Polypropylene in the Industry of Food Packaging

Various pests expose agriculture and food products to attack from storage until
consumption by consumers. Insects and fungi are the most serious pests that can
contaminate food products in warehouses. Despite modern food and other agricultural
products storage and distribution systems, most packaged food products, with the
exception of canned and frozen goods, are subject to attack and penetration by insects
(Mullen & Highland, 1988). When a packaging containing one of insect life stages enters into
storages (infested packaging), it could cause the prevalence of infestation. In addition to
reducing food quantity, insects annihilate quality, too. By nourishing into the foods, they
prepare the conditions for the attack by pathogen microorganisms, such as fungi and as
such, the consumption of these foodstuffs could be followed by dangerous present day
diseases e.g. cancer types as contaminated foods to pathogens like fungi are one of the most
important problems in the industry of storage foods and they are susceptible to mycotoxins
(Jakic-Dimic et al., 2009). There are few categories of mycotoxins regarding their chemical
structure, sensitivity of certain organs and origin of fungi that produce them. Aflatoxin is a
secondary metabolite produced by Aspergillus flavus (Lopez-Diaz &Flannigan, 1997). 
Aflatoxin is potential to cause liver damage, cirrhosis, and liver cancer and aflatoxin B1 is
the most dangerous toxin for animal and human health (Syarief et al., 2003). So, huge losses
have been observed in agriculture produce and different ways are designed for controlling
stored-product pests. Storing foodstuffs in bulk or sacks is a usual method for controlling
pests without application of chemical methods. These sacks are made of different materials
such as sheeted polymers used for packaging agricultural products to prevent the entrance
of pests and contaminations (Allahvaisi, 2009). Wastage varies from 5-35% depending on
nature of crops. Majority of wastage takes place in each of the steps viz. storage, 
transportation and at retail market due to improper packaging. Bulk Packaging made of
polymers provides a solution for commodities weighing 10-50 kg during handling, storage
and transportation, while smaller packaging for food products range from 50 ml to 5kg. 
Polymeric packaging fulfils the diverse role from protecting products, preventing spoilage, 
contamination, extending shelf life, ensuring safe storage thereby helping to make them
readily available to consumers in our day to day life. This chapter will be a very helpful to all its readers, entrepreneurs, scientists, existing industries, technical institution, etc in the
field of packaging (Anonymous, 2011).