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Wednesday, Oct 16, 2002

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Packaging matters as much as foodstuff inside

Our Bureau


GOODIES come in attractive packaging. Your favourite sweets and a growing number of foodstuffs are being packaged in colourful boxes. But, did you know that all this colour and glitter is always not good for your health, especially in foodstuffs. If not, read on.

A good number of colourful packs and wrappers used for packaging food items are made of cheaper substance with contaminants and hazardous chemicals. For example, packaging boxes for food products such as sweets, cakes, biscuits, ice-creams are made of cheap boards, the `so called Duplex boards'. These boards are made from waste paper and scrap. Made from contaminated raw materials, they have been found to contain dioxins and toxins beyond permissible limits. Because of these reasons, in the West virgin fibre food-grade boards are used to pack food and personal and healthcare products, claims ITC Bhadrachalam Paperboards Ltd, which is promoting a food-grade paperboard material for packaging developed by ITC Ltd at the Bhadrachalam Paperboards Division.

According to Mr P.K. Sarkar, Director, Food and Agricultural Department, Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), "unfortunately consumers in our country are unaware of the health hazards posed by contaminating raw materials."

To ensure better hygiene and quality in packaging materials, the Hyderabad-based Dadu's Mithai Vatika has gone in for packaging their sweets in food-grade boxes, made from ITC Bhadrachalam's Cyber XL Pac.

The virgin fibre-based food-grade board had been designed for the purpose, using pure bleached virgin fibres and speciality chemical, explained company officials.

So the next time you unwrap the colourful packing to grab the mouth-watering sweet inside, perhaps, you should give a thought to the quality of the wrappers.

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