New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Ordering food online has now become a part of our day to day life. The demand for ordering food online was declined in the initial days of coronavirus-induced lockdown, however, a large number of people worldwide have again started ordering food online. Meanwhile, due to Coronavirus, there have been special changes in the packaging of foods. However, now questions are also being raised whether packaged foods (canned foods) ordered online are safe and healthy? Are the standards set at the time of packaging food items adhered to food safety protocols? Are toxic chemicals not added to them?

Keeping these questions in mind, ORB Media has intensively researched, studied and analyzed more than a dozen papers, general and articles published on food packaging and its various aspects around the world. Its purpose is to understand how safe is the packaged food we are consuming.

What does the report say?

According to the report, the trend of online food delivery is increasing rapidly. Due to this, the use of disposable has also increased. It has adverse effects on human health and the environment. Ideally, online ordered food should be served in a glass, stainless steel, or ceramic. These materials are safe and can be reused. On the contrary, the use of plastic is not good for health. The report from the ORB stated that disposable packaging sometimes becomes impractical. All disposable food products, whether they are made of plastic or from the plant, have some quality compromise.

Is packaged food harmful?

Food contact material (FCM) is used to make the food contact article (FCA). It is exposed to food and beverages during processing, storage, packaging, and use. You can understand it in simple language that your food, which comes in a box/packet, you call it food contact article (FCA). It is made of food contact material (FCM). When the chemical components of FCM and FCA, called food contact chemicals (FCC), are exposed to food, they are chemically harmful to food products.

ORB assessed these questions

Who Made the Product: ORB learned in the process what the product was made of. Plastic (petroleum or plant-based) is mainly used in disposable foodware worldwide. In addition, paper or board, plant fibres (bamboo, cellulose or other things) are used.

Keep in mind: It is very important to know which material is used to pack food.

How they are being used: There is a need to keep in mind what kind of food items are there and what kind of materials are being used to pack them. It should also be taken care of how long the food is packaged. Depending on the general rule, food and drinks that have a higher temperature, are more oily or fatty or acidic are more likely to undergo chemical migration. The longer the packaging lasts, the greater the risk. At the same time, chemical reactions are less likely to occur in plastic film over salad or bread.

Keep in mind: Hot food and fatty food or longer packet eating are more likely to cause chemical migration.

The promise of chemical safety in plastic packaging items: It is generally believed that plastic, whether made from petroleum or plant, is more prone to harmful chemicals going into food and drinks. The Food Packaging Forum says that companies do not know which chemicals are made in their product. On most occasions, chemicals are mixed so early in the production process that consumers do not know about them.

Keep in mind: Observe warnings or promises made by companies.

How safe are Recycled Materials: Recycled material sounds good. But when it comes to food, extra caution is required in this case. This is because the source of the recycling material used in food contact articles is not known. For example, some black plastics that contain food contain lead, cadmium and brominated flame retardants, which are made from recycled electronics.

Keep in mind: Recycling products can also be contaminated. In this case, please read the source information and process given by the company.

How big is the food packaging business?

According to the report by ORB, the online mile delivery business in the US is around USD 26.5 billion. It has increased by 20 per cent over 2019. According to Cenfrancisco's delivery service Dordesh (business in the US, Canada and Australia), its business grew at a record high during the Corona disaster. The company was valued at $ 39 billion on December 9, 2020. The UK has a population of around 66 million. Of these, 19 million people ask for food delivery from restaurants. It increased by 19 per cent over 2019. Of these, 10 per cent use third party delivery service. It has increased by 25 per cent. London-based delivery app Delivery has estimated that the trend of online food delivery will increase due to Corona.

The ORB report suggested that manufacturers have to increase transparency about the use of harmful chemicals in the FCA. What chemical elements are being used should be made public so that common people can test them properly. Simply put, while manufacturers are required to adopt a more clear and transparent approach in this matter, on the other hand, the regulators also have to show strictness in this matter. Not only this, the common people will also have to take a decision in this matter carefully. Only then will we be able to provide healthy food for ourselves and our family.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan