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Safeguarding and extending your product’s shelf life with perfect active packaging solution

Preserving the freshness, taste and texture of products till the time it is relished by the consumer is a focus area of any manufacturer.

February 28, 2022 / 09:17 PM IST

With the increasing demand for packaged food, the consumer is exposed to many choices in the market, due to this, the manufacturers have to be competitive in order to create and retain loyalty.

In order to create consumer loyalty, the manufacturer needs to ensure that his products are not only packaged well and attractively but also remain fresh.

Using active packaging is one of the trusted methods for maintaining the freshness, taste and texture of the product but also to attain a longer shelf life.

Active packaging not only safeguards the product to attain a longer shelf life but in turn does a noble job of reducing food wastage which is a concern for the food manufacturers.

Active packaging such as desiccants and oxygen absorbers that have been widely used in pharmaceutical packaging have been progressively gaining popularity in the packaged food industry.

CILICANT was formed in 2011 by Manish Jain with over three decades of experience in desiccant chemistry. CILICANT, over the years, has established itself as a leader in manufacturing active pharmaceutical packaging, offering some of the most superior quality sorbent solutions to protect highly moisture and oxygen-sensitive products from the harmful effects of moisture and oxidation. CILICANT, along with pharmaceuticals, offers its services to medical devices, nutraceuticals and the food industry to name a few. Offering the best quality of products, CILICANT is also committed to providing quick solutions to its clients through an experienced in-house technical team.

CILICANT understands the criticality of using the right active packaging for an extended shelf life of your product.

CILICANT ensures that its products are safe to use with your products as they are food grade and non-toxic. The active packaging products are so designed to suit PharmaceuticalMedical Devices and Processed Food industries.

CILICANT offers Quality Assurance whereby it holds Type III Drug Master File USFDA, Master File with Health CANADA. It complies with current USP 41<670> guidelines on auxiliary packaging components. It is manufactured at dedicated cGMP ISO 15378:2017 certified facility and each and every stage of production is monitored and controlled through stringent quality checks.

CILICANT is one such company, having years of experience and knowledge and serving some of the top brands had attracted the attention of Mithai & Namkeen Times team. MNT had a good chance to personally speak to Manish Jain, Founder and owner of CILICANT. On the special coverage of oxygen absorbers as food-savers, MNT shares the excerpts with our readers:

There is a boom in processed food products market especially in the post-Covid-19 world, how do you look at the growth of packed food products and demand for active packaging?

Manish Jain, MD, CILICANT replied, “considering the above question about the boom in the processed food or packed food, there has been considerable growth in some product segments and stability in others.

During covid times, there was a scare of using anything that was unpacked and unhygienic. Due to this many food manufacturers including mithai and namkeen switched to packaging and automation in order to overcome this adversity. Whereas, ready to eat manufacturers were already following such packaging practices. Therefore, it has led to an acceptance of packaging in product segments that need to keep abreast with the demands of current times.

Siddharth Gautam, Sr executive BD, who has been working with this industry closely has shared some information, “To elaborate further on Manishji’s comment, post-covid, healthy snacks, dry fruits industry has given a good rise. Because there is a good reason, people are very much concerned about their health, so people are consuming more healthy snacks. Sensing the requirement of the time, they want to boost their immune system and they want to keep their health in fit condition. Taking into consideration of the arena of a pandemic the packaging of all food like healthy snacks, dry fruits, herbs has increased tremendously and along with packaging, there is a growth of active packaging also, because to give the shelf-life, maintain the aroma of dry fruits as well as herbs you have to use active packaging into the packing of the foodstuff.

Please brief us about your expertise …..

 Manish Jain replied, “Cilicant, over the years has established itself as a forerunner in the pharmaceutical packaging industry with its active packaging solutions due to its expertise in the sorbent chemistry and exceptional quality”. Cilicant’s products are manufactured in a classified clean room within a state-of-the-art cGMP compliant facility and every stage of the manufacturing process goes through stringent quality checks as quality and safety of the product are of utmost priority.

Active packaging has the utmost importance in the pharmaceutical industry as it concerns the efficacy of the medicines which mostly are life-saving.

After setting a strong foothold in the pharmaceutical industry, we felt the need to create awareness in the food industry as food is the basic necessity for every human. With packaged food being on the rise, eating fresh food becomes imperative for healthy well-being.

Therefore, in the last five years, we have been successful in creating awareness amongst the food manufacturers to implement safe packaging materials in food packaging.

Our approach to food manufacturers is quite different from other industries, in this our technical team visits the client and understands their product and the concerns regarding packaging.

The problems can be a bad odour, mould/fungus growth, dryness, insects and moths etc., it can be either one or many depending upon the product and its packaging.

After a thorough evaluation of the product, we identify the root cause of the problem and conduct trials both at our and customer end.  We then suggest the client the best solution for their product that not only protects their product but also increases the shelf life.

To which Sidharth Gautam added, coming from the pharmaceutical background, we ensure that the products provided to our client are safe to use with their product.

Our products are manufactured using safe and high-quality ingredients, therefore our products do not alter the original texture, shape and feel of the food products.

Manish Jain added, “Our products are designed to be safe, leak-proof and non-toxic and do not cause any kind of harm even if accidentally ingested by children or senior citizens”

What are the challenges faced by you in the food industry?

Manish Jain replied ‘One of the major challenges that we faced in this industry was lack of awareness about the use and importance of active packaging’ Our team had a hard time educating some clients about the importance and benefit of using active packaging.

Gautam had his angle of information. In this, he said, “This industry is going ahead in good speed yet the mindset of the people is not undergoing any change. Whenever we approached some clients, they were in deep thoughts as to how these products work? What is the difference between the problems created by moisture and oxygen? How can oxygen create problems in the product?

Therefore, we had to first create awareness about the difference between moisture and oxygen. Followed by educating them about what problems are caused by moisture and oxygen, when to use a desiccant and oxygen absorber.

Another challenge that we faced was to prove that active packaging is not a magic pill. In order for the active packaging component to work, one needs to use the right packaging.

If your packaging material doesn’t support our products then probably nothing will work. You need to understand your product, packaging material and only then we can recommend which is the best product to support and enhance the shelf-life of your products.

Manish Jain added, Nevertheless, due to the ongoing support and successful experiences with our clients who are leaders in the industry paved the way to word of mouth publicity and references that helped to gain the trust and acceptance of our products amongst the others in this industry. Challenges are always a driving force toward one’s progress.

Are your products helpful in retaining certain nutritional value of the food products?

Fahmim Hussain, Marketing Director added some insights, after meticulous market research and experience, we have observed a boom in products that are preservative-free.

After the success of the organic food label that enabled the food manufacturers to position themselves as a premium manufacturer, and have a cut above the rest. There’s a steady demand for clean food labels as the urban and health-conscious consumers are well informed about the benefits of consuming products that have no preservatives.

Studies have shown that consuming products having preservatives and chemical anti-oxidants lead to harmful consequences in the human body as they are carcinogenic. The use of preservatives is like slow poisoning.

Our pharmaceutical experience has paved the way to design products that are a perfect solution to those who want to have a clean label for their product. Our products are a component and not an additive to your products, therefore it does not alter the composition of the food products at all.

That being said, using Cilicant active packaging can eliminate the need for preservatives. Due to which the products nutritional value such as vitamins, minerals, etc. remains intact without any alterations.

It is like having a win-win situation where one can get a clean label with an extended shelf life.

Indian sweets, Namkeens and snack foods have the biggest range compared to any other food products, what will be your suggestion to the manufacturers for selecting the right products for them?

Before selecting the right active packaging component, there are three parameters to follow.

One needs to identify the root cause due to which the product is being damaged and the shelf life is being compromised.

The second is to selecting the right packaging material that will enable the active packaging to work effectively. And third is to hermetically seal the packaging, which enables airtight packaging.

Gautam said, “In order to suggest the right active packaging solutions, the manufacturer must have adequate technical know-how about their existing product packaging. As said earlier, active packaging is not a magic pill. Therefore, one needs to consider all three important parameters, along with using the right dosage of our products.

Our technical team is well equipped in conducting a thorough evaluation of the product and identifying the root cause of the problem. Along with that, they also ask the client an array of questions to understand their expectations and to determine how to improve the current shelf life.

We then ensure that our product is compatible and effective by conducting various stability trials both at ours and customer end. Once the stability is done, we then guide our client on how to get the best results from our products and provide the best solution for their product that not only protects their product but also increases the shelf life.

Manish Jain added a precautionary alert, we have seen many instances where the manufacturers have found to be using oxygen absorbers and desiccants more than required or recommended dosage and this, in turn, has resulted in product failure due to over-desiccation.

Hence, their usage should be taken seriously and in strict limitation. Their application should be based on proper dosage calculation and under guidance from the right source.

Moneycontol journalists were not involved in the creation of the article.

Tags: #Features
first published: Feb 28, 2022 09:14 pm