mentioned above ensure that you do not include the best preservatives as you want and do not compromise health in any way.
“Health is gone, Everything is gone.” So, there is NO compromise on health.
Consumers wanted convenience, luxury, and pampering. Therefore, the potential use of smart packaging technologies has increased.
Did you know that food served in retort packages, whether raw or cooked, has a long shelf life and does not even need to be stored in the refrigerator? It will also control your serving size for those who are bothered by overeating. Isn’t that great? Nowadays, people have become more health-conscious, especially since the COVID epidemic has hit, and they are giving more priority to hygiene and nutrition. Both of these requirements are met, which are in demand and open up the market for opportunities in the future.
The ideology in people’s minds that says what looks interesting tastes best has long been in favor.
In today’s fast-paced world where life is a race and when it comes to work, increasingly working couples stand hand in hand. In such a situation everyone wants time to be valued, money in terms of quality and variety which is responsible for the popularity of ready-to-eat food which comes in return pouches as it saves both time and effort. And is available from the market. What are you waiting for on the shelf? Go snatch yours and just “heat and eat!” This bundling has been a source of growth and is definitely turning into the following big thing that makes it a great answer for your benefit.