When talking about food, we know that there is always a portion kept for storing and preserving it. There is also no way one can talk about packaged foods without at first talking about food processing. So what then is food processing?
Food processing is the process in which mechanical or chemical operations are performed on food so as to preserve it for consumption. It is the method of preserving, packaging and canning raw food for storage purposes through different techniques.
Food Packaging and Packaged Foods: The former has to do with the process of sealing food to protect it from being tampered with and risking it being contaminated through physical, biological and chemical means. While the latter means food that has been concealed to prevent direct contacts with any harmful substances either with an accessible or airtight wrappings or packaging.
Foods That Can Be Packaged
There are a lot of food that go through the process of packaging but the most rampant and popular ones are; Bread, Crackers, Frozen Veggie Burgers, Pasta, Banza (chickpea-based), Flavored Nut Butter, Energy Bars, Canned Beans, Frozen Fruits & Vegetables, Chicken & Sun-Dried Tomato Orzo, Breakfast Cereal, Whole-grain Frozen Waffles, Flavored Creamer, Chocolate-Hazelnut Iced Coffee’ Beef Jerky, Stir-fry Sauce, Bell Pepper, Bok Choy & Pork Stir-Fry, Popcorn, Canned Veggie Soup, Tomato and Frozen Meatballs, etc.
Importance of Food Packaging
- Food packaging helps protect the food from any contaminations during the transportation or distribution process till it enters the hands of the final consumer.
- It ensures that it protects the buyer’s health through high standard of food safety and hygiene of the food.
- It ensures that food packaged stays fresh and good for consumption.
- Food packaging enables safety of the food as there is no form of tampering with the food.
- It helps promote the brand because from the attractive packaging, customers are enticed to buy from them.
Jobs Available in Packaged Foods
Packaged foods is not just about wrapping up of food, but there are certain jobs and roles that are important through the process of packaging food and some of them are:
- Packaging Manager: responsible for supervising a packaging operation, he/she is in charge of the packaging, supervising and overseeing the whole process i.e. ensuring that goods are packaged properly and reaches the distribution point on time, maintaining equipment and staff.
- Packaging Operator: He/she is responsible making a finished product ready for sales. Otherwise known as packaging technician, his/her duty is to operate the equipment used in the factories and ensure the packaging has been done to the standards of the company.
- Packaging Engineer: Involved with the duties of the designing, testing, implementing and transporting of the packaged goods to ensure that the company’s integrity.
- Packaging Designer: He/she catalogs the design process from start to finish.
- Packaging Specialist: Saddled with the duties of putting finished foods in bags, boxes, crates, etc. They are mostly in charge of the packaging processes.
- Consumer Behavior Analyst: Also known as market researchers or consumer/marketing specialists are involved in the psychology of the marketing concepts and strategies. They evaluate the consumer’s mind on what he/she buys and definitely why that particular product.
Educational Qualification/ Skills:
To get a job in these field or career path, one must have a bachelor’s degree in food technology or food engineering though in most situations depends on the company’s requirements. Asides from the educational qualifications, there are some certain skills you have to hone for packaged foods and there are; ability to lift heavy loads, hand to eye coordination, must have a team spirit, great verbal and written forms of communication, proficiency, mechanical skills, etc.
Is Packaged Foods a Good Career Path?
Firstly, what you need to know that food is something consumed everyday by humans and as such this is a very secure career because you will never lack costumers who you will have to provide for. Food is a high demand commodity that we can not live without, so you will never run out of a job only if you continue to be consistent.
I do not really see why it should not be a career path if at the end of the day it keeps the income coming at an average of $28,750 to $86,400 yearly and a very sure way of sustainability. So I see why not, if you want to venture into it, you can go ahead as it is very lucrative.