Labeling standards

The food processing sector is closely linked to the packaging sector. Indeed, new european standards impose a wide range of conditions in terms of the material used and the labelling of the products. In addition, the recent debates about the use of GMOs in the food industry revive tensions about the informations that should -or not –  figure on the labels.

A broader awareness

Following the recent controversy about the use of horse meat in prepared dishes -that was not mentioned on the products’ labels- customers started wondering about the labelling of food products. Indeed, if the regulations about the use of beef meat are more defined, it is not the case of pork meat, poultry and goat meat.

Food products’ labelling is a subject concerning not only customers but also manufacturers: on the customer’s side, the will to know what the food is composed of is often led by the unconscious fear of being poisoned whereas on the manufacturer’s side, labelling deals with a more strategic approach. In fact, calculated campaigns of misinformation allow manufacturers to keep secret their manufacturing process and recipes. Nevertheless, the greatest manufacturer’s challenge is to adapt the labels to the constantly changing labelling standards imposed by the european union.

Implementation of labelling standards put in practice

If the debate calls into question a lack of severity from the european commission’s side, it also highlights the cost that imply new regulations about food product’s labelling. As a matter of fact, the extra generation of costs is estimated by 15 to 50%, as the set up of new labels imply not only the set up of new configurations of the labelling machines, but also in many cases their replacement.

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As a consequence, labelling machines are closely linked to the the constantly evolving labelling standards, especially in the food processing industry. Among them many different types are to be found, such as Vertical Wrap Around Labelers, Automatic labelling Systems, Front and Back Labelers, Pressure Sensitive Wrap Labelers, Label Applicators, and so on. As nutritional facts tables keep on changing according to the implementation of new criterias aiming to inform consumers better, labelling machines consequently have to follow the trend and get improved.

For instance, the american food industry refuses the automatic labelling of its products as 80% of the production contains GMOs, whereas the european union is being criticized by consumers for its lack of severity in the implementation of new labelling standards. For the manufacturers, the problem lays in the set up of those new regulations, that calls into question the whole conditioning process.

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