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Germany's new packaging regulations and implications for QFF industry.

Stringent new ecologically conscious packaging requirements issued by the German government have not left frozen food manufacturers and retailers of such products unaffected. Several papers delivered at the Deepfreeze Conference 1992 dealt with this theme and its consequences. Following is a summary of the most important points.

* All frozen food products, without exception, must be packaged. This provides protection against dehydration, transference of odor or flavor, contamination (including bacteria), and bruising or other damage while in transit.

* Deceptive packaging is verboten.

* There simply is not sufficient cabinet space in retail stores to accommodate bulk packaging. To use every single cubic centimeter and stock as many products as possible, packaging should be wrapped tightly around the frozen food.

According to Professor Pudel, a specialist in nutritional physiological research at the University of Gottingen, "Retail food packaging as a requirement for hygiene and security is being increasingly criticized on ecological grounds and regarded as unnecessary. That can only lead to increased hygienic problems with retail food. It is a paradoxical situation: The wishes of the consumer are being fulfilled, but at the same time they are creating problems that the consumer does not want."

After many discussions with consumers and consumer representatives, the Packaging Subcommittee of the Rationalization Committee of the German Economy (RKW) has found that so far as is known, consumers see nothing especially objectionable about QFF packaging. In the view of Dr. Mohrlin of the RKW, such can only be explained in that "frozen products are regarded by purchasers as being of such high value, and the primary packaging as so product-appropriate, that the industry's practices -- particularly with ready-made dishes -- are accepted as sensible and justified."

The German frozen food industry is already working to gradually eliminate plastic wrapping, and to use packaging material that can be recycled with current technology. Plastic packaging is being increasingly labeled according to the appropriate standards. PVC packaging has not been used by the frozen food industry for years.
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Title Annotation:quick frozen foods
Publication:Quick Frozen Foods International
Date:Apr 1, 1993
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